Repairing your car on a tight budget is not easy. Vehicles are of course a very costly pursuit at time, but a necessary one for so many of us. So with that in mind, we thought it may be useful to look at how you could keep your vehicle safely on the road without spending a fortune. Here are some options that may be available to you.
You can make some real savings here, if you know your way around a vehicle. That is not all of us, naturally. But you could consider learning some of the basics to cover yourself in future. Alternatively, we all know someone who is handy with cars. So if you have a friend or family member that can help you out, consider it. You can attempt the smaller jobs, such as making an oil change or replacing a bulb. Thus you save cash that normally a garage would bill you for. This is for labour by a mechanic and perhaps parts you yourself can source.
Oil is essential for your car to function seamlessly. Its function is to reduce the friction wearing away the engine and moving parts. Consider doing the following: once a month check your car’s oil level. You do this easily enough by using the dipstick under the bonnet. Top up the oil if necessary. Always ensure you use the correct grade for your car and take care not to overfill the engine.
Windscreens crack quite easily if chips are left unattended. What’s more, damaged paintwork can quickly lead to rusty bodywork, especially during winter. A damaged windscreen will need professional repair, scratched paintwork is easier to touch up. So it is a job you may consider doing yourself. If your windscreen gets chipped, most insurers will cover the cost of a repair without you having to pay extra. Your no claims discount should not be adversely affected.
Independent garages – find a local mechanic you can trust by listening to friend and family recommendations and checking online reviews, you could easily save a tidy sum on fixing your car. According to the Money Advice Service, franchised garages charge much more than independent ones for repairs. This may not surprise many of you. The national average hourly rate way back in 2013 was £95.83 for a franchised garage, compared with £60.68 for an independent one. Those figures are no doubt even higher now. So each hour you can see you can save a significant amount by going independent.
A last resort, but do not automatically discount this one! Visit scrapyards to find replacement parts for your car, like a door or wing mirror. Pick these up for a fraction of the price rather than paying top dollar at a dealership. Alternatively use the internet to source parts. You effectively have the whole world at your fingertips.