How to keep my repair costs down on my used car
Buying a used car comes with a number of advantages over purchasing a brand new vehicle. For starters, you are looking at a lower sticker price for a car that may not be that much different from the brand new model on the lot that may cost literal thousands of dollars more. Opting for a used car can also allow you to choose from a wider variety of makes and models that wouldn't be available in your price range if you were buying them new, and it also gives you a chance to score some pretty sweet upgrades, like satellite navigation, leather seats, or sunroofs, that would be way out of your price range on a brand new car.
However, some people are still a little wary of buying a used car because they fear that they will find themselves stuck with a lemon. After all, how can you ever really know for sure what a car has been through with its previous owner? Even if you go through a highly reputable used car dealer who shows you a Carfax report and details every repair, no matter how minor, upon your request, there's still the factor of age. A 3-year-old car, even one in top condition, has simply sustained more wear and tear than a brand new car fresh from the manufacturing plant. How can you ever really know whether you will end up on the hook for some costly major repairs down the road?
The short answer is, you can't. While this is even true for new cars to some extent, potential repair costs are something that a person who is thinking of purchasing a used car must take into consideration. The good news is, there are ways to keep those costs for repair to a minimum so that you can enjoy your used car to the fullest. Here are some of the best things you can do to keep repair costs down on a used vehicle.
You know those manufacturer warranties they offer you at the dealership when you purchase a brand-new vehicle? Well, it's harder to get one of those from your dealer if you're buying a used car. However- and not everyone knows this- some insurance companies offer supplemental mechanical breakdown coverage that acts in much the same way as an extended warranty by offsetting repair costs. Most used car buyers search for "extended auto warranties". Extended warranties are actually either Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (in California) or a Vehicle Service contract (in the rest of the USA). If you are in California, be sure to check out Olive: https://gogetolive.com/. For a low monthly premium payment, your coverage will help you to pay only a small deductible for minor and major repairs, saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Considering that the average repair bill in America runs between $500 and $600, mechanical breakdown coverage is something you'll want to think about investing in for sure.
Do Your Homework
It's sad but true- some mechanics out there drive up the costs for vehicle repair because they can tell the driver doesn't know anything about cars. This can be especially true for women, who tend to fall victim to repair cost markups by mechanics who assume they don't know how cars work. The simplest way to avoid this pitfall is to know your stuff. Do some research on your vehicle's symptoms, and also come to your mechanic equipped with the knowledge of how much the necessary parts tend to cost, with labour, at a reputable repair centre.
Get a Second Opinion
Have you ever taken your car into the shop only to receive an astronomical estimate for repair? Sure- we all have! Before you come out of pocket with that exorbitant amount because you think you have no other choice, remember that it's always OK to get a second opinion from a different mechanic. Think about it: if you went to a doctor and received a horrible diagnosis, you wouldn't just stop there, would you? Chances are you'd get a second opinion from a different doctor so you could make an informed decision about your next steps. That is exactly what you should do for your car! By getting a second mechanic to weigh in, you can be certain that your car is getting the repairs it needs at the best price.
Keep an Eye Out for Discounts
Before you throw away that flyer you just got in the mail for 15% off an oil change, think twice! Being on the lookout for a discounted car repair can save you a bundle in the long run. Take advantage of special offers on routine vehicle service, brake repair, and more when they become available. Also, don't be shy about asking your mechanic if he or she offers any discounts for students, military veterans, teachers, or anything that is applicable to you. More often than not, there are deals you don't even know about that can save you a good chunk of change for both minor and major car repairs. It never hurts to ask!
Owning a car comes with considerably more costs than you may think at first. The sticker price is just the tip of the iceberg! But with careful planning, an eye for a deal, and comparison-shopping savvy, you can keep the costs for repair as low as possible on your used vehicle.
Shafiul Azam is a digital marketing specialist, who has been providing link building services for quite a long time. Apart from link building, he also provides writing services. He has been able to manage a lot of end-to-end digital projects throughout his entire career. Travelling and photography are in Shafiul's veins.