Car repairs are inevitable. You probably already know that you can save money by doing the repairs yourself or by shopping around, but there are other ways to save as well. Take a look at these ideas:
1. Look for a Place With Lower Hourly Labor Rates
Generally, car repair costs fall into two major categories: parts and labor. When it comes to labor, the numbers can vary widely, and they are often pegged to wages in the area. To save money, consider looking for a place with lower labor charges.
In particular, you may find that expensive city and suburban areas tend to charge higher labor rates than small shops in rural areas. It may be worth it to take your car to a place that is a bit off the beaten path.
2. See If You Can order the Parts Yourself
There's often consistency from place to place on the cost of parts, but in some cases, car repair shops may inflate the cost of parts. To avoid that, see if you can bring in your own parts. Then, you can shop around online for the cheapest offer, bring the part to the car repair people, and have them install it.
3. Stagger the Repairs Based on Importance
If your car needs numerous repairs, you don't have to do them all at the same time. Instead, ask the car repair company to prioritize the repairs by order of importance, and then, stagger them out. That way you don't have to pay so much upfront.
4. Don't Put Off Small Repairs
In cases, where you just need a small repair, you may want to try to get that done as soon as possible. This is especially important in cases where the situation may escalate if you don't do the initial repair immediately.
For example, imagine that your radiator needs a repair. You decide to ignore it, and as a result, your engine overheats. Then, instead of just replacing the radiator, you have to replace your whole engine.
5. Write Off a Portion of the Repairs as a Business Expense
If you use your car for your business, you can save a little extra by remembering to write off the cost of the repairs. You can write off a certain number of cents per mileage, but in years where you do a lot of car repairs, you may save money by writing off the repairs, gas, and other expenses. Note that you can only write off a portion of these costs based on the portion of time your car is used for your business versus your personal life.