We spend a lot of money fixing up our cars. Many of us spend more in repairs than our cars are worth. The cost of maintaining our cars needn’t be so high. In fact, there are many ways to save costs on fixing up our vehicles. Here are just a few ways to save money on repairs.

Get multiple quotes

Each repair centre in your area is likely to charge different rates. It’s worth getting multiple quotes so that you can then choose the cheapest mechanic in you area. Not all repair centres can do a quote over the phone so you may have to take your vehicle in and get it checked over first. Don’t always trust that a loyalty rate will be better than all the others – just because you’ve consistently used a car repair service and they offer you a discount doesn’t mean there won’t be a cheaper repair service out there.

Check online reviews

The reputation of a repair centre is as important as the cost. A cheap mechanic might be compensating for a bad reputation. This could result in a botch job that could potentially do extra damage which you’ll then have to pay extra to replace. There are lots of sites online that collect online reviews of local mechanics – check these to see what other customers have said.

Negotiate costs

It’s possible to negotiate the cost of repairs in many instances by asking for a breakdown of costs. If you’re getting your wheel repaired, a repair centre may also pay to then replace the tire. You may decide you want to do this yourself and can have this cost deducted from the bill. Even if you can’t lower the cost of repairs, you may be able to negotiate a payment plan that involved paying in instalments. This might make paying for an expensive repair job a little more manageable. Check that there’s no interest attached to this payment plan, otherwise you may as well just take out a loan.

Source your own parts

The repair centre will buy in parts which it will hope to make a profit off. You can save costs by buying your own parts. There are lots of sites online that sell car parts. Second-hand parts are likely to cost less, although you should be careful of buying parts that are particularly well-used and worn (you’ll only end up replacing them again in the near future). Make sure to buy parts from trusted dealers.

Make your own repairs

In some cases, you may be able to make your own repairs. There are lots of DIY tricks for bumps and scratches that can save you hundreds (did you know that you can remove some dents simply by using a plunger). Certain jobs like replacing headlights and brake pads meanwhile are relatively easy – you can find instructions online. Those that are a little more daring may even be willing to take on some more complex jobs. Try not to take on anything too complex though as you don’t want to break anything and end up paying more to fix it.

Know your legal rights

In some cases you may be able to cover the cost of repairs by making a legal claim. A car accident lawyer might be able to help you seek compensation if you need to repair damage that was the direct fault of someone else. You may also be able to hire a lawyer if your insurance provider is refusing to pay up but you believe that you are owed money.

Know when to cut your losses

If repairs cost almost as much as the value of your car, consider whether your vehicle is really worth it or whether you’d be better off scrapping your vehicle and getting a new car. Some vehicle scrapping companies will pay you a small amount to take your vehicle regardless of its condition. If you’ve got the patience, you may even be able to take your car apart yourself and sell parts online. This money could help to go towards a new car.

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Emily Muelford

Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.

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