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Your Car Breaks Down, and You Can’t Afford Repairs: Here’s What You Can Do

Moneymagpie Team 17th Aug 2022 No Comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes

If your car breaks down and you can’t afford repairs, don’t despair. You can do a few things to get the vehicle entirely back on the road without breaking the bank. In some cases, it’s as simple as tightening down on the budget further for repairs; for others, you may need to entirely restructure your budget for the foreseeable future to ensure your car is safe to drive. 

Ways to Manage Repair Costs

There are a few ways to manage repair costs or adjust other costs so they don’t break your budget.

Used Car Warranties

A used car warranty is one option to consider adding to your car purchase. Many dealerships offer used car warranties that can cover some of the costs of repairs.

These warranties typically have a term of 1-3 years and can provide peace of mind if something goes wrong with your vehicle. Be sure to read the fine print on these warranties, as they often have exclusions and limits. For example, many warranties don’t cover wear and tear items like brakes and tires.

However, if you’re considering a car that doesn’t have a warranty, you may want to purchase an aftermarket warranty from a third-party provider. Warranty companies can often customize these policies to meet your needs and provide coverage for items that aren’t typically covered by dealer warranties.

Budget-Frie, and its Local Repair Shops

If you’ve ever been faced with a hefty bill for car repairs, you’re not alone. The average cost of a quality mechanic in the US is high for a few reasons, and it can seem unfair when you see these people fixing your car in minutes or hours and then charging what seems like exorbitant fees. 

First, mechanics have to undergo extensive training to be certified. This training costs money, and it’s reflected in the prices that mechanics charge for their services. You’re not paying for the two hours and a handful of parts you saw them put in; you’re paying for the hundreds of hours of study, learning, broken knuckles, and bruised heads it took to achieve that level of efficiency. 

Second, the cost of doing business is high in the US and many other places worldwide, and mechanics must pass those costs onto their customers. In most US businesses, payroll is the most expensive cost to cover for the owners. Between the hourly wages given to staff and the income tax collected, companies pay a lot to their people to ensure they’re available to help you when your need arises. 

Many mechanics operate as small businesses and need to make a profit to stay afloat. The cost of business and living has been at its highest since the US financial records were established. It’s not greed, but about keeping the shop up and running, so it’s there when needed. All of these factors combine to create high prices for car repairs. 

Saving Money on Repairs

However, you can do a few things to save automotive repairs quickly. 

First, avoid going to the mechanic for routine maintenance tasks like oil changes and tire rotations. These tasks are relatively simple and can be easily done at home with the right supplies. 

Second, if you need to visit the mechanic, get multiple quotes before deciding on a service provider. By shopping around, you can ensure you’re getting the best possible price for your repairs. 

Finally, don’t be afraid to negotiate with your mechanic. In many cases, they’ll be willing to lower their prices if it means getting your business. With a little effort, you can reduce the cost of automotive repairs and keep more money in your pocket.

YouTube University and DIY

When your car starts making strange noises or isn’t running like it used to, it’s time for a trip to the mechanic. But before you shell out hundreds of dollars for repairs, it’s worth considering whether you might be able to do some of the work yourself.

If you’re handy with tools and willing to do a little research, you may be able to handle several repairs on your own. Be sure to consult your car’s owner’s manual or a repair manual before attempting any repairs, and only attempt repairs that you feel comfortable with.

There are also tons of learning opportunities online, from information shared between owners of specific models of cars to videos of the repairs on the same car model you have.

Personal Loan from the Bank

If your car needs major repairs, you may be worried about how you will afford the bill. One option is to take out a personal loan from the bank, and this will allow you to pay for the repairs upfront and then pay back the loan over time.

When shopping for a personal loan, compare interest rates and fees from different lenders. Once you have found the best loan for your needs, plan to pay it back as quickly as possible. By doing this, you can avoid paying interest for longer than necessary and get your car back on the road in no time.

Payment Arrangements

Some smaller repair shops are more willing to work with you on payments to ease the financial burden and make it easier for you to afford the critical repairs on your car and get you back to work.

On the other side, some major repair companies, like that associated with dealerships, may offer financing options for the repairs. You’ll need to ask them what payment options they offer.


For some repairs, the costs will outweigh the worth of the car. In these cases, or when you’re tired of the vehicle you’re driving nickel and diming your budget, you can opt to trade in your old car and purchase a new one.

The car doesn’t have to be brand new to afford the safety and security your old vehicle was lacking. However, buying through a reputable dealership that offers test drives, car maintenance reports, and pre-owned certification is an excellent next step.

No matter your choice, getting your car repaired doesn’t have to break the bank. With research, flexibility, tenacity, and ingenuity, you can get your vehicle back on the road in no time.

Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence. 

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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