What is the most cost-effective way to afford auto repairs?
A car is a huge investment. First of all, owners have to put up a lot of money in the beginning just to take vehicles home. That is especially true over the last few years, even for used cars. Car prices have soared thanks to the pandemic, and as of early 2022, the average price of used vehicles has increased by as much as 40.5 percent.
However, there is more to vehicle ownership than a down payment and monthly payments. For instance, you'll also be responsible for purchasing auto insurance and fuel. And what about maintenance? You will have to change the oil and top off fluids as stated in your owner's manual. Not to mention, tire rotations and coolant flushes could be necessary at some point too. Then, there is also the matter of paying for car repairs when they arise.
Unfortunately, depending on what happens, that isn't always cheap. If something occurs that's covered under the manufacturer's warranty, it will be fixed free of charge. But what about when that safeguard expires? If you own a pre-owned vehicle, having a used car warranty comes in handy.
How Does a Used Car Warranty Work?
Most car warranties are set up on deductible systems. Thus, consumers pay a certain amount for the policies and then cover the deductibles when service is needed. The amounts people spend on these guarantees vary, but one study reveals that consumers pay around $360 to $720 on average for warranty policies. Then, if the warranty is a $100 deductible plan, that's what the policyholder will need to give the mechanic to perform testing, repairs, and maintenance.
That may not sound like a huge deal, but it can prove to be a financial hassle. For example, if a vehicle's suspension system needs to be overhauled, the price for that can run between $2,500 and $3,500 at a local shop. Meanwhile, sometimes, engines must be rebuilt or replaced. If that's what your ride needs to get back on the road, you'll likely have to spend $7,000 to $10,000 for a mechanic to do the work.
Of course, not all repairs come with such hefty price tags for parts and labor, but you never know what type of repair your car’s going to need next. A car warranty can help you avoid going broke trying to get your car repaired. Just make sure to collect multiple quotes so you can find a used car warranty that fits your budget.
Another Budget-Friendly Solution
A used vehicle warranty is by far one of the best cost-effective ways to pay for auto repairs. However, all may not be lost if purchasing a guarantee isn't in the cards for you. That's because you can start saving for car repairs now before any issues develop. Then, when problems finally rear their heads, you'll have the cash on hand to fix them.
You can start building up your auto repair fund today by putting away a small percentage of your paycheck each month. Just be careful not to spend the money on other expenses. This way, you'll be able to rest easy knowing the funds are there when they're needed.
Other Ways To Save Money on Auto Repairs
Another budget-friendly option for auto repairs all car owners should know about is purchasing used or salvaged parts. Thanks to secondhand replacement car parts, people can often get their cars fixed for much less than they'd typically pay with new components. There are plenty of places to find secondhand auto parts; some websites even specialize in helping car owners find the used car part they need.
However, you must be careful too. Salvaged parts may not come with warranties. Thus, if you change something out and it doesn't take care of the problem, you'll have to say goodbye to more of your hard-earned cash to rectify the situation.
Another cost-effective way to afford auto repairs is to get them financed. Various mechanics have financing options for the services they offer. Hence, if your ride breaks down, you could qualify for financing. So, don't write off local repair shops before you see what they bring to the table.
Likewise, some auto experts recommend getting repair work done all at once. Doing so can help you save money on labor charges. Many repair shops won’t charge full-price labor fees if a mechanic performs more than one repair on your car. This is particularly true if your car needs many types of repair in one area.
Lastly, you can also save money on auto repairs by preventing the need for these repairs in the first place. Read your owner’s manual so you can learn how to do preventive maintenance on your vehicle. The owner’s manual contains useful information on the type of fluids to regularly check as well as the best maintenance schedule for your car.
Some Final Words
There are many different cost-effective ways to afford auto repairs. However, some options are better than others. That's why you need to check into multiple solutions and find the one that meets all of your specific needs. By doing so, you can make sure to avoid expensive car repairs that can cause financial difficulties.