According to a report commissioned by Kwik-Fit, the average motorist in the UK spends £162 per month on running their car. While this includes fuel, insurance, road tax, and servicing, it doesn’t take into account the cost of the car itself or emergency repairs.
Unfortunately, unexpected repairs are part and parcel of owning a car, particularly as it gets older. But, instead of risking your finances every time you need to visit your local mechanic, here are five ways to cover the cost of emergency car repairs.
Get a fast and flexible small loan
Seeing as many people are completely reliant on their car for commuting to work or the daily school run, any time spent off the road is bound to be a huge inconvenience at best and could cause loss of earnings at worst. If you don’t have the money to pay for immediate repairs, consider getting a short term loan to get you back on the road in next to no time.
Not all loans are the same – you need one quickly and you don’t want the application to hit your credit score. A preliminary application process will give you an indication of how likely you are to be approved straight away, without impacting your credit score. Then if you’re approved, the money can be in your account within 15 minutes – ideal when you have that mechanic’s bill in front of you! There’s no loan application fees, no admin fees, and no late payment fees either.
Shop around for the best price
If you’re not loyal to your local mechanic, make the effort to shop around nearby garages for the best price. You can then leverage the quotes you receive to haggle and drive the cost down as much as possible.
There are numerous online resources you can utilise to compare car garages and mechanics, several of which will also feature reviews from customers for added peace of mind.
Carry out the repair yourself
The thought of fixing your car can be a daunting prospect, especially if you have little prior knowledge of mechanics or limited tools and resources. However, you’d be surprised at how easy some repairs are.
Chances are they’ll be plenty of online video tutorials for you to follow, which is often much easier than following instructions in a service or repair manual. You may even find that taking a car maintenance course will prove more cost-effective in the long-run.
Be specific and avoid extra charges
Once you know what the problem is, tell the garage or mechanic exactly want you want doing as per the estimate. Ask to be contacted before additional work is carried out and request that old parts be left in your boot – any reputable garage or mechanic won’t have a problem with this.
Also, avoid extra charges such as a courtesy car, lift service, or valet wherever possible. If bundled in with the cost of a repair, these extras often end up costlier than when purchased separately.
Purchase an extended warranty
If you’re completely reliant on your car but have a feeling it will keep giving you problems, think about purchasing an extended warranty for protection against mechanical and electrical breakdowns.
However, be wary of a warranty plan that only covers a set list of items on your car or specifically excludes certain issues that may arise. With over 5,000 parts in a typical car, a limited list of covered items won’t represent good value for money.