Do You Really Need To Repair Your Vehicle After A Hailstorm?

Posted on: 28 January 2019

When raindrops freeze, they turn into chunks of ice known as hail. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), more than 6,000 hailstorms occurred in 2017, making hail damage a relatively common problem. Not only do hailstorms create hazardous driving conditions, but they also damage vehicles and ruin valuable crops. If money is tight, you may wonder if it's really necessary to fix your vehicle after it is damaged by hail. The answer is that it depends. Some types of damage should be fixed immediately, while others can wait until you have more room in the budget for repairs. Here is how you should handle the two most common types of hail damage to your vehicle.

Damaged Windshield Glass

If a chunk of hail causes your windshield glass to crack or chip, you may be tempted to keep driving your vehicle without getting the glass repaired. This could be a dangerous mistake. In most cases, you should get the glass fixed right away, especially if the chip or crack is directly in your line of vision when you drive. Damage to the windshield glass can create a blind spot, preventing you from seeing animals, pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles. It's much less expensive to pay for glass repair than it is to cover the cost of an accident that occurs because you hit something you didn't see because of damage to your windshield.

Another reason you should get your windshield fixed right away is that a large crack or chip can weaken the glass, making your car less safe in the event of a crash. It is especially important to repair your windshield if it has more than one crack, or if the crack is near the edge of the glass, as a crack in this location can affect the way your windshield fits into its metal frame. In many cases, you may be able to save money by hiring one of the glass repair services in your area to fix the hail damage rather than replacing the entire windshield.


Some chunks of hail are quite large. When these large chunks hit a vehicle, they can put dents in the vehicle's body, causing unsightly cosmetic damage. Whether you need to repair the dents right away depends on several factors. One of those factors is whether you own the vehicle outright or have a loan on it through a bank or other lender. If you own the vehicle, you don't need to fix the damage immediately unless the vehicle's paint starts to flake off, causing it to rust. If you still have a loan on the vehicle, however, you may be required to fix the damage immediately. When you have a loan on a vehicle, the car or truck is used as collateral to secure the loan. If the vehicle sustains hail damage, your lender may want you to fix it to ensure the vehicle retains its value. Check your finance agreement to determine if you are required to notify your lender of the damage or have the damage repaired right away.

Another factor to consider is whether you plan to sell or trade in the vehicle in the near future. Hail damage reduces the value of your vehicle, so if you don't fix the dents, you won't get as much money if you trade in your vehicle, and you'll have to set a lower price if you decide to sell the vehicle to a private buyer. If you do not plan to sell or trade in the vehicle, you don't have to repair the damage right away.

If your vehicle sustains hail damage, you may be tempted to save money by not making any repairs. In some cases, this is an acceptable approach, but you should hire a repair professional right away if the damage makes it unsafe to drive your vehicle. Fixing the damage now can save you from having to make expensive repairs later.