Getting back on the road: Funding options for car repairs

Back on the Road

When it comes to putting the brakes on life, nothing does the job quite like a broken-down car. Whether you need the car to get to work, take the kids to school, do the shopping, visit family and friends or all of the above, when your car is out of action, you need to get it fixed as quickly as possible.

If you have the cash available or put aside to deal with emergencies, fixing your car is simple. But if you don't, what can you do? First of all, don't panic. There are solutions available to you. Let us talk you through some of your funding options for car repairs so you can get your wheels back asap.

First thing's first - check if your car repairs are covered in your warranty or insurance

This should be your very first thought when your car needs repairing. If you need car repairs because you have been in an accident, or if your car has been hit by another car while stationary, for example, your repair costs are likely to be covered by the other driver's insurance. This means you can have your car repaired at a garage and the insurance company should settle the bill with the mechanics.

If there is something wrong with your car that wasn't caused by an accident, you may still have the costs covered if your car is under a warranty taken out with the dealership at the time of purchase. Car warranties will range hugely in terms of what is covered and not covered, so it's best to contact the dealership and find out whether you can claim.

Car warranties are there to cover the cost of certain repairs for a limited period of time. New cars are often purchased with a warranty of three years or more, but you can also purchase used-car warranties, which will help cover the cost of repairs for a second-hand car for a certain timeframe. You will probably know whether or not you have a warranty for your car, but you may be unclear on whether it is still valid and what it covers, so contact your dealership or warranty provider for clarity.

I have no warranty, or cash available - what now?

Ask family or friends to help you out

If you find yourself desperate for your car to be repaired, but without access to ready cash to pay for it, you may need to examine your other options. The cheapest and most convenient solution might be to see if family or friends can help you out, either with the repair itself or with a loan of a car or the money to pay the garage.

It's never easy to ask for financial help, but many people find that family and friends are more than happy to lend the funds needed to get their loved one out of a fix - especially if it means they can still get to work or take the kids to school, for example.

Credit may be an option

Borrowing money to cover the cost of emergency car repairs can provide you with the cash you need to get your vehicle back on the road extremely quickly and with relatively little hassle. However, there are several options to take into account and not all will be appropriate for everyone.

Consider taking a short-term loan

If you are looking for payday loans, UK lenders may be able to help you fund your car repairs. Short-term loans, or payday loans, as they are often called, can provide borrowers with access to emergency cash to cover unforeseen costs. Although payday loans aren't cheap, they can help some people to cover essential, unexpected expenses and allow them to continue their life as usual.

When you take out a payday loan, the lender should check that you can afford to meet the repayments, which are often spread over a few months. They will make sure you have a regular income and that you haven't had serious problems with debt in the past, which show up on your credit record.

One of the main advantages of funding your car repairs with a payday loan is that you can often access the cash on the day that you apply. Payday lenders tend to operate online and applying couldn't be quicker and easier. It is, of course, important that you think carefully about whether this type of credit is right for your circumstances though. Short-term loans are often more expensive than some other forms of credit and you may be charged penalties or suffer damage to your credit record if you are late with scheduled repayments.

What are the top payday loans UK lenders offer?

If you're looking for the best payday loans, UK lenders offer some great deals. There are a number of UK payday loan lenders in operation, but the best ones are those who offer lower interest rates and practice responsible lending. Other factors to compare include:

  • Charges and fees
  • How quickly you receive the money into your bank account
  • Eligibility criteria
  • Late payment penalties
  • Whether you can repay early with no charges applied
  • Whether you can repay in instalments
  • How much you can borrow

Look at finance plans available at the garage

Sometimes, a car repair shop may offer finance plans that help people to spread the cost of the repair work they need to have completed. Garages may work with credit providers specialising in car repair finance in order to offer this credit option. The cost of borrowing will vary and this type of credit won't always be the most convenient or affordable option, but it's one that's worth considering.

Think carefully about overdrafts and credit cards

Often, consumers will turn to their banks and credit card providers when they want access to quick cash. These options can make sense providing you give them plenty of thought and research the costs involved and the terms of borrowing before taking the plunge.


Banks will often provide new overdrafts or extend existing overdraft limits reasonably quickly, so that the money may be available within a day or so of applying. However, you will need to meet strict lending criteria and it's also vital that you are familiar with your bank's overdraft charges.

Some banks charge large one-off fees and high daily interest rates for anyone going even the slightest bit over their arranged limit. Other banks will have hefty interest rates for general use of arranged overdrafts. Banks are also inclined to change their overdrafts terms whenever they like, so borrowers need to make sure they keep abreast of overdraft fees and charges.

Credit cards

The costs involved with using a credit card to cover emergency costs vary enormously from lender to lender. Costs also vary in response to factors like the applicant's credit rating, their employment status, the credit limit and whether they make full or partial repayments.

Some credit card providers will offer interest-free cards for a period of time to certain applicants. These can be a very cheap way to access credit providing you repay the full balance within the interest-free period. Once the initial period is up, the account will usually return to a much higher interest rate, which can prove significantly more expensive than some other forms of credit.

With any form of credit, finding a responsible lender is key

We understand the need for fast cash when you are dealing with emergency car repairs. We know that many of our customers turn to us because they will find themselves unable to get to work or fulfil daily family responsibilities if they can’t get their car fixed and have exhausted other options. However, we never lend without carrying out the necessary and required credit checks and affordability reviews.

Taking out payday loans or Instalment loans can be a great solution to an emergency financial problem as a one-off. Providing you repay on time and as scheduled, short-term loans can be affordable and incredibly quick and easy. However, if you take out a payday loan that you cannot afford to repay on time, you can incur extra interest charges and penalties, which can make this form of credit more expensive. Taking out several payday loans at the same time is never a good idea, so we also limit access to ensure our customers are borrowing in the right way and for the right reasons.

The main thing to remember when a crisis happens is those small financial setbacks don't have to have major repercussions for your life. Just consider all your options, do some research and borrow responsibly - there’s no reason why it can't be business as usual within a day or two.

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