No matter what kind of car you own or drive, repair and maintenance costs are unavoidable. Auto repair costs are different for every make and model of car. According to CARCHEX reviews, the labor costs for mechanics also vary depending on their location and their auto repair shop.
Given the varying rates of car repair and the unexpected nature of accidents, knowing how to make sure you can always afford auto repairs is crucial. Below are some strategies you can use to achieve this.
Check Your Car Warranty
A car warranty is an agreement in contract form to cover your car and repair costs within a specified period. Car warranties can help you avoid paying for repairs with your out-of-pocket money. Your car is bound to break down in one way or another. Sometimes you may be in a very tight financial spot.
Standard warranties cover brand-new cars at the guidelines of the manufacturer. Depending on the manufacturer, standard limited warranties cover vehicle repairs for a whole year or for 20,000 kilometers, whichever comes first. If you have this kind of warranty, you may not have to pay cash for repairs within the coverage period.
Extended warranties cover used cars at the rules and guidelines of the car dealer. This kind of warranty has strict termination dates and conditions, such as having your vehicle fitted with genuine parts only and getting your car repairs done by the warranty dealer or a franchise of the same. It is crucial to check if your warranty can cater to the repair you need for your vehicle.
Get Repair Quotes From Multiple Repair Shops
Shopping for quotations is good for comparing prices. You will need at least three quotes if you want to settle for a repair job that will not cost you a fortune. If you find a good mechanic with reputable services and results, you can try negotiating your price down based on the quotations you have gotten from shopping around for prices. Ask for referrals from your friends and family of mechanics who do an exemplary job at a fair price.
Most auto repair service providers are more than willing to give you a quotation for the repairs your car needs. All you need to know are the symptoms or problems your car has. If possible, document or write down things that do not appear to be usual about your vehicle. Anything that seems out of the normal, such as smell, sounds, or vibrations, can indicate a big problem.
Do not forget to note down the model, make, and manufactured year of your car for purposes of getting a quotation for its spare parts.
Use Financing Options for Car Repair
You may get stuck in a situation with no money and no warranty to guarantee your car repairs. Financing car repair through loans could work to salvage your car. A small fraction of the drivers in the United States of America are prepared enough to cover the cost of unexpected car repairs.
Whenever you need car repair but you’re out of the car warranty period, you don’t have auto insurance, or you don’t have cash in hand, financing options can help you. There are several ways you can get financing.
Getting a personal loan is one of the ways you can finance auto repair. These kinds of loans can be paid back to the lender in monthly installments over an agreed period. Your lender may require you to pay back the money you owe them with an interest or an agreed fee on top.
Most lenders take into consideration your credit history. If you have a bad credit history and do not qualify for a personal loan, you may want to consider applying for it with a co-signer. Doing so will guarantee your lender that you will repay the debt.
Credit unions and banks are good sources for a personal loan. You can also turn to online loan lenders. Remember to review your loan terms before borrowing any money from a financial institution. A cash advance from your salary can also help you to cover your repair costs.
Keep in mind that there are personal loan cases that are risky, like getting a title loan. Title loans are short-term and work by giving you the loan in exchange for your car title. You can only get back your car title when you repay the loan with the agreed fee on top, usually within 30 days. If you are sure that you can repay the loan within the agreed period, this financing option can work for you.
Save Up for Car Repairs
Planning ahead of time for your car repairs can help you manage your finances accordingly. Creating a car repair and maintenance fund is ideal because every financial decision you will make will work towards topping it up for rainy days. When saving money for your maintenance fund, put into consideration:
- Condition – The care your car has received since its purchase can indicate how much repair and maintenance it may need in the future. Your vehicle’s previous condition will also help you estimate how much money you may need to save.
- Make and model – Repair and maintenance sometimes get priced according to the vehicle’s make and model. For example, a Mercedes Benz’s spare parts are likely to cost more than that of a Toyota. Knowing vehicle-specific repair and maintenance price estimates can help you prepare and save money ahead of time.
- Age – The older your car is, the more maintenance it may require and the more money you need to save.
There are various ways to ensure that you can afford future car repairs. For instance, your car warranty can cover repair costs within the warranty period. Getting different auto repair price estimates also helps you choose services that meet your budget.
You can also turn to financing options such as loans to sort out your car-related problems. Finally, planning ahead of time by saving for car repair expenses can also be helpful.