Five Creative Ideas For Saving Money on Car Repairs

| February 15, 2014

Five Creative Ideas For Saving Money on Car RepairsCars can be a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, there is no denying the fact that a car can be a very valuable asset. For most people, however, their vehicle is a big liability, and they pour a lot more money into it than they’d like to. Unless you have a super hand spouse, relative or friend that is happy donating their time to fix your vehicle, you can expect to pay a good chunk of change every year to keep your car on the road. Along with maintenance, you have insurance, registration, and gasoline. The list goes on. If you are not careful, the yearly cost of keeping your car running could equal the value of your car. If you’re looking to get a little leeway in your auto budget, and save some money, you might be in luck. Here are five creative ideas for saving money on car repairs that could work for you.

Allow an automotive repair class to fix your vehicle

If you live near a community college that has an automotive repair program, you may want to inquire about getting your car fixed. In an effort to provide learning opportunities to the students, many of these automotive programs are willing to repair your vehicle for free. All that you need to do is to purchase the required parts. You might be worried about having a bunch of amateurs working on your vehicle, but unless you drive a porsche, chances are that any damage that they do will still be less expensive to fix than taking your car to a dealership or a mechanic for repairs. You’ve also helped some students get hands on experience, and improve their skills. If you are looking for some extra help, the program directors might be able to put you in touch with one of their more talented students who could do the repair for far less than a mechanic.

Become a member of a motor club

Not only do motor clubs provide roadside assistance to stranded motorists, but they also provide discounts on repairs. In some instances, the motor club membership will decrease the cost of a repair job by 40 percent. The only requirement is that the motorist must pay a renewable fee for the membership each year. Because the average motorist doesn’t have much bargaining power with the mechanic, you end up paying out of pocket for any and all repairs that might come up, and you pay the full price. Many mechanics, however, are eager to get more business, and will accept members of motor clubs, even if it means taking a big discount on their services, just to keep the garage full. Groups like AAA have the clout to negotiate lower, contracted rates on repairs, which could easily pay for the cost of your membership and then some.

Join an automotive forum

If you hate paying a mechanic to fix your vehicle, joining an automotive forum is a great way to learn how to perform your own car repairs. The key is to join a forum that caters to your specific vehicle. Most automotive forums have plenty of helpful tips for backyard mechanics. Some of the local forum members may even be willing to actually assist you in person. These communities are especially handy, because they often have experience with the same year model as your vehicle, and have experienced some of the same problems you have as their cars have aged. Enter the make, model, and year of your vehicle in a search engine to see what types of groups you can find. You may just be able to catch some repairs before they turn really ugly, and cost you more money.

Browse Craigslist

Under the Craigslist section labeled “automotive services”, there will likely be several repairmen who are advertising their services. Most of these people are actually certified mechanics that are just trying to build up their clientele. Unlike at the typical dealership, these mechanics will repair your vehicle for a very affordable price, because they have little to no overhead costs. Another benefit of using a local mechanic with an at-home business, is the advice and feedback they can give you about your car. You can ask them more questions, and get a better understanding of how cars work in the process.

Used car parts

Purchasing used car parts is a great way to cut down on the cost of repairing a vehicle. Online companies such as have thousands of used car parts available. After requesting the part that you need, the company will check to see if it is in stock. If you live in or near a larger city, there is a good chance that a local junk yard may have the part that you’re looking for. It can’t hurt to check, and see if you can save money by buying a quality used part.


Although there is no way to completely avoid spending money on car repairs, the key is to limit that amount of money that you spend. Over time, these frugal ideas will put a lot of extra cash into your pockets.


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Category: Car Repair, Family Finances

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