If your car has been damaged in a hail storm, you may be putting off getting repairs because you don’t want your schedule interrupted by a lengthy, complicated repair process.
This is a completely reasonable concern — while some repairs may take as few as a couple hours, others may stretch for days, weeks, or even months.
So how do you know how long your dent repair will take? Keep reading to learn how long the average dent repair takes and what factors can make it faster or longer.
The Average Dent Repair Timeline
On average, dent repair for hail damage will take one to three days for light damage, and up to three weeks for moderate damage. However, this can vary significantly depending on the repair method you use.
Paintless Dent Repair
Paintless dent repair (PDR) is the most popular form of hail damage repair, and will most likely be the repair method your car needs. PDR is a fast, affordable, and non-invasive way to remove dents, and can often be done in just a few hours.
However, PDR may not be possible for very large dents, or dents that are located in awkward places. In these cases, traditional dent repair may be the only option.
Traditional Dent Repair
Traditional dent repair is a more invasive form of repair that often involves repainting, filling, or removing the damaged panel and replacing it with a new one. This can take anywhere from a few days to two or three weeks.
Traditional dent repair is usually used when PDR either isn’t part of a shop’s expertise, or isn’t right for your particular type of damages.
Your car may also need a combination of PDR and traditional methods, which can further complicate the timeline.
Factors That Affect Repair Turnaround
Auto hail repair turnaround times can be affected by many different things, but the following are some of the most common.
Complexity of the Repair
A large, complicated repair that involves broken windows and multiple panels with hundreds of dents will take longer to repair than a few dings on your hood.
For example, a single small dent can take a few minutes to fix with PDR, while a multiple-panel job can take a few weeks. This is especially true if you go to a shop that doesn’t have all the equipment on hand to deal with more specialized aspects of your repair.
Going to a shop that specializes in dent repair, such as a PDR shop or a hail repair shop, can help streamline the process and eliminate hiccups.
Busyness of the Shop
If you’re trying to get your hail damage (or any other dent) repaired during peak hail season, you might have a hard time getting service in a timely manner. When everyone’s trying to get their repairs at once, shops can easily become backlogged with requests that can take weeks or even months to go through.
This is especially true for general auto shops that don’t specialize in dent repair. They may only have one mechanic on staff who’s equipped to deal with it, which narrows down the shop’s capacity to do dent repair even further.
Going to a specialist shop can, once again, help you streamline your repair process. Since all they do is dent repair, they’ll be better prepared to take on a higher volume of clients.
Ordering New Parts
Sometimes even if you go to the most prepared shop with the most skilled technicians available, your repair may still be stalled because your car needs a replacement part.
For example, if your car’s paint is damaged beyond repair and needs to be replaced, the shop will need to order a new panel from the manufacturer. This can take weeks, or even months in some cases.
Unfortunately, there’s little you can do when this happens. Stalled repair deliveries are usually outside the control of you or the shop, and can be due to supply shortages, manufacturer timelines, and even delivery mistakes.
Going to your dealership for repairs may make it more likely that they have parts on-hand, but when you do this, you risk getting a sub-par dent repair job since they may not have a skilled technician on staff.
While some auto dent repair jobs may take several weeks or months, most people should be able to get their car out of the shop within a few days or a couple weeks by choosing an expert repair shop that specializes in dent repair. Always call ahead and ask about timelines to several different shops so you can choose the best option.