5 smart ways to pay for car repairs even without an emergency fund

People like to say that buying a car is like having another family member. As shabby as this old trope may sound, the level of dedication, time and money you have to put into your car to keep it safe and functioning is comparable to having a child. So starting the emergency fund for your future maintenance projects seems like a good idea, right?

It would be if we didn’t have dozens of other emergency funds to worry about. So let’s see if we can find a shortcut through this maze and pay for the car repairs without even saving money for the times when things go wrong.

Take out a favorable loan

One of the main issues we have with emergency funds is that they represent a long-term commitment and a lot of uncertainties. For example, you can take too much money out of your family budget and cripple your personal finances. If something breaks, at least you know what you’re dealing with and how much money you need. Then all you have to do is find the most favorable loan that suits your current needs. Don’t worry, nowadays you can find the lender even with bad credit. You just have to look hard enough.

Use the credit cards and discounts

In recent years, the credit card landscape has become very diverse and highly specialized. What we mean by that is that each purchase or transaction option has its special card type that does the job better than competitors. Major auto repair shops nationwide can even give you a discount based on the type of card brand you use. But even the most basic credit cards usually give you a good 20 days to repay the debt before the interest starts to pile up. That’s more than enough time, especially in the case of minor repairs.

Find an affordable mechanic

The internet made this quite easy and effectively eliminated the need for trial and error. More importantly, do your best to find the store that justifies the price. Let’s take Australia for example. Driving across the continent regularly causes cracks in the windshield caused by rocks and debris. So if you are looking for a shop with high quality windshield replacement or another metropolitan area, try to get cellular service, lifetime warranty, or any other benefit that creates a better value proposition. Saving money is a long-term game.

Do it yourself

Okay, this might be considered a hoax, but as intimidating as they look, cars operate on often complex but always logical principles that can be mastered with enough effort. You can save yourself a lot of money by tackling even the most basic maintenance tasks such as replacing tires, battery service, repairing the windshield wipers, replacing the headlights, and so on. Of course, you still have to buy the replacement parts, and this is where the loans we mentioned above play into the story, but at least you don’t have to pay for the mechanic.

Know your parts

When a car breaks down, it’s usually not the entire vehicle that stops working. In most cases we are talking about one or more parts. Depending on the year of manufacture and purchase, some parts may have a limited warranty and others even a lifetime warranty. Submitting this type of information can also help with future interventions. Even if you are forced to buy a new part because of the repair or because you want one useful upgrades for your car, you need to spend some extra money on the warranty. If you’re short on money, opting for used parts can save you hundreds of dollars. If you have some basic knowledge of the “organism” of your car, you can even buy the part independently from the mechanic and save some money. This is a good thing if you don’t trust your mechanic to give you the best price possible.

Owning a car is not a cheap affair. However, this does not mean that you should go bankrupt if a minor incident occurs. Hopefully the tips we gave you above will help you keep your car in top condition without spending all your money.

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