If your car needs urgent mechanical repairs, you might be in a tricky position. Whether you’ve got an upcoming MOT test to pay for, or your car has broken down the week before payday, covering the costs can feel almost impossible at times. Don’t panic: you might be surprised to learn that there are several things you can do to improve the situation.

No matter the extent of the damage, it’s always worth knowing how to deal with emergency car maintenance.

How to get your car fixed, quickly and cheaply
1. Try to find an affordable mechanic

The first step might feel like the most labour-intensive, but it’s important to make sure you can find a mechanic that you trust to get the work done without costing you a fortune. Unfortunately, you might be more likely to be overcharged at certain garages too.

According to a 2022 survey, at least half of drivers believe that they’re overcharged when they get their car fixed. Try to persevere and call several different mechanics to get a quote before agreeing to take it into a certain garage. If you’re not sure of the issue, you’ll need to get a diagnosis first. In that case, you might need to rely on word of mouth.

2. Explore finance options

If you’ve booked your car in for repairs and you can’t afford the costs upfront, it’s important to make sure you can pay by the time you come to collect your car. Your first port of call should be using your credit card, as long as you’re well within your limit. This will allow you to delay the payment until after payday.

There are various finance options available to choose from. If you’ve got a good credit score and you’re not facing difficulty with debt already, then taking out a loan could be the most sensible option to cover car repairs.

Traditional finance sources including as banks and credit unions might be able to offer fast approval and disbursement. Alternative options, including payday loans, could offer a faster solution with higher risk – so you’ll need to weigh out the pros and cons.

3. Get comprehensive car insurance

Comprehensive car insurance is invaluable. The right policy will simplify the process ofcovering unforeseen damages, including those resulting from accidents or natural disasters. You may still need to pay an excess, but costs could be considerably lower.

There are different levels of cover available when it comes to car insurance, so it’s important to make sure that you’re choosing an appropriate policy. Don’t forget breakdown cover to smooth out the recovery process too.

Comprehensive car insurance policies protect you and your car, no matter the circumstances. If you need to borrow someone else’s car while yours is being repaired, it’s worth considering short-term or one-day car insurance to avoid taking extra risks.

Third-party insurance will only cover damage to someone else’s car, alongside potential compensation costs if you injured another person. If you were to damage your own vehicle, you wouldn’t be covered with that type of policy.

4. Look after your car

Regular at-home maintenance could serve as a preventative measure in future. You can reduce the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns by following simple good habits like checking your tyre pressure and tread, topping up your car’s coolant, oil, and windscreen wash, and investigating any noise as soon as you notice it.

Lastly, even though a breakdown can be stressful for anyone, it’s important not to let the situation take over. Try to stay calm and collected and make sure that you’re in control of organising repairs, alternative transport, and comprehensive cover wherever necessary.

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