Winter’s reduced visibility and icy conditions are the perfect recipes for an accident on the road. Whether you blow a tire or wind up in the ditch after hitting a patch of black ice, these issues can be costly to repair. Below, find some ideas on how to handle an unexpected wintertime fix.
1. Tap into Your Emergency Fund
According to the AAA, you should aim to save $50 every month for unexpected repairs. That adds up to $600 by the end of the year, plus more if you squirrel it all away in a high-interest savings account.
If nothing breaks down one year, these savings carry over into the next one. They’ll keep on growing with each monthly contribution.
2. Apply for a Loan
If the well of your emergency fund runs dry, you can look into an online loan to bridge the gap between your savings and repairs.
The rates and terms you secure depend on your lender and credit score, so shop around to see what kinds of online loans you qualify for and how much they cost.
Although good credit makes it easier to qualify for some online loans, you still have options if your credit is poor. Check out online loans for bad credit to learn more about borrowing with less-than-perfect credit.
3. Tap into Your AAA Benefits
You may not need an online loan if your AAA benefits cover the issue. Basic membership provides 24-hour emergency road service, which can save you the cost and frustration of finding a tow truck.
It also comes with the following services for free:
- Battery jumpstart and replacement
- Flat tire replacement
- Fuel delivery
- Winching or extraction
4. Negotiate with Your Mechanic
A free extraction from a ditch is nice, but what do you do if your vehicle won’t start once it’s back on the road? For that, you’ll have to take your car to a mechanic.
If you can’t afford the bill upfront, you can inquire about a possible financing option. Some mechanics let you pay off a big repair bill in several smaller chunks spread out over time.
Alternatively, you can ask your mechanic to do the bare minimum work to make your vehicle road-worthy again. These patch jobs are just enough to get you back home, where you can regroup and come up with a game plan for how you’ll pay for the rest of the repairs later.
For the road’s biggest collisions, there’s nothing better than your insurance. If you’ve been involved in an accident resulting in major property damage or injuries, get in touch with your insurance provider for assistance.
Can You Prevent Unexpected Repairs in the Winter?
Avoiding an accident is the easiest way to save money. Here are some winter driving safety tips that can help your budget.
- Install winter tires: Winter tires stop shorter in cold, icy, or snowy conditions, which may help you avoid a nasty fender bender.
- Drive according to conditions: Adjusting your speed and the space you leave between vehicles can help you drive safer in inclement weather.
- Avoid storms: Stay home when bad weather is in the forecast.
- Give your car a tune-up: Routine car maintenance helps you catch minor problems before they escalate into bigger repairs or cause problems on the road.
Turn these tips into habits you follow all season long. They can help you drive safely and avoid costly repair.