Need Emergency Car Repair? 7 Tips for Getting it Done When You’re Short on Cash

It’s super-stressful to find yourself in need of emergency car repair when you’re short on cash. These seven tips will help you come up with the money you need.

Living from paycheck to paycheck can be stressful. Add in an unexpected expense and your financial situation can go from bad to worse in an instance. Studies show many Americans are unable to budget for emergency repairs.

An emergency car repair is something no wants to be faced with, let alone someone already struggling financially. Where will the money come from and how long can you go without a vehicle? Many people face this situation every day and are forced to make tough decisions.

Having a rainy day fund would be ideal, but not always realistic. Perhaps there is nothing left over once the bills are paid. Or it could be that you haven’t replenished your stash since the last emergency.

Emergencies can’t be avoided so what do you do when one arises? Continue reading for seven tips on dealing with emergency car repairs.

1. See if You Can Fix it Yourself

Can you hold a wrench and aren’t afraid to get dirty? Your emergency car repair may be something you can repair yourself with the help of a friend.

Some chain auto parts stores will complete a diagnostic test for free. These tests can identify problems with the engine, starter, transmission and more. With the information, you can turn to the sites like YouTube and study DIY car repair videos.

Once you’re comfortable you can make the repair yourself, order your car parts and make your repair. Keep in mind, major repairs involving replacing the engine or transmission should be left to the professionals.

2. Borrow Money from a Family Member or Friend

When you can’t afford car repairs you may have to turn to a family member or friend for financial assistance. This can be hard to do for some and you may have to demonstrate how and when you will repay the money.

Don’t leave the people that care for you holding the bag. Only borrow the money if you can actually pay it back.

Money has ruined many relationships so if repaying the money isn’t an option, say so when you make the request. Someone may be in a position to gift the money to you. Or they may be willing to put the expense on a credit card.

Down the line, your circumstances may change and you’re able to repay back all or a portion of the money.

3. Barter with a Shade Tree Mechanic

Every community has at least one shade tree mechanic. It’s usually someone with extensive experience working on various makes of automobiles. For whatever reason, he can’t keep a job.

Others may like working on cars on the weekends to earn extra money.

Whatever the case, hiring one to handle your emergency car repair can save you a lot of money. In the event you are still unable to pay, consider bartering for services.

In the barter system, you exchange service for service. What thing are you good at that would be equivalent to the time and work being done on your car? Let the mechanic know what you have to offer and see if you can foster a deal.

Keep in mind you may still have to pay for your own parts.

4. Workout a Payment Plan with a Car Repair Shop

Most car repair shops want immediate payment for their services. However, if you’re lucky you may be able to find auto shops that take payments.

These shops are rare but offer several options for customers to choose from. They may need to verify employment to assess your ability to pay. It may also require a credit check.

Options available can include taking a postdated check. Or they may have special financing through a creditor offering six months no interest if paid in full.

Another plan could include using the car as collateral for the cost of the repairs. The shop will set-up a car repair payment plan. As long as you make your payments on time you shouldn’t have a problem.

5. Get a Payday Loan

Payday loans have helped many hardworking people in a time of need. If personal loans no credit check and a quick payout are what you need, it is worth a try.

Most payday loans require repayment within 30 days. Repayment is based on the borrowers pay schedule. You will be required to supply proof of employment and in some cases authorize an automatic debit from your checking account.

Based on the amount of money you need for your emergency car repair, you may be able to find a personal loan with longer terms.

Regardless, expect to pay higher interest rates and only borrow what you need.

6. Take Out a Title Loan to Cover Emergency Car Repair

It could be risky but a title loan is how to pay for car repairs with no money. The downside is that your car can be repossessed if you fail to make your payments.

Title loans come with some restrictions. Typically, your car can’t be more than 10 years old and can’t exceed a certain amount of miles.

Approval is fast and you get the cash immediately.

7. Let the Car Sit Until You Can Cover the Repairs

If all else fails you may need to park your car if you can’t afford your car repair expenses at this time. If you work nearby, consider walking or riding the bus. There is also the option of carpooling with a coworker.

Having a spouse with a car is another option. It may require sacrifice and readjusting your schedules, but it is possible until you can save up the funds to get your car repaired.

It May be Time for a New Car

Being faced with an emergency car repair more than once in a calendar year may be a sign that it is time to buy a new car. Now may be a good time to start exploring financing for a new car.

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Author: Brandon Park