How to Save Money on Car Repairs: A Savvy Car Owner’s Guide

Rouselle Isla

Rouselle Isla

Last updated January 27, 2023

Owning a car is a huge responsibility. Aside from cleaning your car effectively and regularly, you also need to ensure that all parts are well-maintained for your safety. Of course, you must also set a budget for all your car-related expenses, such as fuel, car insurance, and even toll fees.

With all these expenses, learning how to save money on car repairs will definitely be one of your priorities as a car owner. Car repairs are costly, so every little money-saving tip can go a long way.

How to Save Money on Car Repairs in the Philippines

You’re probably asking, “How much should I budget for car repairs?” Well, the amount really depends on the car problem or the repair required. But one thing’s for sure: it’s not cheap.

No need to fret, though. Check out these tips on how you can save money on expensive car repairs.  

✔️ Shop Around

how to save money on car repairs - shop around

Even if you have a go-to auto repair shop, it doesn’t hurt to look for other options. However, there are many car repair shops in the Philippines, and you can’t immediately tell which ones are good and which aren't.

Here's how to narrow it down:

  • Get recommendations from your friends and family. Check online and list down those with positive reviews and satisfied customers.
  • Once you’ve narrowed down your list, ask for estimates from two to three car repair shops to get an idea of the average repair cost for cars. Some may charge lower rates because they use secondhand parts, while others charge higher because they’re a more well-known brand with a solid reputation in the business.
  • Once you have a selection of car repair shops that seem legit, reliable, and affordable, compare rates to find one that fits your car repair budget. 
  • Whether you go for the cheapest or mid-range option is up to you. Remember that quality trumps quantity and that expensive doesn’t always mean good.

✔️ Have a Good Go-To Mechanic

If you don’t have a trusted mechanic, it’s best to shop around. Having a go-to mechanic not only saves you time but money as well.

That’s why building a good rapport and a long-lasting relationship with your mechanic is essential. He'll be more familiar with your car’s make, model, and history than another mechanic looking at it for the first time. You can rest assured that your car will be in good hands and that your mechanic will treat it as if it were his own.

Since you’ve already established a relationship with this mechanic, you can trust them to not do unnecessary repairs or overcharge you for easy car fixes.  

✔️ Read the Owner’s Manual

Yes, an owner’s manual comes with the car. This manual has everything you need to know about how your car works, including tips to keep it in good running condition.

Moreover, it tells you what to expect when you reach a specific mileage, including preventive maintenance. The owner’s manual also provides basic troubleshooting or repair tips for doing your own car maintenance.

✔️ Learn Automotive DIY Repair 

how to save money on car repairs - learn DIY repair

The most obvious way on how to save money on car repairs is to do it yourself. Some check-ups are easy enough if you take the time to learn. These include changing the oil, checking your fluids, replacing air filters, and checking the air pressure in your tires.

Other car repairs you can do yourself include repairing a dim headlight, replacing a headlight, or fixing a windshield washer. You can even troubleshoot when your car won’t start.

But leave the more complicated check-ups, replacements, and repairs to the experts. Otherwise, you can end up causing more significant and expensive damage.

Learn from the best DIY auto repair websites. You can even join different online forums and check the threads for answers to your car repair questions.

Get a free car insurance quote

✔️ Have Regular Preventive Maintenance

Preventive, not corrective―this is the main thing to remember if you want to know how to save money on car repairs. Minor car issues, such as an old spark plug or a misaligned wheel, can cause significant and costly repairs in the future.

If you just bought a brand-new car, use your free Preventive Maintenance Schedule (PMS) for your first 1,000 or 5,000 kilometers. It pays to diligently schedule routine preventive maintenance check-ups. Regularly checking your car gives you the peace of mind that you’re safe on the road with your car in good shape.

✔️ Check If Your Car Insurance Provider Gives Discounts

how to save money on car repairs - check if your insurance provider can offer discounts

Your car insurance will cover the costs of car repairs if it gets damaged due to a car accident or act of nature. However, car insurance doesn’t pay for everyday wear and tear.

Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) covers auto repairs due to mechanical failure not caused by a car accident or another peril typically covered by car insurance.[1] But not all insurance companies offer this particular insurance policy.

Moreover, MBI only covers newer vehicles or those below a particular mileage. The coverage is also very specific, similar to an extended warranty.

But you can always contact your car insurance provider to see if they can offer discounts or deals on non-accident-related car repairs. Insurance companies have a network of car repair shops that they can tap for policyholders needing car repairs. Going to a recommended or accredited shop can make you eligible for discounted rates.

But overall, you can save money on expensive car repairs with the right car insurance coverage.  

✔️ Get All the Work Done in One Visit

You'll be charged for labor every time you visit the car repair shop. If your mechanic can finish his repairs in one visit, you can save money and time.

✔️ Purchase the Car Parts Yourself

how to save money on car repairs - purchase parts yourself

Can you bring your own parts to a mechanic? Yes, some car mechanics accept parts they didn’t order themselves or source from their own car shop. By purchasing the car parts yourself, you can save a few bucks. Typically, parts sold in car repair shops are marked up.

However, you must buy correct, compatible, and high-quality parts that will stand the test of time. Some mechanics and car repair shops will ask you to sign a waiver if the parts you purchased break or become faulty. When that happens, the car mechanic or the car repair shop won’t be liable since you bought the parts.

Read more: 

Final Thoughts

If you maintain your car’s good condition and learn essential DIY car troubleshooting hacks, you can avoid major fixes that cost a fortune. With everything so expensive these days, knowing how to save money on car repairs can help ease a tight budget.

Having good car insurance coverage also helps. Whether you’re a newbie looking for your first policy or an existing policyholder planning to switch, explore and compare car insurance products on the Moneymax website. Once you find the right quote, you can apply without leaving the site. Best of all, it’s free!

Source: [1] Mechanical breakdown insurance (Policygenius)

Rouselle has over eight years of writing experience in the personal finance niche. She has written feature stories, articles, and how-to guides on various personal finance and trending lifestyle topics. Before that, she briefly worked in banking and was a licensed life insurance advisor. When not writing, Rouselle likes to read books and binge-watch films and series. Follow Rouselle on Linkedin.


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