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What Should You Do If You Can’t Afford Car Repair Bills?

The automobile is among the most important inventions in human history. It allowed people to travel great distances in a shorter amount of time. Whether for work or leisure, it has a place in any home. 

But owning a car means taking care of it, too. That is why it pays to have insurance for the car. It can cover most maintenance costs and even those you do not expect. CarShield reviews, for example, show that they cover most of what the manufacturer warranties do.

But there are things that your insurance may not cover. Most of the time, damage caused by lack of maintenance would not be part of them. So, what happens if you suffer a breakdown and cannot pay for the repairs?

Repairing your car can get expensive, depending on the damage. 

Fortunately, you have other options aside from relying on your insurance.

Make Payments for Your Repair

One of the best solutions is to talk to your mechanic. They could offer you the chance to pay for the repair cost on an installment basis. That is especially true if you are a long-time customer—or better yet, if you know them personally.

It may not be as simple as that, though. Some auto shops could legally put a mechanic’s lien on your car. What that means is you have a limited time to pay the bill. If not, they can keep the car in their garage until you do so.

The time would depend on where you are. Some states offer 30 days, while others have 10 days. Do your due diligence and research this first.

Get a Second Opinion

It could be worth your time and energy to bring your car to another mechanic for a second opinion. Cars are very complicated machines. The diagnosis of one mechanic can differ from another. 

At the very least, a second opinion can highlight a more affordable solution. At most, the original diagnosis is wrong, and the problem is not as big as initially thought.

Use Your Credit Card

If that is the case, you may want to use your credit card instead. What happens is that you get to pay the mechanic in full while essentially acquiring a loan from your card provider.

Some auto shops offer installment payments covered by accredited credit cards. Be wary of the interest rates, though. 

Auto Repair Loan

Some companies offer a loan specifically for auto repairs. Providers can offer hundreds or thousands of dollars for you to get the car fixed. The best part is that getting the process started is easy.

All you need to do is visit the website of an auto loan provider. They will have you fill up a form with your details and the diagnosis of the car. They would then analyze your application.

The entire process takes just a few hours from application.

While convenient as that may sound, do not go for the first provider you find. Go to a few websites to read their guidelines. Better yet, call them to get a clear quote. Once you have at least three, compare their offers. That way, you get the best bang for your buck.

Look at the experience of other people with the companies you have researched. Visit review sites and ask people you know. That is a valuable insight to get for an informed decision on your part.

Look Into the Secondhand Market

What makes a car repair expensive at times is the cost of new parts. That usually involves ordering brand new parts from the manufacturer. There is an alternative, though.

The secondhand market is flooded with different parts that are usually still in perfect working condition. These can come from cars that were upgraded or have a different issue. Either way, they have a part you need at a lower cost.

The risk here is making sure the part works well. If you do not have a good working knowledge, you need to ask an expert for some help. Your mechanic is an option. Better yet, you can ask your family or friends if they are well-versed in finding used car parts.


Do you have some mechanical skills? Going to the mechanic can be expensive because that is their job. They need to earn. But if you can do it yourself, you can save a lot of money.

Sell Your Car

If the auto repair is expensive, you may want to crunch the numbers instead. Is it worth repairing? Are you paying too much to face more future headaches? Or is it time to let go of the car and get a new one instead?

Sometimes, a repair does not make sense if the practicality is no longer there. Stop pumping money on an old car that breaks down a lot. In the long run, a new vehicle is cheaper.

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