Saving money is always an important goal. There are ways to save money on everything, including saving money on car repairs. These five tips will help you to easily save some money on your next car repairs.
Start With a Good Maintenance Plan
If you want to cut costs on car repairs, the easiest way to do that is by taking good care of your vehicle. A good maintenance plan can help you to avoid costly, unexpected breakdowns. Regular oil changes, replacing parts before they fail, and being proactive with maintenance is the single best way to keep costs down.
In 2020, there were about 234,700 auto shops, many of which provide maintenance services, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. There is a shop near you that can help you manage maintenance. It is less expensive to have maintenance done than it is to make repairs.
Invest In Good Insurance
Sometimes you must spend money to save money. Getting good auto insurance coverage can pay off if you are ever in an accident and need repairs. For example, if you live in Texas and get into an accident, you may be equally responsible for the costs. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, if a driver is found to be more than 50% responsible for an accident, they will need to ante up and cover costs. Texas is a “shared fault” state. Repairs can run into the thousands after a car accident. Get good insurance to protect your investment and your finances.
Use a Local Mechanic For Repairs
About 75% of repairs are done by locally owned independent mechanics while only 25% of repairs are done by dealerships, according to Car And Driver. Why? That is a simple answer. Local mechanics are cheaper than going to the dealership. You can save money on auto repairs by finding a reputable local mechanic.
Learn How To DIY Some Repairs
Not every car repair requires an expert. A great way to save money on car repairs is to learn how to do them yourself. There is so much information online about how to manage car repairs that anyone can make basic repairs on their own.
A little DIY can go a long way when it comes to stocking up on savings. With some basic tools and the right parts, you can easily do some car repairs on your own. If making your own repairs is off the table, the next tip may be the right one for you.
Buy Your Own Parts
A good way to shave off some of the cost of professional car repair is to bring your own parts to the mechanic. Retail costs for auto parts can be marked up as much as 5,000%. Buying parts online or even from a salvage yard can drastically cut the cost of parts. Check with your mechanic to see if they will let you purchase your own parts. Most will. If they do not, consider switching mechanics. The cost saving of making your own part purchases can be significant.
Some Final Tips
Before you agree to a large repair bill, ask for a discount. Negotiate the costs. Most people do not realize that they can negotiate costs with a repair shop. You can, and you should. If the cost is still too high for you, consider a second opinion. You do not have to accept the cost of repairs based on one shop’s opinion. Mechanics often vary widely in their pricing. You can save money by asking for estimates from several different mechanics.
Finally, saving money on repairs comes down to putting a little extra effort in on your part. Sticking to a maintenance schedule, doing some of the work on your own, and making smart decisions about insurance and who it is that will make repairs, all fall on you. The extra effort can add up to hundreds of dollars in savings. Make the effort.