The ferocious storm lasted just 10 minutes but cars left out in the open – including many brand new imported cars awaiting onward transportation – were hit by hail the size of golfballs.
Some of the cars being repaired by the technicians from Dent Wizard International have up to 400 dents in their bodywork. The team comprises seven dedicated hail technicians, four of whom have been posted from Italy, two from France, and one from England.
It has been called in by Dent Wizard trade customers in Dover to repair cars that were lined up on open forecourts or car storage areas on Saturday morning. The team calculates that it has work for at least a week on the cars, many of which ‘look like the cratered surface of the moon,’ according to Dent Wizard managing director Quintin Cornforth.
About 25,000 cars a year are severely damaged by hailstones across Europe, which is half the number in the USA, Dent Wizard’s home country.
The hail season on the continent runs from May to September with as many as 100 storms in a summer. Some of these can involve hailstones weighing four pounds.
‘All our hail technicians have to be on call to move into a hail-hit area within 48 hours in order to assist with insurance claims and, of course, perform a very large number of repairs in a very short time,’ explained Cornforth.