Picture this: You are caught in a storm and sitting in a parking lot. Next thing you know, Mother Nature decides to unleash more fury in the form of hailstones. Though the hailstones only drop for a couple of minutes, your vehicle is now riddled with unsightly hail damage. This is an obvious headache—and an expense you were not ready for. How much does hail damage cost? Can your car even be returned to its former glory? Let’s find out.
How Much Does Hail Damage Repair Cost?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for how much hail damage repair is going to cost you. There are a number of factors that influence the cost. First off, the extent of the damage. Are there only a couple dents and dings? Or does your vehicle look like it escaped an explosion? The more severe the damage, the more money you are going to have to spend.
Next up, your car’s make and model will play a role. Some vehicles are built with materials that are easier to repair, while others might be a bit trickier.
You also cannot overlook labor costs—if you go to a local auto body shop in NJ. Where you get your car fixed can impact the price too. Don’t be shy to shop around and get multiple quotes from reputable repair shops.
Now, the good news is that if you’ve got comprehensive auto insurance, you might be in luck. Your policy could help cover the cost of those hailstorm wounds. But remember, it all depends on your coverage, and you might still have to deal with a deductible. More on this in a little while.
So, in reality, what is the cost of hail damage repair? On average, hail damage repairs can range from $750 to a whopping $10,000, depending on the number and severity of dents. In New Jersey, hailstones can range from the size of a pea to 1.5 inches in diameter, causing light to moderate hail damage. Usually, the average repair for moderate damage is between $2,000 to $4,000. If your vehicle gets hit with a rare golf ball- or baseball-sized hailstone, the repair cost will skyrocket.
Cost Breakdown Per Dent
As mentioned earlier, the cost of hail damage repair is largely based on the extent of the damage. You may be able to estimate how much hail repair services will cost by figuring out how many dents and dings you have. Generally, the cost breakdown per dent looks like this:
- Small Dents: Between $30-$45 per dent
- Medium Dents: $45-55 per dent
- Large Dents: Over $75 per dent
Can You DIY Hail Damage Repair?
Yes, but probably no. While it’s entirely dependent on the level of hail damage, your experience, and available tools, hail damage repair is not a small undertaking (even if it does save you some money). If you’re curious about DIY repair options, here are a couple of the most common:
Heat Gun Hail Repair
When a vehicle gets a dent—and in the case of hail damage, many dents—the metal surface stretches to some degree. To fix the stretch, remove the dent, and make the car’s surface look normal again, you can use a rapid heating and cooling method. Using a heat gun, each dent can be warmed on a medium/low setting, then quickly treated with a very cold element, such as dry ice.
The idea is that the heat will make the metal surface more pliable and the rapid cooling from the ice will cause the metal to contract, pushing the dent out of the car. However, this method is not foolproof—overheating the vehicle’s surface can damage the paint and make matters much worse.
Another, more accessible tool for automotive hail damage repair are suction cup pulling tools. As implied by the name, these tools can be suctioned directly to the dent and then pulled up on to smooth the surface of the car. With many dents, this can be a time-consuming and physically demanding process, and must be done very carefully.
Why You Should Trust a Body Shop with Hail Damage Repair in NJ
Many people worry that going to an auto body shop means getting overcharged for repairs and being left without a vehicle for an extended period of time. If you choose a reliable and reputable auto body shop in New Jersey like Elmer’s Auto Body, you don’t have to worry about that.
Here are some reasons to skip the DIY and use a professional, certified service:
- State-of-the-Art Repair Tools: For most hail damage, professional auto body shops can use what is known as paintless dent repair (PDR). The PDR process requires trained technicians to use metal rods of various sizes and shapes to work and push each individual dent out of the vehicle’s surface from underneath.
- Highly Certified Technicians: When you let an auto body shop fix any dents or damage to your car from hail, you’re getting serviced by highly trained, certified, and expert-level technicians who have the experience and tools necessary to get the job done right.
- Repair Guarantee: Depending on where you take your car, many auto body facilities have repair guarantees. This usually means that they guarantee the quality of the repair for the life of the vehicle or for however long you own it.
- Simple Insurance Claims: Working with your insurance company can be a headache, but an auto body shop can coordinate the entire repair process with your insurer. All you have to do is drop off and pick up your freshly repaired car.
- Multiple Repair Options: A professional auto body shop will provide many options for repairing the hail damage done to your vehicle. Depending on the extent of the damage, your car may require a few different solutions, such as paintless dent repair, crack repair, filler/glazing, or body panel replacements.
Does Insurance Cover Hail Damage?
It depends on your policy. For those drivers with comprehensive coverage, your hail damage repair is covered. Pay your deductible (usually $100-$1000) and let your provider cover the rest. Don’t worry; your rates won’t budge because hail damage claims are filed as comprehensive, not collision.
Revive Your Ride with Hail Damage Repair in NJ at Elmer’s Auto Body
How much does it cost to repair the hail dents and dings on your car? Anywhere between $750 and $10,000, with the average cost being $2,000-$4,000. Though this may seem like a lot of money, those with comprehensive coverage can have the majority of their hail damage covered by insurance.
Be sure to choose a hail damage repair service from one of the best auto body shops in NJ, like Elmer’s Auto Body. Our exceptional team is certified and experienced in hail damage repair. Whether the damage is light or severe, your car will be as good as new after a visit to our shop. Give us a call at one of our four locations today to set up your appointment.