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A Price Guide to Hail Damage Repair Costs

If your vehicle was caught in a hail storm this spring, you might be surprised at the cost of repairs. Sometimes what looks like a few hundred dollars worth of cosmetic damage can actually be thousands of dollars worth of damage. We want to do our best to keep you from being caught off guard when you’re negotiating with your insurance company about hail damage repairs. Each case is unique, so we can’t give you exact numbers for how much your car hail damage repair will cost, but we can give you an idea of what to expect. Here’s our guide to understanding hail damage repair costs: 

What to expect after a hail storm:

The first thing you should do if your vehicle needs hail dent repair is to call your insurance company. They will send out an appraiser to assess the damage to your vehicle. They’ll most likely offer you an initial estimate but beware that this estimate is typically below the actual value of the damage. They want you to take the money and put it towards what you owe on the car without getting the repairs done. It’d be much better for you to get the repairs done now, however, because dents significantly decrease the value of your car, which you will find out later when you go to trade it in or sell it. So work with your insurance company on getting your car repaired. Also, note that you are allowed to use the auto repair company you want. You don’t have to go with the “preferred vendor” list that your insurance company offers you, so choose a hail damage repair company you trust. With that said, let’s get into the nuts and bolts of it!  

The method: traditional dent repair vs. paintless dent repair

One of the first major decisions you’ll have to make when choosing a repair shop is deciding between a traditional autobody shop and a paintless dent repair shop. Paintless dent repair is the cheaper option, but unfortunately, not all dents or hail damage on cars can be repaired with paintless dent repair. Why? It might help if we break down what each term means. Traditional dent repair is a lengthy process that requires sanding off the original factory paint, hammering the damaged material back to its original form, filling in any gashes with putty, the second round of sanding, and then finally repainting, which requires a primer, a base coat, and a final coat of paint.

On the other hand, paintless dent repair, or PDR, is exactly what it sounds like: returning dented material to its original shape while maintaining the condition of the factory paint. There is no sanding and painting involved in this process. The time and materials required to perform traditional dent repair add up quickly, which is why it’s more expensive. However, if the paint is scratched or there are gashes on the vehicle, then paintless dent repair isn’t an option for your car since it will have to be painted to restore its original condition. Paintless dent repair also isn’t possible if the damaged area was previously repaired with traditional dent repair. 

Things that might drive up the cost:

Once you’ve determined the method of repair that’s appropriate for your vehicle, there are a couple other things to keep in mind that will affect the cost of the repairs:  

  • Panel replacement: Sometimes, the damage on a particular panel can be so extensive that the entire board will need to be replaced. That’s going to cost more because you’ll have to pay for both the panel itself and also for the labor to have the board fit into place. The cost will depend on which panel needs to be replaced and how much work is involved in replacing it. Some panels need to be welded on and can be pretty tricky to replace. If multiple panels need to be replaced, your vehicle might be written off as totaled by your insurance company. 
  • Access to dents: Another thing that can affect the cost of repairs is access to the dents. If a panel needs to be removed to complete the repair, that will require extra labor and drive up the costs. 

Breaking down the average cost: Mistake: Not filing a claim with your insurance company

Why is this a mistake? You might think that filing a claim with your insurance company will raise your premium; however, that is not the case. Hail damage is considered a “no-fault” claim and is covered by your comprehensive coverage, so filing a claim with your insurance provider for hail damage won’t raise your premium — at least, not in the way you might think. In Dallas-Fort Worth where hail storms are common, we already pay higher premiums.

What to do instead: Yep, you already know what to do! Since you’re already paying for insurance coverage for hail damage repair, you might as well file that claim and get your car fixed asap.

Breaking down the average cost:

The best thing you can do to get a more accurate cost of dent repair is to take pictures of the damage and send them to local autobody shops. They’ll be able to give you quotes for the type of repair and labor they expect to be involved in restoring your vehicle. The average cost for traditional dent repair is $125-$325 per dent, and the average cost for paintless dent repair is $50-$150 per dent. But of course, as previously mentioned, that depends on the extent of the damage, the location of the damage, and the type of car.

What does a dent repair specialist do? 

At this point, you might be considering trying your hand at DIY dent repair to save yourself some money. Although we can’t stop you from trying, we don’t suggest it. Most DIY dent repair kits come with one or maybe two tools, and fixing hail damage is not a one-size-fits-all kind of task. Paintless dent repair technicians, like the ones we employ at Bodyguard, have a variety of tools at their disposal and the knowledge and experience to know which one is right for each dent. Our technicians have spent years apprenticing and training to get to that point. We treat each dent as unique. The size, shape, and location of the dent on the vehicle are all factors that a skilled technician must take into account when determining which dent removal method to use. You don’t want to risk scratching or cracking the paint, and repairing a dent on a car without further damaging the material takes exacting precision and years of practice. In our opinion, it’s well worth it to work with a skilled auto hail specialist for hail dent removal.

Bodyguard’s PDR technicians have years of training and experience

Bodyguard has been serving Dallas-Fort Worth for more than 18 years. We have more than 125 years of combined experience, and we’ve repaired more than 20,000 vehicles. We specialize in paintless dent repair, and we offer a lifetime warranty and a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. When it comes to auto hail repair or any dent repair in Dallas-Fort Worth, you’ll be pressed to find paintless dent repair technicians more skilled and experienced than those at Bodyguard PDR. We’re proud of the reputation we’ve built in Dallas-Fort Worth as a reliable and trustworthy automotive dent repair company. Our customer service is second to none beyond just fixing cars with hail damage or other types of dents. We’ll give you and your vehicle the all-around care and attention you deserve. So if your vehicle has sustained car hail damage and you need paintless dent repair, call us today to let a true dent repair specialist handle your vehicle’s dents and dings. Go to our website at bodyguardpdr.com for more information, or call us today at 469-628-4910 to set up an automotive hail damage repair appointment.