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car repair cost

How to Pay for Car Repairs Out-of-Pocket on a Budget

Spirit West Rapid Refinish, established in 2011, was formed to focus on providing quality service for customers who are paying out of pocket for automobile repairs and streamline the workflow volume by bypassing the long waits major collision repairs can pose. If you know you will have to pay out-of-pocket for car repairs, should the need arise, there are few things you can do to be prepared.

Get more than one estimate.
Don’t accept the first estimate you’re handed, after all car repairs can get out of hand – real quick! You should always turn to a trusted dealership or a larger repair shop for your initial estimate, but don’t assume their price is the price. The majority of collision repair costs typically fall under labor costs. And it’s almost always higher at larger, more established shops.

To find a reliable body shop that may provide lower labor rates, ask a few friends where they go for their trustworthy work. Be sure to take advantage of any special offers that may be available at the time of your repair.

Make the necessary repairs
If the estimated repair is still out of your comfort zone, ask the shop what needs to be fixed now and what can wait until your pocket book can handle it. Don’t skip important safety features like brakes, tires, windshields and framework. But you can live without automatic windows for a while, then it is better to wait than stress over your financial status.

Stick to a budget
So you’ve shopped around, found a reputable repair shop and are confident you are getting the best deal without compromising your repair service, now it’s time to find the cash to pay for your auto collision repairs. We recommend making a zero-based budget before you start overturning your couch cushions in search of loose change. You can make a budget in about 10 minutes with our favorite budget app, EveryDollar. It’s free, and it’s a way less labor-intensive than digging through your sofa.

Reallocate your money
Still having trouble finding the money to pay for your repairs? No problem! Simply dial your budget back in nonessential areas like restaurants, haircuts, new clothes and quit spending on wants to provide more funds to spend on needs. You can also divert your savings temporarily to get back on the road sooner. Also, if you are in need of repairs to ensure you can get to and from work or school, you can use your emergency funds for absolutely necessary repairs. Just be sure to get back on track with saving as soon as possible.

Budget for future repairs
If you have found yourself scrambling to pay for auto collision repairs, let this be a lesson to you. Ensure this issue doesn’t happen again by creating a line item in your budget for future car repairs and maintenance. Even if you never need that money in the future, it is a nice safety net for other unexpected expenses life can throw your way!

If you are involved in an auto collision and need repair service, contact Spirit West Rapid Refinish at 636.386.8060 Monday through Friday between 9am-5pm, closed 12pm-1pm or stop by our convenient location at 14643 Manchester Rd., Ballwin, Missouri 63011.




Spirit West Motor Carriage, founded in 1977, is a full-service auto body repair shop serving the St. Louis and surrounding Metro area. For nearly four decades, our family-owned business and our experienced staff have been providing quality auto collision repair, mechanical, paintless dent repair (PDR), complete paint refinishing, and wheel and framing alignment services.