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Buying a Hail Damaged Car

Posted in Bigbox Journey

Buying a Hail Damaged Car

Queensland's home to some of the most extreme weather in the country.   Whilst hail storms are relatively rare, they do happen and when they do, can cause serious damage to cars.  Soon after any big storm, there is sure to be plenty of hail damaged cars on sale, and the questions is, should you buy one or not?

Damage to cars during hail storms can range from very slight, like a few paint chips or dents, to more severe, like smashed windows, windscreens, significant panel damage through to total write off.  Dealerships sometimes sell these cars at heavily discounted rates to account for the damage, offering buyers the opportunity to grab a new or used car, at what looks like a great price.

Some of these cars may only have paint scratches or a few small dents, making them good value for money, if you can live with the imperfections.  Others may need a little more repair work done before they're drive able, and though these might look like great value offers, even if you're prepared to pay to fix them, they could also cause major headaches down the track. 

To prevent our cars from getting damaged during a hail storm, Big Box Cars stores all their cars undercover for peace of mind.

What's the Damage?

You should be careful when buying any car, and it's no different for cars that have been damaged by hail. It's important that before you purchase such a car, you fully understand the extent of the damage, and how much it will cost to repair.

It may be a good idea to get a few rough quotes on any work required before you buy the car to see if it's cheaper than buying an undamaged one, after those costs are taken into account. This is if you want to repair the damage of course - perhaps you don't mind the few dents.

This is different if the damage is significant though, because it could be written-off by the insurance company.

An insured car will sometimes be written-off by the owner’s insurance company purely because the cost of hail repairs is more than the value of the car.   When that happens, the otherwise perfectly useful car will usually be added to a government-administered list of vehicles that are deemed repairable (as opposed to those that have been damaged beyond the point of being repairable, called statutory write-offs) and returning a statutory 'write-off vehicle' to the road – even after superficial hail damage – can sometimes involve all sorts of paperwork and inspections.

Getting Insurance & Finance

It's important to be tick all the boxes with insurance when buying a hail-damaged car. If the car's damage is severe, your insurer may refuse cover or increase your premiums to cover themselves against the risk. Some insurers would not offer cover to a car that had pre-existing damage at all. For example, when a car gets damage to pain and panel, inadequate repairs can lead to future paint issues down the track, depending on the quality of the repair. 

Obviously, an insurance company won’t insure you against hail damage if the car is already damaged.   You might also find that some financial institutions won’t lend money to buy a car that is carrying existing damage – hail damage included.

Warranty & Reselling

Another thing to consider if you're buying a new or used car that's still covered by the manufacturer’s original warranty, is if the car is still covered.  The hail damage might void parts of it, like the warranty on the paintwork. This is definitely something to check up on before you sign.

And last but not least, there is the matter of reselling your vehicle a few years down the track. You may decide not to repair it, but that could leave you with a car that is very difficult to sell when the time comes. Or if you did repair the damage, the future owner might want to see what was done, and decide to not buy it after all.

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Need a Service?

​​The next time you need to have your vehicle serviced, visit BigBoxCars Service & Tyres and put your mind at ease whilst our professional technicians take the time to ensure your tyres are well-cared for, and that you’ll be traveling smoothly and safely.

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