Hail storms to rescue new car sales

Car dealerships have endured a nightmare 18 months, with new car sales collapsing to the lowest level since 2012, according to the latest data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI):

However, the hail storms that have ripped through Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and South East Queensland over the past week could prove an unlikely saviour, with widespread damage to cars reported.

The Insurance Council of Australia has already recorded 15,000 claims – a number that is certain to grow. While some of the cars will be repaired (providing a boon to panel beaters), many will be written-off, which will stimulate the new car market.

I was caught up in Melbourne’s ferocious hail storm on Sunday afternoon. Despite putting a heavy hail cover on my car as a precaution, it still managed to get dented. However, the damage paled against the types of destruction rained down on other car owners that did not take precautions (example photo below):

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    I can see it now
    Australia in labour shortage – Needs panel beaters, spray painters
    Migrants welcome – no visa required

  2. I’ll depend if most of the damaged cars are insured.
    Otherwise the people have no money to buy a new replacement car … maybe a second hand one.

    • darklydrawlMEMBER

      I recall numerous folks jumping in to purchase brand new (but panel damaged) vehicles from the dealers last time this happened in Melbourne.

      If you are not not fussed about driving around in a dented car (and some people don’t seem to care) then it might be a good deal. I would assume these things would rust faster though (dunno…?)

      I wonder if the commercial motor vehicle insurers will start to require hail nets over external yards like they do in northern / tropical Oz as part of the insurance cover?

      • A car I had years ago was Pounded in the ’98 Sydney hailstorm & the glues on panel crossbraces were broken on impact – as well as the windscreen. The integrity of the car was compromised & it developed rattles & squeaks soon after…… rust would’ve ensued. Impact resistance?
        In saying that, if it was cheap enough & you didn’t view it as a lifer it might be worth it for poking around town.

      • Cars are often written-off by hail damage as the repair cost for all the panel work is more than they are worth, even though it is purely cosmetic.

        Savvy owners who are OK with having a beater to drive to work will take the write-off cash (often the high end of the Red Book value) and retain salvage rights – “buy” the car back and pocket the difference. Typically there are exceptions for re-registering a car written-off due to hail damage without even needing a new roadworthy. Though you’ll probably never be able to get it comprehensively insured again (even if you get the hail damage repaired).

        • Strange as it might seem the rules wrt written off cars are very different in the different states, although once a car is written off in one state, it is unregisterable in all states.
          In NSW for instance most hail damaged cars are Statutory Write offs…they can never be re-registered anywhere in Australia.
          In Vic, from what I understand, most hail damaged cars are Repairable Write-offs….you have to jump through some hoops but it is all relatively straight forward and you can get a cheap hail damaged car at the salvage auctions.
          In NSW (again per my understanding) only the person that owned the car (or his/her relatives in the case of inheritance) have the option to either drive a hail damaged car OR repair the car. If you let the insurance company handle it than they’ll write-it-off at which point nobody can ever re-register it anywhere in Australia.
          So if this recent storm has damaged your car And you live in NSW than you can actually benefit by either donating this car to someone that needs it (student, poor person, son/daughter) or electing to drive it yourself in damaged form. The thing is you have to get ahead of your insurance company on this because their standard procedure is to make the car a Statutory Write off. At which point it is only good for parts or export.

          There are Paintless dent removal methods that can get most of the dents out but they’re very labour intensive.
          In Australian most panel beaters would replace all the effected panels that they can easily remove(hood, trunk, front fenders, trim, maybe doors) and knock out most of the roof dents then respray the entire car.

          • How does this fit into it in NSW ?

            Exempt categories
            Roads and Maritime will only consider applications to repair and re-register written-off light vehicles if they fit one of the exempt vehicle categories:

            Hail damaged, where you were the registered operator for more than 28 days before the vehicle was hail damaged (contact your insurer)
            Inherited in a will or letters of administration
            Registered in your name for more than 28 days before the damage that caused it to be written off.

          • Thanks Dr I knew there was an exception, just wasn’t sure of the details.
            btw the insurance company won’t tell you about this exception (or at least they didn’t tell me about it until it was too late) so if it applies to you …..

  3. My daughter’s brand new VW has a few dings in the roof. Her excess is $1000, so she’ll get it fixed but not under insurance. So much for insurance. The laserlight roof over the deck on her house was smashed to shards.

    My partner’s car was in the carport, and the bloody hail came in sideways and dinged the doors. Also punched holes through the laserlight roof on her deck and garage.

    I know of several people in Canberra ( two colleagues, children of friends…) who had their cars completely destroyed. All windows smashed in, the car full of water and all panels crumpled to sh1t as though beaten with a sledgehammer.

    Like the fires, although this is unprecedented in my lifetime, no doubt it’s all perfectly normal and to be expected at any time.

  4. My car insurance went up this year with them saying it was due to a lot of claims recently. Guess it’s going up next year as well. Hey Phil, do you cvnts realise we have a sh1tload of inflation in things we need. You chunts seem to only account for it in things we want.

    • Phil thanks you for the heads up. The RBA will be removing insurance costs from the basket of goods used to measure CPI.

      Inflation problem fixed!

    • Jumping jack flash

      CPI baskets are carefully arranged and weighted to ensure the CPI is as close to the required number as possible. If they want CPI to be between 2 and 2.5% then that is what they aim for with the baskets and weightings.
      It in no way reflects reality, much less costs of living, so there’s a different index for that now. Pensioners were literally starving to death or eating catfood because CPI fails hard at reporting inflation in the prices of consumer items consumers actually consume. (That was all quickly swept under the carpet and the new index was created instead of addressing the major flaws in calculating CPI)

      Perform a quick thought experiment. Imagine that due to the gouging of food, insurance and utility prices to obtain and sustain the required amounts of debt that are needed, CPI suddenly surged to 5%. It would be an epic disaster.
      Imagine if due to a sudden and sustained onslaught of cheap Chinese electronics it cratered to 1%. Another epic disaster.

      CPI needs to be steady within the target band no matter what price movements actually happen in the real world so the RBA and government can declare success, and maintain the illusion of control.

  5. this hails storm is tiny, even if everyone buys new car that’s nothing

    to save our economy we can only hope big earthquake hits Sydney/Melbourne and destroys all the crappy dogboxes build recently as well as old mouldy windowless lime based mortar terraces