How Big Does Hail Have to Be to Damage Your Car: Does Size Matter?

Hailstorms can be unpredictable and devastating, especially when it comes to your car. It can cause damage that ranges from minor cosmetic issues to severe structural problems. 

Understanding how hail size correlates with the severity of damage can help you prepare and protect your vehicle.

In this blog, we’ll explore how different hail sizes impact your car and what steps you should take if your car suffered hail damage.

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Pea-sized (0.25 inches)

Pea sized hail on car

Pea-sized hail is small, but it can still cause minor cosmetic damage under certain conditions. While it might not pose a severe threat to the overall structure of your car, softer parts like plastic trim can be affected. Here’s what to watch out for:

  • Discoloration: The impact of pea-sized hailstones can lead to slight discoloration on the car’s surface.
  • Slight Dings: In some cases, you might notice minor dings or indentations, particularly on the softer plastic areas of your vehicle.

Marble-sized (0.5 inches)

Marble sized hail on car

When hail reaches the size of marbles, it has the potential to cause minor dents and dings. These dents are usually shallow and may not break the paint but can affect your car’s aesthetic appeal.

  • Minor Dents and Dings: Aluminum body panels, such as hoods and trunks, are particularly susceptible. You may find shallow indentations that affect the appearance but are unlikely to break the paint.

Quarter-sized (1 inch)

Quarter sized hail on car

Hailstones of this size can cause more substantial harm to your vehicle and often require professional repairs

  • Dents in Softer Metals: Softer metal areas can get dented more easily.
  • Cracked Windshields: The force of quarter-sized hail can crack windshields, especially if struck at an angle.

Golf ball-sized (1.75 inches)

Golf ball sized hail on car

Golf ball-sized hailstones can cause significant damage to multiple parts of your vehicle. The impact is more pronounced and requires immediate attention.

  • Significant Dents: Roofs, hoods, and trunks can suffer major dents.
  • Shattered Windshields: Windshields are almost certainly shattered, and cracks can spread easily.

Baseball-sized (2.75 inches) & Larger hail (3+ inches)

When hailstones reach the size of baseballs or larger, the damage is often catastrophic. The severity of the damage often makes repairs impractical, leading to the possibility of totaling the car. Common damage include:

  • Major Dents: The entire vehicle body, including the roof, hoods, and trunks, can be severely dented.
  • Shattered Windshields and Windows: Windshields and windows are likely to shatter completely.
  • Damaged Tires and Caved-in Roofs: The impact can even damage tires and cave in roofs, making body repairs impractical due to the extent of the damage.
  • Total Vehicle Loss: In extreme cases, severe hail damage may result in the vehicle being considered a total loss by insurance companies.

What to Do After Hail Damage

Experiencing hail damage can be extremely stressful, but taking the right steps immediately after the incident can help mitigate further damage and ease the repair process. Here are a few tips on what to do after your car has been damaged by hail:

  • Document the Damage: Take photos from various angles to capture the extent of the damage. This documentation will be essential when filing insurance claims and getting repair estimates.
  • Contact Your Insurance: Notify your insurance company immediately. Provide them with the documentation you have collected and follow their instructions for filing a claim.
  • Get Repair Estimates: Obtain estimates from reputable auto body shops to understand the repair costs and process. Make sure to get multiple quotes to ensure you are getting a fair price.
  • Choose a Reputable Repair Service: Consider professionals like StormWise who specialize in hail damage repairs to ensure quality service. Look for reviews and ask for recommendations to find a trusted provider.


Knowing the correlation between hail size and damage severity helps you take timely and appropriate measures to protect your vehicle. From minor cosmetic issues with pea-sized hail to catastrophic damage from baseball-sized hail, being aware of the potential impact is essential. If hail damage occurs, promptly documenting the damage and contacting your insurance can help ensure your vehicle gets the necessary repairs.

If your car has suffered hail damage, contact StormWise Auto Hail Repair and Collision Repair for professional repair services. Our expert team can restore your hail-damaged vehicle to its pre-damage condition, regardless of the severity of the hail impact.

Stay prepared, stay protected, and remember that size does matter when it comes to hail and your car.

the auto hail repair experts at StormWise

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