How to Survive the Post-Hail Storm Damage Scam

Man holds a baseball sized hailstone dropped by a supercell thunderstormonto his dented hood.

It’s a car owner’s worst nightmare: a forecast of heavy hail and no way to get your vehicle out of the line of fire. However, dealerships may be singing “Hallelujah” if a terrible hail storm comes through their neighborhood. If that seems counterintuitive, you might be surprised. Some unscrupulous dealerships take advantage of hail damage from chunks of ice up to the size of a tennis ball by having a massive sale. While that may seem like a great deal for consumers, it can actually serve as a cautionary tale if you don’t get the hail damage fixed quickly — leaving you with a vehicle that has lost much more value than you expected from its run-in with Mother Nature.

Hail Damage Discounts

You’ve probably heard at least one dealership in your area touting their amazing discounts to their inventory after storm damage or hail damage. While Automotive News notes that this can bring buyers out in droves looking for a great deal, you can be pretty sure that dealerships will find a way to make money in the process.

Benefits to Consumers

Yes, hail-damaged vehicles can net you a killer deal, especially if your dealership provides you with some room for negotiation. This is more likely to happen when a significant portion of the dealership’s stock has been damaged, as they’ll need to unload the inventory to make room for new cars, trucks, and SUVs. Some dealerships even offer to have the dents repaired onsite, which can seem like a great deal to a new vehicle owner who needs to get in their car quickly and doesn’t want to deal with getting estimates for the damage.

Buyer Beware

Since car dealerships often have a good relationship with a dent repair and paint shop, they may call in someone to do the repairs under their insurance. The problem is that dealerships may be discounting the vehicle a little, but nowhere near the cost of the damage to repair. If problems crop up down the road from a poor repair, buyers may have no recourse to get things fixed and are likely to have to pay for the updates out of pocket.

Edmunds.com notes that vehicles that have significant hail damage may even require a different type of registration specifically to indicate the damage that was done, called a salvage-title. These are technically vehicles that the insurance company has declared a “total loss” due to the vast amount of damage. While the damage is often cosmetic with hail, it can vary a great deal from light knocks that you can barely notice to serious chips in the paint that will eventually rust if they are not addressed.

If you’re looking to purchase a vehicle with hail damage, or you already have one in your possession, be sure to work with professionals to remove the dings and keep your vehicle’s resale value intact. At City Collision Center, our friendly and knowledgeable associates will help you with the information that you need to repair dents of any kind from your vehicle. Give us a call today at 817-303-7467 to learn more!

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