Most people don’t know that Paintless Dent Repair and Auto Body Shops have opposing business structures which should be considered in how each shop makes decisions for your vehicle.
You generally don’t need to worry about the price for a hail claim. The insurance sets the price now a days. You aren’t going to make money from a hail claim. No matter where you take your vehicle, that shop will milk the insurance for all they will pay.
A traditional auto body shop uses a variety of methods to repair the “body” of the vehicle. They use fillers, paint or replace damaged parts. The make a large portion of their profit the mark up on parts that are replaced.
Paintless Dent Repair Shops make almost all of their money on the labor it takes to perform PDR techniques. They use specialize hail lights, and special tools to manipulate the metal back to its original shape. This will not “pop back”. Its a permanent repair. They lose money when parts need to be replaced.
A PDR technician can repair a light to moderately damaged vehicle in 1-2 days, and gets paid (very well) to manually manipulate the metal back into its original shape. This technique was developed to save the factory finish on the paint for vehicles. The factory finish is the best paint job your car will ever have. Once that is broken, the new paint will fade and oxidize in 3-5 years.
If parts need to be replaced, they need to be ordered and delivered which takes 1-3 days.
If the vehicle needs paint or body work, that adds an extra 1-3 WEEKS.
A PDR shop usually contracts heavy body work to a body shop. They lose money when it goes to the body shop. So a smart PDR shop tries to use PDR as much as possible on the vehicle. Which is ultimately best for hail damage.
Body Shops are the only choice for heavy hail damage. If you take it to a Paintless Dent Repair shop, they will become a middle man. Do yourself a favor and don’t use a PDR shop if your roof needs to be replaced. You will be waiting for 4-6 weeks.