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Auto Repair Emergency? 5 Resources That Can Help You Cover the Cost

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car repair

Hmm, the mechanic said that the transmission was completely shot – I bet I could swing that

It goes without saying that saving up for a rainy day is essential for all motorists. For many people, however, building up an emergency savings can be a challenge.

Expensive car emergencies never come knocking, so nobody wants to hear that they should have anticipated them months ago. Fortunately, even without savings, there are still options to prepare for repairs when your car breaks down.

  1. Auto-Repair Insurance

If your car got damaged in an accident, your standard insurance policy should cover emergency roadside assistance and maybe even repair expenses. But if you weren’t in an accident, you’re out of luck. That is unless you have active auto-repair insurance coverage.

Auto-repair insurance caters for repairs that are not covered by a standard policy. These range from a breakdown to gradual wear and tear. Some plans can be tailored to specific parts, such as the engine, which would be otherwise too expensive to repair.

  1. Club Memberships

Some automobile associations have exclusive arrangements with roadside assistance companies and repair shops that offer free or discounted services to their members. The American Automobile Association (AAA), for instance, even gives its members free maintenance inspection, vehicle triage, and a repair guarantee, among other services. When an emergency hits, you’ll be thankful you’re part of such a club.

  1. Extended Car Warranty

New cars usually come with extended warranty policies, which may come in handy when running repairs. Most repair shops will work with a warranty company, as long as your warranty is valid and authorized. Extended warranty payment practices vary. Sometimes the warranty company will pay the repair shop directly, but other policies will require you pay for the repairs and then get reimbursed later.

If your car purchase didn’t include a warranty policy, reach out to your dealer (even if the car was used) and inquire about any after-sale services they may offer.

  1. Your Credit Card

Some credit card companies and issuers offer emergency roadside assistance to cardholders as a free benefit, so you may want to check your card for any perks it may include.

Even without perks, paying for repairs with your credit card can be a smart move, especially if your provider offers a warranty against bad repairs. As with any credit card debt, however, ensure you make a plan to pay off the balance.

  1. A Quick Loan or Repair-on-Credit Plan

If you’re in good terms with a close friend or relative, consider approaching them for a personal loan. Your mechanic can even offer a payment plan if you negotiate successfully.

Alternatively, and if you’re well out of options, you could try an online loan to finance your repairs. Online loans are typically easy to apply for, and approval only takes a day or two. On the other hand, these loans are mostly unregulated, and their interest charges are sky-high. Therefore, only apply for one when you’re sure you can pay on time.

A car emergency is an unfortunate situation, but just because you can’t meet repair costs up-front doesn’t mean you’re done being a motorist. Best to check the resources above, so you can make sure you have the assistance you need in case of emergency.

This is a collaborative post.