Summer is upon us, and that means – particularly for our friends in Queensland – an increase in storms.
While watching a storm cell roll in can be mesmerising, spare a thought for all the cars on the road which run the risk of being damaged, especially if hail is involved.
The phenomena where large chunks of ice fall from the sky is notorious for damaging the glass and bodywork of cars, sometimes enough to write the car off completely.
With storm season approaching, let’s look at what can be done to prevent and minimise damage from hail, and answer the question of should you buy a car damaged during a storm?
Get undercover ASAP
This goes without saying, but if you are on the road, try and pull over and stop when safe. If you have some warning, attempt to find somewhere to park undercover. Shopping centres are a good option for their vast undercover parking, along with dedicated parking buildings.
Driving during a hailstorm increases the risk of your car and windscreen being damaged. If you are stranded in the open when hail begins to hit, pull over and wait it out, remaining inside the car.
If you can’t get some cover, cover your car in blankets and towels to help minimise or prevent damage. Some companies sell covers for cars specifically designed to protect a vehicle during a hail storm.
It goes without saying to try and avoid parking under trees when there are threats of storms. Strong winds can break off branches, or topple trees completely, doing serious damage to your car if hit. Then there’s the lightning risk.
Check for possible flooding
Hail is often accompanied by a heavy deluge of rain. During these downpours flash flooding can occur. Try and avoid areas which will leave yourself or your car vulnerable to flooding.
Should you buy a car that has been hail damaged?
Cars that have been damaged by hail may come up for sale for a significant discount. But don’t be fooled by what appears to be a bargain. While hail damage may look inconsequential, the small dents can be costly to repair, driving up the cost of your new purchase significantly.
It is also generally accepted that insurance companies will not provide full cover for a car damaged by hail, and there could be further issues underneath the skin of the vehicle, in particular the electronics which can develop issues from the heavy deluge of water.
Now read 6 Tips for driving in the rain