If you own a car, the chances are it has a pretty big role in your life – whether it’s for business reasons or leisure. Research shows that UK drivers believe having access to a car is more essential than ever – thanks largely to the coronavirus pandemic.
But having your own car can be counter-productive if it’s unreliable. And it could end up costing more than you bargained for if you don’t know how to keep those car maintenance bills, plus scratch and dent repair services, to a minimum.
Why is car maintenance so important?
In the first instance, there’s the obvious upfront cost of buying a car in the first place. But you also have other costs to bear in mind when running a car. Fuel, insurance, tax – it’ll all add up. So, the last thing you need is to push that financial burden up even more by paying out for all those repair bills and maintenance fixes that can – in some cases – be avoided.
How to avoid expensive car repair bills
One really simple tip to help you avoid potentially expensive car repair bills is to have your car serviced regularly. In your car handbook, it should tell you how often you should do this. In a lot of cases, one year between services isn’t unreasonable. But be sure to check. Not only can this reduce repair bills, but it makes it more likely that your car will pass its annual MOT.
You can also do a couple of things to help keep your car in tip-top condition. The first is simple DIY maintenance – such as checking your fluid levels and that your tyres are properly inflated. The second is to make small changes to how you drive. If you like tearing around corners, you could put more pressure on things like your suspension and wheels than if you took it slow.
What if you need to get your car repaired?
Sometimes, however, serious repairs can be unavoidable. After all, parts are more likely to fail after repeated and long-term use. If you find yourself facing a sizeable maintenance bill, it can also be a stressful time. Not only is your car possibly out of use until it’s fixed, but the strain it puts on household finances can be immense – especially if you don’t have savings or money readily available and you don’t have the best credit score.
One solution is to apply for a bad credit loan to help you get back up and running, provided you can meet the repayment terms comfortably. It can be an effective way for car owners to spread the cost of a huge maintenance bill over a longer period. And it can be a useful lifeline if it’s a significant expense that you couldn’t see coming. As long as you can afford to pay the loan back each month, it can make a car repair bill less stressful.
You can also reduce the cost of a car repair bill by shopping around and comparing quotes from various mechanics and garages. It can give you a much better understanding of what you need fixing and how much it should cost. Don’t forget to see if your car is covered by a manufacturer warranty too, especially if it’s relatively new. If so, you may be protected against repair costs.
When something as important as our car fails, the effect on the rest of our life can be immense. But knowing how to look after your vehicle and cover any potential repair costs can make a big difference. It’ll keep you on the road longer, your family safer, and make certain chores easier.