Everything You Need to Know About Mobile Auto Repair
If you lead a busy life, you may not have the time to visit a shop or dealership to maintain or repair your car. An alternative option to consider is mobile auto repair. A mobile auto repair shop can come to your home or office and perform a plethora of maintenance and repair services that can keep your car running smoothly.
Below, we explore how mobile auto repair works, its costs, where to find a technician you trust and how to pay for this service.
What is mobile auto repair?
Mobile auto repair is designed to make it easy and convenient for you to care for your car. Once you book a service via a mobile app or website, you can expect a mobile mechanic to come to your home or workplace and service your car at the time you scheduled. You may be able to make payments, access your service history and get maintenance reminders online.
Mobile mechanics offer a wide range of services such as pre-purchase car inspections, oil changes, windshield wiper blade replacements, tire rotations and car battery replacements. Since they don’t have the overhead expenses of shops or dealerships, many mobile auto repair mechanics are able to charge you less while providing you with quality service. That may help you reduce your long-term costs of owning a car.
Costs for mobile auto repair
Costs for mobile auto repair depend on your make or model, desired service, your location and the mobile auto repair shop or technician you select.
Let’s take a look at the costs for several mobile auto repair services through YourMechanic, a mobile vehicle repair company that offers more than 500 services to consumers across the U.S. and Canada:
|Car battery replacement||$167.07 – $265.01|
|Spare tire installation||$69.99 – $79.99|
|Cabin air filter replacement||$81.57 – $172.97|
|Power window switch repair||$84.37 – $257.18|
|Windshield wiper blade replacement||$83.99 – $160.04|
|Reset indicator lights||$69.99 – $79.99|
Where to find mobile auto repair technicians
If you’re interested in mobile auto repair, it’s important to find a mobile auto repair shop or technician who is reputable. Here are some tips on how to do so.
- Ask for referrals: Tap into your social network and ask your friends, family members and acquaintances whether they have received service from a mobile auto repair shop or technician in your area. Find out whether they’d recommend the provider they used.
- Perform online research: Use the internet to find mobile auto repair shops and/or technicians in your area. Typing in “mobile auto repair shop + the name of your city” or “mobile auto repair technician + the name of your city” should do the trick.
- Read online reviews: Once you’ve compiled a list of mobile auto repair shops and/or technicians in your area, read online reviews of each of them. You can find reviews on Google, Facebook, Cartalk.com and the Better Business Bureau.
- Ask about extended warranties, customer guarantees and certifications: After you’ve narrowed your list of mobile auto repair shops and/or technicians to the top two or three, call up each provider and ask whether they offer any extended warranties or customer guarantees. You can also ask about the certifications and experience of the technicians. This information can help you select the ideal mobile auto repair shop or technician.
Paying for mobile car repairs: 4 financing options
Mobile car repairs can take a toll on your budget, especially if they’re unexpected. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can pay for them. Let’s dive deeper into four financing options for mobile car repairs.
|Financing option||What it is||Pros||Cons|
|Personal loan||Typically an unsecured form of debt that involves borrowing money without putting up collateral.||
|0% APR credit card||Allows for the transferring of credit card balances at high interest rates during a 0% APR intro period, which can last between 12 to 21 months.||
|Savings account||A time deposit account that earns interest on the money you deposit.||
|Home equity line of credit (HELOC)||A line of credit against your home, in which you can draw funds from as needed.||
1. Personal loan
A personal loan is most often an unsecured form of debt that involves borrowing money without putting up any collateral, which is something of value a lender can repossess if you default on your repayment agreement.
Although every lender is different, most consider your credit score, payment history and income to determine whether they’d like to approve you for a personal loan.
- Offers fixed monthly payments: Most personal loans come with fixed monthly payments, meaning you’ll know exactly how much you’ll owe each month.
- Gives you more time to pay: Since personal loans can be repaid over extended periods, you don’t have to pay off your mobile auto repair service immediately.
- Comes with origination fees: Many personal loans require borrowers to pay origination fees. You may have to pay an origination fee of 1% or more, depending on the personal loan you choose.
- High interest rates: If your credit score isn’t great, you may end up paying a lot of money in interest and increase the overall cost of your mobile auto repair service.
2. 0% APR credit card
Also known as a balance transfer credit card, a 0% APR credit card offers an introductory 0% APR for 12 to 21 months. It can allow you to transfer credit card balances at high interest rates. However, you must have good or excellent credit in order to qualify for a 0% APR credit card.
- Saves on high interest: Most credit cards come with very high interest rates. By using a 0% APR credit card, you can save a significant amount of money on interest.
- Lowers your credit utilization ratio: The amount of revolving credit you owe divided by your credit limit is known as your credit utilization ratio. A 0% APR credit card can lower your credit utilization ratio and raise your credit score.
- Requires the payment of a balance transfer fee: If you opt for a 0% APR credit card, you may have to pay one-time balance transfer fee. In most cases, this fee is 3% the amount of the transfer.
- Must be paid within the 0% APR intro period: If you can’t pay off your entire balance during the 0% APR intro period, you may be left paying a higher interest rate than you would with other credit cards.
3. Pulling from your savings
If you keep a savings account for emergencies, you may need to consider making a withdrawal for car repairs. Paying with cash is one way to avoid paying interest and other fees after getting necessary car work done. It can also help keep your financial situation stable by allowing you to avoid adding on new debt.
- Saves money: By pulling from your savings rather than charging a high-interest credit card, you can save money on interest and make your mobile auto repair service more affordable.
- Prevents debt: You can avoid getting into getting into emergency debt by using your savings to pay for mobile auto repair.
- May not have enough in your savings: You may find that the cost of your mobile auto repair service is greater than the amount of money you have in your savings account.
- Prolongs other savings goals: If you’re building your savings account to pay for a new car or a kitchen renovation, pulling from your savings can prolong your savings goal.
A home equity line of credit or HELOC is a line of credit against your home, in which you can draw funds from as you need to.
To qualify for a HELOC, you’ll need a loan-to-ratio (LTV) of around 80%, proof that you have sufficient income to pay for your mortgage and HELOC payments, a strong credit history, a low debt-to-income ratio, and additional assets such as a car or rental property.
- May be able to secure lower interest rates: Typically, you can land much lower interest rates with a HELOC than a personal loan or traditional credit card. This can save you big money on mobile auto repair.
- Can deduct interest payments: Unlike personal loans and credit cards, HELOCs allow you to deduct your interest payments when you file your taxes.
- Comes with variable interest rates: Since most HELOCs come with variable interest rates, you may be forced to pay a larger monthly payment if rates increase.
- The risk of a home foreclosure: If you are unable to make your payments, your lender has the legal right to foreclose your home.
If you believe your busy schedule prevents you from giving your car the maintenance and repairs it needs, mobile auto repair may be well worth the investment. Just be sure to plan for routine and emergency repairs expenses. If you’ve got too much going on in your day-to-day, mobile auto repair may be just the service you need to keep your car running smoothly and reduce headaches and larger expenses down the road.