Don’t Forget to Budget for the Unexpected with a New Car


Repairs may be the last thing on your mind as you shop for a new vehicle. Cars driven right off the lot shouldn’t come with a host of problems. That’s why you’re upgrading vehicles in the first place — to avoid the increasingly expensive maintenance of an older car. Buying a lemon defeats the purpose of this upgrade.

Unfortunately, the unexpected can strike any time, anywhere, and to anyone — including new car owners—and your warranty (if you have one) won’t always cover it. You can need a new tire after driving over a nail or have to replace a broken window after someone tries to break into your car.

Acknowledging these possibilities is the first step to being prepared. So, take a peep at this guide below. It offers some insights on how you can manage the unexpected.

How Much Should You Budget for Repairs?

Your car, road conditions, and climate all play a role in how much maintenance and repairs will cost. That said, the American Automotive Association (AAA) recommends that most drivers set aside at least $50 every month to cover routine maintenance and deal with unexpected car troubles. Over one year, these savings add up to an impressive $600.

However, the AAA admits that — while most repairs costs average $500–$600 — some take as much as $1,000. Saving $50 is just a baseline. Anything extra you can squirrel away will help you be more prepared for more complicated repairs.

How to Handle Unexpected Car Repairs

An emergency fund is the single best way to repair your vehicle. But let’s face it — emergencies can happen before you tuck away enough cash in this fund. Just a little bit short, you might reach for a credit card, but these might be maxed by new car expenses.

If this usual safety nets are unavailable, you have a few options. Check them out below:

1. Research How to Qualify for a Quick Personal Loan Online

A quick personal loan online can help bridge the financial gap. Check to see what you need to apply successfully.

Before you apply, you’ll want to know how to choose the right loan for your unique financial situation. Take the time to compare rates and terms between lenders, and see how these affect your future payments. While you might have to put some fun expenses on hold to cover these payments, you don’t want to accept anything that would be challenging to repay.

2. Ask for Repair Financing

Some auto shops will offer their own form of personal loan. These payment plans often work like installment loans, which break up your total owing over multiple payments. You can make installment payments against your balance and pay off your repair over time.

Like quick personal loans, payment plans may come with interest and finance charges. Treat them like any borrowing option, researching fees, to ensure you can afford their terms.

3. Go to Another Auto Shop

The need for repairs is legit, but do you have a gut feeling the costs are less so? If you think your first-choice mechanic is overcharging you, take your vehicle to another auto shop.

First, check out the Blue Book and other legit sources to find the average costs of your repair. Then, ask friends and family if they have a good, reliable mechanic who charges fair prices. Read online reviews and see if anyone on your community message boards have recommendations.

A new car shouldn’t break down soon after you get the keys. But stranger things have happened. Between this guide and frequent maintenance, you’ll be prepared.