It doesn’t matter if you have a new or used vehicle, somewhere down the line your automobile will need some type of maintenance. Waiting until the last minute to come up with the money required to fix the problem can be extremely stressful. Instead, follow a few simple tips to budget for the car repair instead.
Check the Car Warranty
See what services are covered under the warranty first. Owners may only be required to pay for certain issues to be restored, but not others. This will be listed in the terms section of the warranty. At this time, it is also a great idea to decide if purchasing an extended warranty is cheaper than saving up for a potentially large problem to be rectified down the line. Typically, warranties cover a five-year period.
Research Area Mechanics
There are a few reasons why it’s wise to research area mechanics when preparing a budget for car repair. First, comparing rates between local mechanics reveal the shop that requires the least amount of money to get your vehicle fixed. Second, it’s possible that one shop supplies discounts for drivers who are part of certain programs. Gather all of the information and then decide who you’ll use ahead of time. This saves drivers from having to make a hasty decision at the last minute that may end up costing them more money than they need to spend.
Investigate the Make and Model
There are some problems common among certain makes and models. Spend a few minutes investigating the make and model of your vehicle to determine if there are any issues that multiple car owners are reporting. Perhaps the timing belt comes loose in that type of automobile, or the air conditioning system frequently fails. Take this information and look up possible costs for having that particular issue fixed. This is definitely an amount that should be budgeted for. If a driver ends up never needing that money, it can always be used toward the purchase of a new vehicle.
Review Previous Car Repair Bills
A budget can also be based on the vehicle’s history. Collect all bills associated with the automobile for the previous 12 months and add them up. Increase the amount if the automobile is older and more likely to have additional problems in the near future. Take that figure and divide it by 12 to uncover the amount you’ll need to save each month to meet another year’s expenses.
Once you have determined a figure and started to save, make sure to keep any budgeted money for fixing the automobile separate from any cash that is meant for other purposes. This eliminates the temptation to use it for a meal out with friends or for buying a new outfit. A savings account is perfect for this because it allows users to earn a little bit of interest throughout the year that can also be used toward mechanical issues.