What do you do if your finances are tight and you have an auto accident that causes damage to your vehicle? Some people have collision insurance and the auto insurance company will cover the costs of repairs. What if you do not? There are ways to save money on auto repairs after an accident. Here are some tips you can use.
Don’t Think A Car Accident Won’t Happen To You
You may be thinking that you will never know what it is like to have to worry about finances and auto repairs after an accident because you won’t ever be in an accident. No matter how careful you are, there is always a risk that you will be in an accident. As a matter of fact, the odds are very likely that you will at some point be in a car accident.
According to the DOT, there are about 733 auto accidents every hour of every day somewhere in the United States. In total, there are about 5 million car accidents each year. The odds of being in a car accident that results in property damage are about 88% for every driver.
Being prepared to deal with the damage that you may incur is important. The first tip below can help to preserve your finances after a car accident.
Choose Collision Coverage
You can opt-in for collision coverage to better protect your vehicle. Of course, if finances are tight, it can be difficult to pay the higher premium. However, if you have a newer model car, it may be worth the additional monthly premium cost. Balance your options carefully before you dismiss the idea of paying more for better coverage. In the end, it may be the smarter route to take for your finances. If that is just not an option, continue reading the tips below.
Is DIY an Option For You?
If you have the skill set, you can absolutely DIY auto accident damage. There are plenty of tutorials online that will talk you through the steps of all types of auto body repair. Of course, you will still have to invest in the parts and maybe some tools, but it will ding your finances considerably less to fix the damage yourself.
You can find most parts online at significant savings. For example, a piece of trim that is valued at about $5 will carry about a 5,000% markup at a retail outlet. Online, the markups are usually much lower because online retailers usually have lower overhead, according to Forbes.
Another way to save on parts is to head over to the “junkyard” or “car recycling center”. Many car parts can be recycled and often are taken through a salvage yard. You can find tremendous savings by getting your parts from an auto salvage dealer. About 80% of a vehicle can be recycled, and 20% cannot (the 20% of parts that cannot be recycled is called ASR-auto shredder residue) according to The Balance.
Consider Bartering Your Services
Not everyone has the skills or the time to deal with DIY auto body repairs, but that does not mean there are no ways to keep your finances in check with savings on auto repairs after an accident. Consider bartering your services with an auto body shop. Let’s say you have a skill set that an auto body shop can benefit from. For example, you are a painter, a carpenter, you install floors, you clean houses, or have any other skill set that you can trade for car repairs. You can offer your services to the body shop, buy your parts online, and perhaps realize some great savings to keep your finances in order. Sometimes you have to get crafty to protect your finances. Bartering is a great way to save. Of course, you have to put in the sweat equity but you will still come out on top.
Making your finances a priority in all situations is important. Don’t just write the check for auto repairs after an accident. Find unique ways to save money. Ask for discounts. Search for the lowest-priced parts, and do what you can yourself to save.