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If youve wrecked your car without insurance but its still driving without much difficulty, youre one of the lucky ones! It means that most of the damage was simply cosmetic, even though the repairs would cost too much to be worthwhile. Youve bought yourself a bit of time so you can make a more informed decision. Plus, your car will still have more value than one that doesnt drive at all.
You might decide to keep driving your salvage vehicle for a time. But when you need to get a state inspection, your car probably wont pass. So, the time youve bought wont last forever.
Your best bet is to sell your totaled car while you can, driving or not. In that way, you can recoup at least some of its salvage value. You could put it toward your next vehicle, or use the money to pay for damages on the other partys claim against you.
Branded Cards From Your Mechanic Or Auto Supply Store
Some mechanics or auto parts stores offer financing options for car repairs through branded credit cards.
Synchrony offers a Synchrony Car Care credit card in partnership with a number of major auto repair chains including Midas, NAPA Auto Parts and Discount Tire that allows customers to apply for a co-branded credit card that can be used to pay for repairs, maintenance, gas and more.
And Napa AutoCare, for example, offers customers a NAPA EasyPay credit card through Synchrony that includes some perks and no annual fee for new cardholders.
How To Find A Good Deal
If you want to find the best deal or choose the most affordable vehicle repair loans, experts recommend getting at least three estimates and compare conditions at several repair shops. The same is true for lending institutions. Dont hurry with your decision. Taking a little more time to shop around may bring you potential discounts or reduced rates.
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Will Gap Insurance Cover A Totaled Car With No Insurance
Nope. You see, gap insurance is only in effect IF you have collision or comprehensive insurance coverage. You might wonder why, but its because there needs to be an insurance payout, otherwise theres no difference for gap insurance to pay out.
If thats the case for you, it could be a doubly bad situation. Youre stuck with a totaled car that youre still paying for, PLUS youve been paying gap insurance and unable to use it.
Initially, it looks like a small price to pay. Gap insurance is about 5 percent of the insurance cost for your vehicle. But add it up, and it can cost significantly more than it will ever pay out to you.
The good news is that, in most cases, you can apply for a gap insurance refund after total loss. Say you have a 48-month car loan and your car is a total loss after just a year. You can apply for a refund for premiums paid for the remaining 36 months.
Will I Get A Loaner Car
For the most part, car manufacturers dont owe owners of recalled cars anything more than a timely and safe repairnot even a cup of stale showroom coffee. For example, when BMW issued an airbag-related recall in 2019 that ordered owners not to drive their vehicles, the automaker said that those affected wouldnt get substitute transportation.
Although provision of a loaner car isnt required by federal law, manufacturers will occasionally provide one, says Jason Levine, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety. It never hurts to ask, he says. Dealers can choose to offer a loaner vehicle at their own expense, as well.
But in reality, you won’t likely need a loaner as most recall repairs can be addressed in an hour or two.
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Local Community Action Agencies
You can find local community action agencies in every state and town. They have only one sole intention that they provide transportation needs and employment assistance to needy people. Each action agency has their assistance programs and also have some qualifications for them. So, when a person met with the eligibility requirements they will help them through their assistance program.
Some of those provide the free car repair and some other provides your referral to the local mechanics. The mechanics are willing to provide their services for free of cost and they did not take any labor charge from you for the car repair.
These local action agencies also provide low-cost loans for car repairing and maintenance of the car. Along with this, they also offer free transportation for a job interview, medical appointment, or other emergencies. The government partially provides funds to these local agencies. So, can get hope from them to get transportation help and repairing of the vehicle.
Ways To Avoid Car Repair Debt And Save Money On Repairs
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. I would earn a little money with no extra cost to you. The opinions expressed are my own. Read my disclaimer to learn more.
Car repairs suck, especially when you have no money to pay for them.
And since you cant predict when car troubles are going to pop up, its best to have a plan to avoid going into debt to pay for car repairs. Im all about finding ways to avoid debt and I want to help you do the same.
A 2020 survey from Lending Tree found that 43% of Americans have gone into debt from car repairs. Diving a little further, 28% of people surveyed wouldnt be able to cover $500 of car repairs. That can be a recipe for disaster and thousands of dollars of debt over car repairs.
Read that again
The good news is, there are a bunch of ways to avoid car repair debt. And if youve gone through all the work of getting out of debt with a debt snowball spreadsheet, having a plan for paying for car repairs is a MUST to stay debt free.
Each of these car repair tips require some research and effort, but if you do it right, you can save a bundle on your car expenses.
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Working Cars For Working Families
The Working Cars for Working Families is a national agency and they work for helping individuals and families who are facing transportation troubles. Especially, for low-income families, who provide help financially or providing them used cars. They want that every low-income family who needs the transportation service will get help and for this, they help with many other local agencies so that people will get help from there instantly.
This national agency also provides help to people to get information on how and where one can ask for free auto repair assistance. To know more and get all information in detail you can check on their official website and get information for their services as well. Get free cars for needy people and families.
Can A Used Car Thats For Sale Have An Open Recall
Unfortunately, yes. Federal law specifically bans the sale of new cars with open recalls, but no similar law exists for used cars.
That means consumers are largely on their own. Before you purchase a car, enter its VIN at nhtsa.gov/recalls and check to see if it has any unrepaired recalls. If there are any outstanding recalls, make sure to get them fixed ASAP.
If youre buying from a used-car dealership, ask that they address the open recalls before taking delivery. Like a consumer, they can bring the car to a new car dealership to have the work performed free of charge. Some retailers may not be equipped to do this. As with buying from a private seller, you may need to handle this task yourself.
With any used car, you should have a mechanic inspect it before you purchase it. Although this inspection will cost money up front, it’s well worth it: If the prior owner neglected to get recall work done, they may have skipped maintenance and repair issues, too.
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Talk To Your Mechanic
Make sure you understand what the problem is. Talk to your mechanic about the fix. Is there a less expensive option available?
Through this conversation you can also learn if the repair is needed immediately, or if your car is still drivable without it. For instance, a broken oxygen sensor can trigger your check engine light to come on. But, you can still drive the car without replacing the sensor.
Of course, with the light on all the time, you might miss another problem, and you wont pass an emissions inspection. But, this is a repair you could put off until you have some extra funds.
This conversation will give you the knowledge you need to make an informed decision.
You can also find out if there are any discounts available. See if your mechanic offers an AAA discount or a senior discount. Some do, so see if there are any discounts available you qualify for. This can help lower the bill and make it more manageable.
How Will I Find Out About A Recall
For recalls of all sizes, car companies must send official recall notices via first-class mail, with “Safety Recall Notice” and federal logos printed on the label. The notice must explain any potential safety hazard and detail when and how people can get the problem corrected, Wallace says.
Mailed notices often go out days or even weeks after a recall is first announced online, however. Sometimes mailed recall notices dont reach second or third owners, and automakers may be unable to contact vehicle owners who have changed addresses without notifying their local registry of motor vehicles. Thats why CR recommends signing up for a recall reminder servicesuch as CRs Recall Trackeror using NHTSAs SaferCar app.
Major recalls are often part of national news coverage, including on CR.org.
Sometimes a recall will only include specific vehicles, rather than every vehicle within a given model year. This explains why you may hear about a recall but not receive a notification. But it is best to be proactive. Its important to have your vehicles unique vehicle identification number on hand when checking for recalls. A VIN is a 17-digit combination of numbers and letters, and it can usually be found at the bottom outside of the windshield on the drivers side. You will need this number not only when checking for a recall but when contacting your dealer to schedule a repairso keep it handy.
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How To Determine If A Repair Credit Card Is Right For You
A repair credit card can be the right choice for you if you have the discipline to pay off the card IN FULL during the promotional period.
Under no circumstances should you use a repair credit card if you wont be able to pay it off during the promotional period.
This is because of the high-interest rates on these cards.
Even though the companies claim there is no interest, interest still accrues.
Even worse, youll end up paying all the accrued interest if you dont pay off the card within the promotional window.
Heres how these cards work:
Once you pay for the repair with your card, the credit card company will then begin adding interest.
You wont have to pay this interest immediately. It will build up in another account.
To calculate the interest, your credit card uses whats called the daily balance method.
If you fell asleep during accounting 101, dont worry, the daily balance method is simple. The way it works:
Fix Your Car Using A Personal Loan
Personal loans are typically borrowed from a bank, credit union, or online lender. This money is repaid in fixed monthly payments, or installments, typically over two to seven years. Access to personal loans is based on your credit and other factors.
Depending on your credit, you may be eligible to receive hundreds or even thousands of dollars with a personal loan. However, as with credit cards, a personal loan can accumulate a lot of interest if you do not pay it off quickly.
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How Do I Estimate Car Repairs
Estimating repair costs using our tool is the best and easiest way to know how much you can expect to pay, based on what others have paid. For example, suppose your vehicles fuel filter needs replacing. In that case, the tool will pull up pricing in your local area represented as a Fair Repair Range, including parts and labor. The Fair Repair Range is Kelley Blue Books estimate of what you can reasonably expect to pay at a dealership.
With An Extended Warranty Youll Never Pay Out Of Pocket For Covered Repairs
What if I told you an extended warranty could save you over $5,000 dollars?
If you have an extended warranty from Protect My Car, youll never have to worry about paying for expensive car repairs ever again.
An extended warranty is insurance for the most expensive parts of your car.
If your car breaks down, well step in to pay for the repairs, so you dont have to. You wont have to worry about budgeting, applying for loans, or negotiating with the mechanic for a better price.
That $2,000-dollar transmission repair youre struggling to pay? If you have an extended warranty with Protect My Car, youll only pay the $100-dollar deductible, and well cover the rest.
Better yet, you wont have to pay out of pocket for it.
Well handle all of this for you, so you can sleep easy at night.
Plus, our plans include a variety of other benefits
With 24/7 roadside assistance, youll never be stranded on the side of the road.
And dont worry about the rental car. Well take care of that for you.
Better yet, well even negotiate with the mechanic for you so you dont have to.
Even better, if you get an Ambassador plan, youll never pay for oil changes or tire rotations again. Weve got you covered.
Our affordable plans have a predictable cost you can count on, and unlike auto repair loan financing options our vehicle service contracts dont have an interest.
Plus, if youre working to rebuild your credit theres no credit check.
About Protect My Car
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See If Your Car Repair Is Covered By Your Auto Insurance
The first thing you should do when you learn that you need to have a car repair done is contact your auto insurance company about it. If the car repair is a direct result of an accident or vandalism, your auto insurance policy may cover the cost of the repair that needs to be made.
You will need to pay a deductible in most cases, even if your auto insurance company agrees to pay for the car repair. But often times, your deductible will be just a fraction of the total cost of the repair, so itll save you a lot of money in the end.
There is, of course, a chance that your auto insurance company will say the car repair you need to have done isnt covered by your policy. But it never hurts to ask your auto insurance company if they can cover your car repair before you agree to have the repair done.
How To Find Free Car Repair For Low Income Families
This post may contain affiliate links. If you complete a purchase using one of our links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more about our editorial and advertising policies.
Looking for free car repair for low income families? Youre not alone! Weve heard from thousands of people who need help with low cost auto repair and weve found help all around the country!
At Low Income Relief, we are dedicated to helping people in need connect with resources in their local communities. This list will walk you through some nationwide resources and some additional organizations that may be able to point you in the right direction. At the end, well have a state-by-state list detailing all of the auto repair resources weve found. If you dont see your area in that list, let us know in the comments!
Were constantly researching and updating our articles with new information so be sure to check back often for updates.
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If Youre Struggling To Come Up With Cash For An Emergency Auto Repair Youre Not Alone
According to a AAA survey, a new car costs an average of almost $1,200 per year to maintain and repair and only one-third of U.S. drivers are financially prepared to cover unexpected repair costs.
If you need an auto repair thats not covered by your warranty or your insurance, and you dont have the cash on hand, there are a few ways to help you get the financing you need. Lets review some options and compare pros and cons of each.