ACT News

Hail damages hundreds of cars in Canberra car yards

Saturday's hail storm damaged hundreds of vehicles at Canberra car dealerships with one repairer predicting there could be an average of 500 dents per car.  

As of Monday repairers were still fixing vehicles from the previous hail storm on January 25 which put up to 1000 dents in some vehicles.

Hail on Saturday night caused damage to about 30 vehicles at the Capital Subaru dealership in Fyshwick. Dealer ...
Hail on Saturday night caused damage to about 30 vehicles at the Capital Subaru dealership in Fyshwick. Dealer principal, Adam Clearihan, with some of the cars.  Photo: Graham Tidy

Much of the damage at car yards caused by Saturday's hail happened at Fyshwick.

It is believed Saturday's storm damaged more than 200 cars at Canberra Toyota as well as 60 new and used vehicles at Mercedes-Benz Canberra and 30 at Capital Subaru. 

Other dealers in the industrial estate were also affected but the total number of cars for sale which were dented was not known.

Experienced operators in the industry have warned the harm is much greater than the eye can see.

Often a handful of dents would be counted with the naked eye but a closer inspection by repairers would reveal hundreds. 

An average sedan exposed during the storm would cost between $3000 to $7000 to fix, according to one repairer who expected the average car damaged on Saturday to be left with 500 dents.  

Mercedes-Benz Canberra dealer principal Jason Naumann said all the dents in his damaged cars would be fixed.

He expected the repair work to take a fortnight or less based on his previous experience with widespread hail damage.

The extent of the damage to each car at his dealership would be confirmed when he received a professional assessment on Tuesday morning.

He already knew that looking at hail damage was "like an iceberg" with  many of the slight hollows difficult to see without the help of fluorescent lights. 

"Everything exposed [on Saturday] was damaged," he said.

Legislation required dealers to tell buyers about cars which had been damaged by hail. 

Capital Subaru dealer principal Adam Clearihan said his business would give buyers the opportunity to buy a car damaged by hail at a reduced price or have the damage fixed.

Mr Clearihan had counted up to 30 dents in some of the cars at his yard but, like others, awaited professional advice.

He said Saturday's storm appeared to damage a small window of Canberra car yards located in Fyshwick.

"Apparently it's only us [in Fyshwick] affected," he said.  

Insurance policies cover the cost of hail storms for car dealers.  

The Insurance Council of Australia did not have data on the number or value of claims from the weekend's storms in the ACT or the total bill for storms in the territory so far this year.

As of last week NRMA Insurance had received 435 claims for cars damaged in the January 25 storm in Canberra. 

Insurance companies ask policy holders to make contact as soon as possible after damage is found to help with the assessment of claims. 

The Bureau of Meteorology forecasts rain in Canberra to clear in the coming days and temperatures to increase during the week.