When your car needs repairs, you could be looking at a budget buster. With everything you have to pay for these days—food and utilities are usually at the top of the list—paying for car repairs can weigh you down. In fact, the typical American family with two vehicles will spend more than $800 each year on automobile repairs. Don’t lose hope, though. There are ways to pay for those repairs without breaking the bank. Here are several tips to help you get your car back on the road without spending too much money.
1) Obtain Used Car Warranty
Several companies in the market can provide used car warranties, allowing you to pay for the needed repairs when your vehicle breaks down. Some of these companies even cover certain parts of your car, like the transmission or engine. This can be really helpful as you won’t have to pay for labor either. You just have to pay the deductible. If you don’t have a warranty anymore on your car, but the repairs are only minor, get a used car warranty.
2) Consider Getting a Car Loan
If you don’t have enough cash to afford the necessary repairs for your vehicle, getting a small loan from your credit union or bank is a good idea. You don’t need to get a large loan for the repairs; you only need enough cash to pay for the necessary parts and labor costs. This is also helpful because it will keep you from using your credit card, which may incur interest fees that only add up over time.
3) Get a Personal Loan
If you’re close with your family and friends, don’t be afraid to ask for a bit of help. Chances are high that some of them own some tools that can help you get the needed repairs done on your car. They may also know someone in the area who has the necessary skills to fix your vehicle for much cheaper. You can also offer to pay for their time and labor with a loan. You can also try borrowing money from a close friend or family member. Just borrow enough to cover the repair costs and remember to pay it back as soon as possible.
4) Check if the Mechanic Offers a Payment Plan
If you need a specific job done on your car but don’t have enough cash right now, see if the mechanic or the service center offers a payment or installment plan. Some mechanics will allow you to pay in small portions until you have covered all the costs for them to do the necessary repairs. Large chains’ mechanisms may also provide you with an auto repair loan or payment plan. You must make regular payments directly to the store if you use a payment plan. Other mechanics, particularly those from small automobile businesses, collaborate with a network of lenders to give loans to consumers.
5) Use Your Credit Card
If you don’t have enough cash saved up and the mechanic doesn’t offer a payment plan, consider using your credit card. Just make sure that you can afford to pay it back when interest rates start racking up. It might be beneficial to set up a direct transfer from your bank account to ensure that your credit card is paid off on time every month. If the necessary repairs are extensive, it might be best to apply for a personal loan.
6) Ask Your Insurance Company
Some car insurance companies actually offer roadside assistance packages. These types of plans can cover minor to major repairs that need to be done immediately on your vehicle. They may even cover the costs of towing your vehicle. Look into this option and see if it’s a good deal for you.
7) Dip Into Your Savings
Of course, the last option is to dip into your savings. If this is not an option, it’s probably best to save up for a while and only get the repairs done when you can afford them. Another method you can explore is to create a dedicated savings account just for car repairs. Set aside a certain amount to put into your emergency car repairs fund every time you get paid. This way, if something breaks down or goes wrong with your vehicle, you already have the cash saved up to pay for them.
Tips to Minimize Car Repair Expenses
Here are some ways you can manage your expenses for necessary repairs:
1) Get Your Car Inspected Regularly
A crucial thing to do is take care of any issues with your vehicle before they become too big. Have your BMW or Toyota checked out before the problem gets to a point where it can’t be ignored. Do any necessary repairs immediately.
2) Take Care of Major Issues Right Away
Another thing to do is get any significant issues fixed right away. Minor problems that turn into major concerns will only make you spend more money on repairs. Don’t neglect the early signs of trouble with your car. If you notice that something is up, whether it’s a loose hose or strange whirring noise, get it looked at immediately.
3) Buy Quality Parts
Another thing you must do is to buy quality parts for your vehicle when you need them replaced. Search online for guidance on the best parts you need and buy them for a good price. If there is a rebate available, then go for that too.
The Bottom Line: Be Prudent With Car Repair Costs
There are many ways to finance your used car repairs. With all the options available and a little bit of research, you should be able to find one that works best for your situation.