Due to unfortunate circumstances, I recently started looking for a new-to-me car. Long story short, I was upside down on a car loan, for a car I can no longer drive (totaled). A buddy of mine who wheels and deals in the used car marketplace recommended I consider getting a hail damaged car at an auto auction he uses.

At first I was skeptical, but he sent me a picture of a 2018 model that I really like, with under 18,000 miles, loaded, with all the options I want... and he thinks I can probably get it for almost half of its market value. A $25,000 car for around $12,000.

He said the hood is the obvious focal point of damage on most cars, and if I can live with hail dents all over the roof of the car and maybe some dings on the fenders or whatever, we can simply find a paint-matched hood on eBay, bolt it on, and be good to go. My credit union said they will loan up to 75% value on hail-damaged cars, and the ones I would consider buying on the out-of-state auction website have "clean" titles (not salvage titles). Of course, the hail damage would always show up on a Carfax report or whatever.

My theory is if I can get a fully-loaded car with over 40,000 miles of remaining factory warranty for almost half price, why not? Especially if I don't plan on reselling it or getting my money back. Drive it till the wheels fall off or give it to one of my kids to drive, whichever comes first. Anyway, I would appreciate any feedback or suggestions you might have if you've ever bought a hail-damaged car. Let me know in the comments. Thanks!


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