How to Pay for Car Repairs with No Money: Know Your Options

How to Pay for Car Repairs with No Money: Know Your Options

Updated: July 15, 2022

8 Min Read

The lack of money can put many people under strain for many of life’s necessities. For example, if you have a car and use it every day to go to work, your vehicle is necessary. But your car can break down now and then. It is also natural if you don’t have money to fix it immediately. What do you do? You need this car to go to work, and you cannot just leave it broken.

During a recent AAA survey, around 25% of American drivers said they can’t repair their car because of bad economic conditions. They really could not afford to pay $2,000 to get their car fixed. At the same time, one in eight Americans cannot even pay $1,000 dollars. Having a savings account for such cases is a must and can help a lot in the long term. But what do you do when you don’t have the cash on hand to fix your car? How to pay for car repairs with no money?

If your car needs either minor or extensive repairs and you’re low on funds, do not lose hope. The following options may help you find a viable solution to getting the cash you need for auto repairs.

Apply for a Personal Loan

A way how people come up to afford their auto repair is through personal loans. Provided you have a clean credit record; you can apply for a personal loan as a quick way to get cash. It would be best to speak to a loan consultant about rates and how much money you qualify for. You may be eligible to take out a loan that exceeds the amount to repair your vehicle. Nonetheless, you should only apply for the cash you need to avoid unnecessary debt.

Apply for a Quick Loan!Apply

One of the advantages of personal loans is that they can consolidate existing debt. Personal loans are also easy to apply, as easy as online no fax payday loans. If you are looking for a quick way to get the cash you need, personal loans will make it possible. They are also perfect to finance an urgent car repair.

When you want to get a personal loan, consider that you need a clean credit record to be approved if you’re going to apply for the loan. Even if you have a good credit score, the traditional lender could refuse the required amount.

Suppose a personal loan is not an option for you. In that case, you can try other alternatives, such as online same day payday loans for bad credit or auto lenders. They’re a much better option for those who have bad credit or no credit score at all.

Try Auto Repair Loans or Auto Lenders

You can easily become overwhelmed when you’re struggling financially, and your car breaks down. However, there are some available options for fast auto repair financing. Some companies specialize in providing auto repair loans intended for quick vehicle repairs. Once your auto lender approves your loan request, you get the funds. Make sure to check the payment terms before signing an agreement.

One of the online auto loan benefits is that you can get immediately approved for the loan even if you have a bad credit score. If your credit score is too low and you are unable to get a loan from lenders, you can try applying for a tribal loan from tribal lenders who have even lower requirements for all applicants. The lenders don’t perform hard credit checks, which means your current credit score won’t be affected. More than that, you could build your credit rating, making on-time payments, ultimately improving your credit score.

Nevertheless, auto loans have some downsides, too. In case you don’t make payments on the agreed due dates, your car can get repossessed. Borrowers are usually able to opt for 24- to 72-month loans. The major difference between them is the interest and payment amount.

Get a Personal Loans from a Family Member or a Friend

If you don’t like car repair loans, there is another option you can choose. You can find some money for auto repair financing by asking for help. That’s right. There is no shame and nothing wrong with asking for help. The money is not handed out to you. You get to repay it on time, to the person who is helping you. The benefit of it is that they won’t ask for additional charges and interest fees.

You can try and get a loan from a family member or a friend. You can approach them with a smart payment plan to convince them to give you a personal loan. It can be tricky and might look like a shameful move sometimes, but you don’t have to worry until you have a solid plan that makes sure your relationship is not stained.

Check out Car Repair Insurance Options

Even though people might not think this a lot, insurance companies are among the best options for saving money for car repairing. Before you can say ‘I can’t afford my car repairs,’ see if maybe you can afford cheaper payments like auto insurance. It is much more beneficial to pay a smaller amount now and then and have your car fixed in case of accidents. Having to pay for an expensive auto repair yourself is not a budget-friendly option.

You must ensure costly assets in unforeseen circumstances such as car accidents, theft, or auto breakdowns. Insurance companies cover the costs of car damage, which could help you when you don’t have the cash on hand to pay for your vehicle’s repairs. You should select an insurance company that is customized to your needs to avoid stress and unnecessary expenditure.

There are some advantages to make deals with auto insurance providers, such as having your insurance cover the damage with small installments. You can even get your car replaced in case of theft. But the downsides are that insurance holders may have to pay deductibles before you can make claims. It would be best if you also considered that insurance costs are more than liability coverage, and premiums can increase after requests. However, members of AAA might find a trustworthy provider who offers roadside help. Having a provider offer emergency road services is crucial in the case of an accident.

Credit Card Coverage

Using your credit card to pay for repairs is quick and easy. Make sure you only use your credit card for emergencies. Credit cards can help you with all sorts of expenses that need immediate expenditure, such as healthcare, a replacement for lost or broken items, and of course, auto repairs. You are welcome to use your credit card to repair such minor damages as windshield scratches, cracks, dents, broken windows, busted headlights, paintwork, fused lights on the rear and front of your car.

The most notable advantages of credit card usage include an opportunity to instantly pay for the car repair. It doesn’t matter what sum you’re going to pay – you can return large amounts of money at a time as well. But before using your credit card as a payment method, consider that your installments increase after every payment, and the lender can extend payback time.
Nevertheless, credit cards can come in handy when you need them. But remember that you should use credit cards only for emergencies to avoid overspending.

Warning: How to Avoid Predatory Lending Practices

You might be feeling desperate right now, and your credit score might be horrible. Just because this is the case, don’t lose your composure. You might be considering a title loan to have some car repair credit, which you can use to fix your car. But you must be very careful in your decision making. There are a lot of companies out there that use predatory practices while offering title loans. What does predatory means? It means financial products with a high cost that target people like you who don’t have many options.

Title loans can be unregulated, and they can have sky-high interests that might shock you. You will find title loans with a normal APR of 300-500% and, in some cases, even 1000%. How do you avoid trouble if this is the only option you have left?

Make sure you stick to a short payment term to lower your interest rate and also get out of the deal as soon as possible. Another thing you should be asking about is affordable monthly payments. Ask if you can pay the car repair loan in installments.

Negotiate with the Mechanic

Go online and search for “cheap auto repairs near me”. You will find plenty of results. Nonetheless, one of the best options you might have is to talk to your mechanic about financing. For larger payments, most of the mechanics will give you the financing option. They help you to pay the whole sum month after month instead of all at once. See what is possible, but know that you will have to put the repairs on your credit card most of the time.

Talk to the mechanic about the issue that the car has. “I need my car fixed but have no money for it.” So, how can it be fixed less expensively? You can also ask the mechanic if the repair is mandatory at the moment or if the car is still usable. Ask your mechanic about the options that he offers to his clients and the deal you can make.

See what kind of car repair discounts are available that can be at your advantage. Negotiating is going to help have a win-win situation for both of you. Talking to your mechanic will also give you a better knowledge of the importance of the repair.

Shop Around

Don’t immediately go for the first option you find. If you can be immediately towed to the repair shop, then ok. But if you have time and opportunities, then you should take advantage of them, or at least you shop around. Look at the best price mechanics and see which one works better for you. You never know what you might find if you never look. Go to at least three or four different places and talk to other people before making your final decision.

Buy Used Parts, DIY or Sell Your Car

One of the best ways to lower your car’s cost is to buy used parts. New parts usually add to the cost of repair, but you can avoid paying a lot of money if you buy used parts. Maybe you don’t even need a mechanic to repair your car. There is a ton of information on the internet nowadays. Some videos on DIY car repair can teach you how to fix your car yourself and save a lot of money.

You can also decide to sell the car if you find it the best option. You can sell it as a damaged car for someone who maybe wants to fix it. Alternatively, you can sell its parts and try to make a little bit more money out of it.

Barter Agreements

Another alternative is to discuss a payment plan with the company that’s repairing your vehicle. They may offer better terms than loan companies or banks. You can even try your luck with bartering with the auto repair company. Perhaps you have a skill they could use, such as mechanical work, building maintenance, and assistance around the shop. Discuss your barter with the owner, and if you agree, put everything in writing to protect all parties involved.

Sometimes, you don’t manage to find yourself a good deal at a mechanic. You might even fail to fix the car yourself. In this situation, you could barter with someone in your local area, someone in your family, or perhaps a friend who is handy with cars. You can make a good deal with them where they spend their time fixing your car, and you return the favor somehow.


Don’t feel like you are financially stuck when you need auto repairs done: now, you have many finance options to pick from. You have to be willing enough to go out there and find the best option for yourself. That’s it. You can repair your car even during rainy financial days.


  • Charles R Fowler August 18 2022, 01:06

    Car broke down needs fixed so I go to doctor and store ty 0

  • Patty Spedding March 24 2022, 16:25

    Thank you for the helpful info!
    I too have a vast amount of information in my head. My question is how to capitalize on articles to write and make money s well?

  • Francine January 15 2022, 14:08

    Dear Michael,
    All of the options you have recommended are good but none of them are of any use to me because I lack the income, savings, credit card/credit due to a bankruptcy which could had been avoided had I had an honest attorney to help me rather than steel from me. My credit score was perfect w/only 1 late payment showing because I made the payment in person @ Bloomingdales on the due date which happened to be on a Sunday and was not posted until the following day on Monday making it a day late. Other than that, all payments on my accounts had always been paid on time. Here I am 13 years later still without a credit card to my name and a credit score of 8. Yes, that’s correct, it’s an 8. My annual income is under $24,000 and am soon to be homeless this spring with my son unless a miracle happens. What we need is a miracle. I’m not in a position to borrow money from anyone. I wouldn’t be able to repay the amount + interest. This just wouldn’t be possible for me. You’re article was well written and categorized, but, it’s of no help to me.

  • jose abas Vergara November 4 2021, 13:33

    Thank you very much for all this information that you shared . I learn a lot about solving my car problem. Your advice is very much helpful and i appreciate it very much. Thank once again and I hope your you will be able to help more people .

  • troyanna bray June 26 2021, 01:15

    have paid 3000$ to have my car fixed and now they want 2000$ more to do shocks ball joints and stabalisor and water pump. I just was suppose to start job and really wanted this job. I am a recovering addict and it seem like the harder I try the worse it gets. this is the 11th car ive had in 3 yrs because I keep getting scrude over and tired of it and sometimes just want to give up. I have nobody to help me I should say in recovery. I wish somebody would help me. I don’t know were to turn’ everywere I turn I get turned down always. if anybody knows a program that will help ill pay them back every weak till its paid off. somebody please point me in right direction please , im tired of getting turned down. thank you and now ill cry and pray.

  • Tracey June 24 2021, 05:59

    Oh Wow I just choked on my drink rn because only in a Perfect society are there car repair shops — whatsoever– who would do anything less than cash on delivery my friend. I’m talking Nobody will do that — ZERO. Unfortunately All other potential options you list are not real either. That’s why my car is still sitting for months on end as it needs a transmission, a possible motor, and couple of minor things done, and though I have completely paid off three (3) houses in my life, paid for at Least 4 vehicles, have worked my entire adult life until covid hit, I have no running vehicle, no job at the moment and no family or friends with that kinda cash in their back pocket to “loan” an unemployed person to fix my car. It’s impossible to try to go on interviews, much less go find my 17 year old son and try to help him all I can. I’m stuck on foot. Another problem is my car is a classic and if only I could fix it it would mean the difference in thousands or a few thousand dollars to sell it for a reliable vehicle rather than drag it to the scrapyard or sell it for parts. No, see around this state they only want cash on delivery. That’s a pipedream that ANY place would do any loan, especially for an unemployed recently divorced mother, no matter what I’ve paid off before. It just does not happen.

  • Thomson Smith May 11 2021, 18:03

    It’s valuable that you point out that an auto repair loan can help you get financing to fix your car. I need to get my car fixed as soon as possible so that I can commute to work, so I’m considering getting an auto repair loan. I’m going to search for a good business in my area that offers car repair loans.

  • Auto Repair Bronxville NY December 31 2020, 13:42

    Merit Auto Body Specializes in Auto Body Repair in Bronxville NY.

  • Paul Maresca December 16 2020, 23:53

    Though I was that mechanic (years ago, I’m too disabled now) but let me tell you that would work if one doesn’t have the funds to get their car repaired. For the most part the honest approach and sincere approach was the best! Overall I didn’t mind bartering my labor talents. but they would just have to pay for the parts. sure money money is always good but I would usually need there assistant talents as well.(haircut, computer repair, a nice cook dinner, yard work, painting, some house cleaning, etc.) basically things that I’m unable to do myself. I should say some of those things would actually cost me more if I had a company do all that. A example, I had volunteered to take care of a neighbor’s car, sure it was a good practice and they did at least provide the parts, but later on the parents happened to have a small farm so I was entitled to several bags a month of free fruits and vegetables! and boy were they were good. there was free for a whole year! so the rewards was just awesome! so in conclusion don’t ever be ashamed to be honest and sincere.

  • Tracykirkpatrick L Kirkpatrick December 6 2020, 19:57

    I need help paying to have my van fixed

  • Alan reno November 11 2020, 07:02

    In thirty five years of driving across this nation from verge to verge I have yet to run across a repair shop that accepted barter…and I’ll bet you mr writer haven’t either.

    • Paul Maresca February 8 2021, 19:26

      You are so right Alan! Mr writer definitely lacks reality and actual vehicle life experience!

  • Camilla Martz October 27 2020, 13:06

    These are all good recommendations for help fixing your automobile, but what if none works out? I have been on a payment deal before but times suck. Government has people with their hands tied due to the political games they play while Americans are left unemployed and stuck in a horrible situation.

  • Pen October 9 2020, 09:20

    It’s a very interesting idea about getting a installment payment from a repair shop directly. My mechanic, unfortunally, doesn’t offer such option, only full payment. May be you can advise reliable repair shops with similar payment options located near Denver, CO ?

    • Latoria Williams October 9 2020, 09:34

      Thank you for your feedback, Pen!
      Unfortunately, we do not possess such information. Our mission is to cover only the financial side of the subject.
      But we could suggest you look for the most commonly visited auto shops in your town and read some reviews of the previous customers before visiting those repair shops.

      All the best,

  • Papa Bear August 19 2020, 10:18

    I dont think that it’s a good idea to repair a car by yourself . especially if you dont have enough tech skills and experience. making small fixes , changing bulbs, adding liquids isnt a problem, but something more serious may be dangerous, though

    • Latoria Williams October 9 2020, 09:33

      Dear Papa Bear, thank you for your opinion!
      We agree with you – it’s quite difficult to repair a car by yourself. However, it’s indeed possible. We hope all our readers will think if they have enough experience for doing it on their own before considering this option.

      All the best,

  • Chum July 4 2020, 10:16

    You mentioned credit cards, why didn’t you say anything about a grace period ? We can use bank money for free during this time. I supppose it’s better than asking relatieves for borrowing money.

    • Latoria Williams October 9 2020, 09:32

      Dear Chum, thank you for your comment!
      We agree with you – there are a lot of different options on how to pay for a car repair. For now, we’ve emphasized the most commonly used options. We’ll definitely consider your suggestion!

      All the best,

  • Bjorn May 21 2020, 19:15

    Good point, thanks for bringing up the topic. Nowadays having a good well functioning
    car is a real luxury

    • Latoria Williams October 9 2020, 09:32

      Thank you, Bjorn!
      We’re happy we’ve succeeded in helping you to find the needed answers. We also totally agree that it’s a quite relevant topic and it’s undoubtedly useful for all people.

      All the best,

  • Jekis March 11 2020, 09:13

    Yeah, it would be nice!

  • Aria December 19 2019, 09:10

    it would be helpful if you’d also provide some tips on how to find cheap and reliable (honest!) car mechanics and repair shops, and maybe some exclusive car repair deals and offers too, thanks (:

    • Latoria Williams October 9 2020, 09:31

      Dear Aria, thank you for your interest!
      It’s a very interesting topic and I’m looking forward to covering it in another article! There is a myriad of tips on how to find trustworthy and skilled car mechanics. For now, we’ve only covered the financial side of the question.

      All the best,

  • jeremy October 9 2019, 09:03

    it’s very useful, thank you! i’d like to ask you, maybe, you know other options to use in this case?? i mean some deals or promotions from any auto shops

    • Latoria Williams October 9 2020, 09:30

      Thank you for your feedback, Jeremy!

      Regarding your question about other deals or promotions – each auto shop has its own list of promotions which is regularly updated. Thus, it’s better to look for some auto shops in your place of residence and stay tuned for more updates and upcoming deals.

      All the best,