WHAT YOU SHOULD CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A HAIL-DAMAGED CAR
Colorado has seen its share of hail storms, impacting new and used cars across the state. Buying a hail-damaged car might seem like a great deal, since the damage is only cosmetic, but there are a few things to consider before you purchase a car with hail-damage.
First, look closely. If a car has been in a hail storm, there might be more damage than you see at first glance. There could be water damage from the same storm. Additionally, any repairs done to the car after previous hail damage should be inspected. If a window seal was damaged and repaired poorly, you might have more issues later. Have your automotive technician look at the vehicle before you buy. If you are buying from a dealer, find out if they will repair the damage or not, and if they will warranty the car.
Next, talk to your insurance agent. You may not be able to get comprehensive coverage on a car with hail damage. This is because some less scrupulous consumers might try to claim the damage as new, and it might be hard to differentiate the old damage from new. Check with your insurance company about your options before buying the car. If you are financing your purchase, also make sure your lender will finance a hail-damaged car.
As you negotiate price, consider the car value, now and later. Enough hail damage could mean there was a claim. A Carfax report can show you if there has been a claim against the car. Be aware that a report may be linked to the car when you try to resell the car down the road, and could impact your resale value.
All in all, some minor hail damage on a car might result in a nice discount on an otherwise great vehicle. Just be cautious as you inspect the vehicle and talk to your lender, insurance agent and automotive technician before you buy.