How Much Does It Cost To Repair a Car’s Electrical System?
Car expenses don’t end with monthly auto loan payments. Like anything you own, a vehicle requires regular maintenance and may occasionally need a repair or inspection. Electrical issues, in particular, can come up suddenly and need immediate attention. Here is a breakdown of what you can expect when it comes to car electrical repair cost.
How much does a car electrical repair cost?
How much it costs to fix an electrical problem in a car depends on where you live and where you get your car repaired. Generally, car mechanics charge for both labor and the cost of parts. If you’re concerned about having issues with your vehicle, you can purchase an extended car warranty to avoid paying out-of-pocket for issues that may come up after your manufacturer’s warranty expires.
It’s wise to ask around for a car repair estimate with at least three mechanics. This way, you can find a mechanic that best fits your budget. Here are some common car electrical repair costs:
Typical car electrical replacement costs
Source: Kelley Blue Book
How to build an emergency fund to afford car electrical repair costs
An unexpected car repair can put you in a bad position if you can’t afford to cover the expense, especially if you heavily rely on your vehicle for transportation. To avoid this, build an emergency fund ahead of time so you won’t have to put the service on a credit card or take out other debt.
Create a monthly budget to track both your income and expenses. From there, if you need to, eliminate certain expenses to afford putting more money toward your savings. Ideally, you want to set aside 5% of your income and save up enough money to cover three to six months of necessary expenses.
If any current debt is preventing you from saving, you can budget to pay off debt.
How to pay for car repairs with no money
The most cost-effective way to pay for car electrical repairs is with an emergency fund. However, if you’re strapped for cash and can’t afford to save up money for a car repair, consider these alternatives:
- Payment plan: Some mechanics offer auto repair payment plans that allow you to break up the cost into increments. Before you agree to a repair and while you call around for estimates, be sure to ask the mechanic if this is an option. If they do, be sure to ask about any fees or interest they may charge.
- 0% APR credit card: This option may be best for those with good credit. However, some companies allow you to prequalify for a credit card at no cost to your credit score, so it may be worth applying for even if your credit is poor. A 0% intro APR credit card allows you to avoid paying interest for the first few months of opening the card and can save you money as long as you pay it off before the promotional period ends.
- Personal loan: A personal loan can come with high interest rates if you don’t have a good credit score, but they do offer fixed terms and rates, unlike credit cards. Personal loans are flexible in how they can be used, with some lenders even offering emergency loans with fast funding. As with credit cards, be sure to shop around and check if you prequalify for a personal loan.
- Payday alternative loan: If your credit is poor and your budget is tight, another option to finance your electrical car repairs is to apply for a payday alternative loan (PALs). PALs are unsecured small loans offered by credit unions, so you’ll likely have to become a credit union member to qualify for one. Though not common, this is a much financially healthier option than getting a payday loan.