What Size Hail Damaged Cars? All You Need to Know

Hail can cause extreme damage a car sometimes, leaving you with damage for life. But, on the other side, hail can sometimes cause little dents that can easily be fixed without even knowing there was damage. Hail, especially big-sized hail, can threaten your life if caught in the car during a storm. On the other hand, protecting your vehicle from hail is extremely important for your car’s lifetime, keeping your vehicle’s value as high as possible and ensuring you can sell your car anywhere once the time comes.

Different Types Of Hail And Their Impact On Cars

The situation you find yourself in will sometimes determine the extent of the hail damage. Of course, the size plays a significant role in the damage, but other factors include whether or not the car is moving or parked and how extreme the winds and storms are.

how much hail can damage a car

Pea-Sized Hail And Car Damage

The most common hail size you might encounter would be pea-sized hail. If this is true, you should count yourself lucky. This quarter-inch ball of ice will likely not cause as much damage as the bigger sizes, but it will depend on where you are and the type of storm.

Are you parked or driving? – a driving car will get more damage as the movement of the car, partnered with the movement of the hail, will cause a more significant collision.

How long does the storm last? A windy, long-lasting, powerful storm will cause more damage, and even pea-sized hail will leave dents and scratches behind. Some even get window damage from pea-sized hail.

Damage pea-sized hail can cause:

Small chips and dents on the body of the car. An auto repair shop can fix these without needing to repaint, and it won’t cost too much.

Following preventative measures will lead to minor or no damage from pea-sized hail.

Marble-Sized Hail And Car Damage

Although marbles are still relatively small, marble-sized hail balls pulled toward your vehicle by gravity can cause significant damage to a car. The half-inch hail had caused much damage in the past when cars were driving or parked.

Damage marble-sized hail can cause:

Dents and chips in the body’s paintwork mean the auto repair shop must also repaint. A paint job will increase the repair bill. Some car companies have a policy that you cannot fix and repaint specific panels on a car, but will need to replace the entire panel. This can add to a major bill for a chip out of the paint.

If the hail hits the car from the wrong angle and speed, you might end up with a crack or a chip in the windscreen.

Golf ball-Sized Hail And Car Damage

Imagine a piece of ice the size of a golf ball multiplies by a hundred and starts hitting your car – that will be quite troublesome. This 1,75-inch-sized hail can cause significant damage to a vehicle, and even parked cars will be damaged.

Damage golf ball-sized hail can cause:

Severe damage to the body, but no problem with the paint. In this case, you might wish the paint would have chipped off rather than the body having dents and bumps. Some auto shops can get the dents out, but the bill for this repair can be thousands of dollars. Of course, the paint can have damage as well, bumping up the bill even higher.

Windscreen damage is almost undeniable with golf ball-sized hail. However, you might have a stronger windscreen that will only leave a crack, where severe storms and wind can cause these big hail to shatter the window.

How To Prevent Hail Damage To Cars

what size hail causes car damage

It is essential to do everything in your power to prevent hail damage to your car, first, for your safety. Second, for your trusted means of transportation and car’s worth. Some companies don’t buy used cars with hail damage, and the cost of repairing them runs higher than the effort of trying to prevent them.

Tips To Prevent Hail Damage To Cars

Luckily, you can follow a few things to ensure your car is protected against an unforeseen hail storm. Some of these tips won’t eliminate hail damage, but they will reduce it to fixable ones.

Tip 1: Get A Comprehensive Car Insurance

Standard car insurance usually doesn’t cover hail damage. However, because hail storms can catch you off guard, especially when you live in a hail-prone area or travel a lot, the best thing would be to get the insurance that will fix any damages when needed.

Some comprehensive insurance includes help during these circumstances. You may get stuck next to the road in the middle of nowhere, and the storm doesn’t look like it will pass soon. The insurance companies can send help to get you to a sheltered area.

Tip 2: Park Under the Cover

You can implement this rule to follow anytime or when you see a storm coming closer. Park your car in a garage, roof-covered parking, or under a bridge. Any cover would help to prevent or minimize hail damage to your vehicle.

Tip 3: Wait, It Out

When caught on the road in a hail storm, it is best to pull over and wait it out. Driving in a hail storm will cause more damage. If you could find a bridge or fuel station nearby to get cover, this would minimize the damage even more.

Tip 4: Get A Car Cover

Keeping a cover in your car can help you immensely when you need to protect it against hail. Inflatable covers are specifically designed to help reduce the velocity of the hail when it reaches the car. Other covers like blankets or cartons can also help protect your vehicle. Remember to keep an umbrella in the car to keep you safe when adding the covers over the car in a hail storm.

Proper Storage Of Cars To Prevent Hail Damage

It would be an investment to ensure you have proper storage for your vehicle. The ideal will be an enclosed, lockable garage. This option will prevent hail damage 100%, but it is not always possible. The next best option is covered parking out of the open.

Suppose your dwelling does not have any of these options; the best would be to cover your car day and night with a protective car cover. These could be expensive, but not close to the bill you have to pay for hail damage repairs.

Follow Reliable Weather Forecasts

Another way to ensure you protect your car from hail storms is to look at weather forecasts and stay at home or in a safe place when hail might strike.

Some of the most trusted forecast websites you can follow are:

AccuWeather – easy to use and many videos to look at. They also give valuable information about severe weather, which will keep you in the loop about hail storms on the horizon.

The Weather Channel – gives you all the weather news you might need for your region or a region you might be traveling to.

Weather Underground – The website helps you weather forecasts and weather-related questions. The detailed weather report will also give you information about hail storms in your area.

National Weather Service – with radar data over the entire US and specific areas, you can easily spot a storm coming. They also set out warning blocks over the areas that might need to buckle up for severe weather.


Although the size of the hail that hits your car matters, other factors will determine how severe the damage is. However, the larger the size of the hail, the more extensive the damage can be. Therefore, to keep yourself and your passengers safe and protect the worth of your car, you should do everything you can to prevent hail damage.

Also, If your car was damaged by a natural flood disaster similar to hail damage you can check our article Is flood damage car repairable?

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