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The Truth About Car Hail Damage Repair – What to do When Mother Nature Strikes

selling a hail damaged car

All hail the mighty Mother Nature! When she decides to strike, she leaves a massive path of devastation in her wake. Let’s talk about car hail damage repair – destruction caused by ice falling from the sky (some as large as grapefruits). The US alone sees an average in insured losses of about $15-billion for both home and auto claims each year. How much does hail damage cost to repair?

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The total costs depend on the size of the impact area and the quantity. Hail damage repair costs (per dent) range from about $30 to $45 for small ones, $45 to $55 for medium-sized, and $75+ for larger dents. What’s the average cost of hail damage repair? About $2,500.


Sadly, following a hailstorm, it’s unlikely you’ll have just a single dent to repair. More often than not, you’re looking at dozens. Good news, there are ways to defend against hail damage. There are also ways to repair hail damage yourself (depending on the severity of the dent).  Yet, the most reliable option is to have a body shop repair the hail damage for you.


Thankfully, in this article, we will cover everything you need to know when it comes to hail damage repair costs.


Auto Hail Damage Repairs are More Common if You Live in These States

Auto Hail Damage Repairs are More Common if You Live in These States


Texas (2017 or 2018 and 2019)


Dallas/Fort Worth

Number of Reports = 17

Largest Size = 3 inches



Number of Reports = 2

Largest Size = 1.75 inches


San Antonio

Number of Reports = 9

Largest Size = 1.75 inches



South Dakota (2018 and 2019)


Rapid City

Number of Reports = 98

Largest Size = 2.25 inches


Sioux Falls

Number of Reports = 15

Largest Size = 1.75 inches


Oklahoma (2018 and 2019)


Oklahoma City

Number of Reports = 23

Largest Size = 2 inches



Number of Reports = 7

Largest Size = 1.75 inches



Number of Reports = 27

Largest Size = 1.75 inches


Nebraska (2018 and 2019)


Number of Reports = 13

Largest Size = 1 inch



Number of Reports = 13

Largest Size = 1.75 inches


Montana (2018 and 2019)



Number of Reports = 37

Largest Size = 3 inches


Great Falls

Number of Reports = 10

Largest Size = 1 inch



Number of Reports = 3

Largest Size = 1.75 inches

Kansas (2018 and 2019)



Number of Reports = 29

Largest Size = 2.5 inches


Overland Park

Number of Reports = 38

Largest Size = 2 inches


Kansas City

Number of Reports = 29

Largest Size = 1.75 inches


Wyoming (2018 and 2019)


Number of Reports = 54

Largest Size = 4.25 inches



Number of Reports = 9

Largest Size = 1.75 inches

Colorado (2018 and 2019)



Number of Reports = 39

Largest Size = 3 inches


Colorado Springs

Number of Reports = 111

Largest Size = 4 inches



Number of Reports = 37

Largest Size = 2.75 inches


Iowa (2018 and 2019)

Des Moines

Number of Reports = 16

Largest Size = 2.75 inches


Cedar Rapids

Number of Reports = 8

Largest Size = 1.75 inches



As you can see, hail damage is a severe concern if you live in any of these states. What if you lived somewhere like Colorado Springs, Colorado? Which saw 111 reports over the last two years, with hail as large as 4-inches. Can you imagine? Regardless, it does not take a 3- or 4-inch chunk of ice to cause damage. Even a 1-inch piece can leave a costly dent (or, 20 or 30 dents).

Let’s take a quick look at a few ways to protect against automobile hail repair damage in the first place.


*Data sourced from www.stormersite.com


The Cheap Hail Damage Repair Option? Avoid it

Avoidance is crucial when it comes to keeping hail damage repair costs to a minimum.  Does your search history include phrases like “hail damage repair near me” or “hail damage repair Denver, CO?” If so, it might be time to invest in a quality car cover.  One specially made to protect against hail damage. Several options exist, including regular car covers, as well as inflatable ones.


If you’re not lucky enough to have a garage to park in, then you might also think about buying a carport, which ranges from $1,200 to $3,000 depending on the size. The worst-case scenario? Watch the local weather reports, and be prepared to run out and cover your car with blankets.


Before we get into how much hail damage costs to repair at a body shop, let’s look at a few DIY options.


Repair Hail Damage on a Car Yourself – Might as Well Try, Right?

While they’re not always reliable, there are a few DIY hacks for repairing hail damage.  Let’s review how to repair hail damage yourself:


  • Hail Damage Repair – Dry Ice Method

Try applying a bit of dry ice to the affected area.  The change in temperature can sometimes be enough for the dent to pop out.  Just move it in small circles, and hope for the best.  Be sure to wear gloves, or you risk harming your skin.  When does it work?  When the dents are small and not on a creased section of the body.


  • Park Somewhere Sunny

Sounds too good to be true, right?  The reason this sometimes works is due to the heat, which causes the metal to expand.  Be sure to give it some time, if after a few days they don’t go away, they likely won’t.  Similar to the dry ice method, your best chance is when the dents are small and shallow.


  • Hair Dryer Helper

Using a hairdryer is an excellent option if you don’t live somewhere that sees a lot of sunlight.  Just hold it between 2- and 4-inches from the dent and make small circles.  If, for any reason, the affected area starts to become discolored.  Stop heating it immediately as the clear coat has likely melted.  Apply wax to the area after to clear things up.  When does using a hairdryer work best?  You might have guessed it, on small, shallow dents.



  • Hail Damage Repair Kit

You might have luck removing small to medium-sized dents using a few hail damage repair tools from a kit.  You can usually pick these up online or at your local auto parts store for between $50 to $150. They employ one of two methods to pull out a dent, suction, or glue.  The first works like a sort of plunger to suction it out.  The other uses adhesive to stick to the paint so you can yank it out.  Be prepared to invest a lot of time, and don’t expect to be able to remove every dent, especially if it’s larger.


Be advised that DIY methods don’t often yield fantastic results, especially on deeper dents.  The only real way to restore your car to its original condition is to hire a professional.  Let’s look at how they do what they do.


What is the Best Way to Repair Hail Damage on a Car? Hire an Expert

Choosing to hire a hail damage repair service might cost a little more, but it’s the only way to ensure a job well done. As we mentioned earlier, the amount you end up paying depends a lot on the severity of the hail damage. Car repair estimates can reach as high as several thousand dollars. Thankfully, new methods, such as paintless hail damage repair, can help keep the costs down. Let’s review the options:


  • Replace Body Panels

If your car severely got pelted with hail, you might have to have entire body panels replaced.  While more labor-intensive, if the damage is severe, it might be the only option.  If you are wondering how much does hail damage repair cost, know that this option is costly.


  • Filler/Glazing

For a perfect finish, a professional service can also sand down the affected area and fill in the dents with glaze putty. However, once that’s done, you’ll have to have it painted as well. Meaning it adds a chunk to the amount you spend on hail damage. Car repair costs are never fun.  When is this a good option?  When you have several small to medium-sized dents.


  • Heat Repair

For older or new vehicles alike, using an oxyacetylene torch is a reliable method for larger dents.  Consider this the heavy-duty version of the hairdryer method.  It does, however, require that the affected area get painted afterward, which adds to the final amount you pay.


  • Paintless Dent Repair – Hail Damage Without the Hassle

Welcome to the future – paintless dent repair (PDR).  Not only is it cheaper, but it’s faster as well. There are also no harmful chemicals used in the process.  Instead of sanding down or removing panels, the damage gets removed from the inside. Depending on how deep it is, this method works for small to large-sized dents.


Let’s now examine whether insurance covers automotive hail damage repair.


Does Insurance Cover Vehicle Hail Damage Repair?

Hail damage gets labeled as a comprehensive claim, so if you have liability insurance at a minimum, you should be covered. More good news is that hail damage rarely increases your rates (unless you’re doing so year after year). How do you know if it’s worth filing a claim? It all depends on your deductible. If it’s $500, it’s likely worth paying. If it’s more, you might want to shop around and see if you can repair it on your own for a lower amount.


The first step is to document the damage (including pictures). Then, contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to ensure you don’t run into any issues.  Another reason to start the process quickly is that if you live in a populated area, there’s a good chance the body shops get bogged down with requests. Meaning you’ll have to wait a long time.


Are you ready for the answer to how much to repair hail damage on a car?


How Much Does It Cost to Repair Hail Damage?

How Much Does It Cost to Repair Hail Damage?

As we mentioned earlier, the average cost per vehicle sits at about $2,500.  Meaning it could be less, but it could also be significantly more.  Take an older car, for example, with a value of a few thousand dollars.  If there’s an average amount of damage, filing a claim through your insurance could lead to it getting totaled out.  Totaled cars are worth as much as 80% less than ones with a clean title.  Is it worth fixing if it means you end up with a salvaged vehicle?


What about a newer car? Remember, that any reported hail damage will show on a history report. So, if you have a model that’s only a few years old, buyers won’t like seeing it on the CarFax. There’s a good chance you have to lower your asking price because of it.


So, what can you expect if you wake up one morning after a hailstorm? For smaller dents, anywhere between $30 to $45, for medium-sized dings, $45 to $55. For more extensive damage, they start at $75 each. If your insurance deductible is low ($500), it’s likely worth paying it. If it’s any more, you’ll want to shop around for quotes before deciding. If there’s more damage, like broken trim pieces or a broken windshield, or dents in the roof, you could be looking at costs a high as $10,000 depending on the model.


Avoid Paying Hail Damage Repair Costs – Sell Your Car Instead

If you live somewhere that sees a lot of hail – you’ve likely dealt with it before. If you’re tired of dealing with the hassle of getting it repaired, you might consider selling it. Thankfully, CashCarsBuyers buys all vehicles, regardless of whether they have hail damage. Not interested in being without a car for weeks while it’s getting fixed? CashCarsBuyers will put cash in your hand in as little as 24-hours, meaning you can start looking for a replacement vehicle in no time at all. Not only that, but we’ll also tow it away free of charge.


Why wait? Head to our site today for a free 1-minute quote. If you like what you see, we’ll schedule a quick at-home inspection to make sure everything matches up. If all looks as described, we’ll haul it away. Prefer to speak to a live person? Contact our team directly at (844)-663-7286.


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