Money Saving Tips on Auto Repairs and Insurance

We’ve all been there – suddenly our car’s air conditioner goes out, timing belts need replacing, heating system doesn’t work – and let’s not even think about the “engine” or “transmission!”

But one thing that might make our auto repairs less painful, is a discount on our repair bill.  Granted, I live in a major city where there are plenty of choices as to where to get my auto repaired.  I have found over the years that “dealers” in particular seem to get a bad rap.

A lot of folks say “don’t go to dealers, they will overcharge you.”  While in some cases that may be true, keep in mind, smaller repair shops can also do the same.

With dealers they have to stand by their work and their parts – they have to make it right.  They don’t ever want to get reported to their national headquarters by an unhappy customer…that’s giving their dealership a “bad” mark.  I’m not knocking independent auto repair shops. When you find the one you like, just make sure they, too, will stand by their work and their parts.

I asked my current dealership if they accepted discounts for AARP or AAA.  They said “no,” they don’t offer any discounts.  Having a good rapport with the service manager, I then asked – well, if you don’t take AARP or AAA, how about giving me a discount for being cute?”  The manager laughed and took 10% off a $600 repair job.  The point here being, DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK!

Here’s some tips for asking auto repair discounts:

  • Ask the auto repair shop if they would give you a discount for being a loyal customer and not going to their competitor.
  • Ask if they accept competitor’s coupons (my dealership did).
  • Ask if they accept AARP, AAA, senior or any other discounts (don’t be afraid to play the senior card, you earned it!).
  • Always ask for a discount AFTER they quote you the price for the repair.

The same can hold true for your auto insurance.  Particularly if you’ve been a long-time customer and have a good driving record, call your agent and remind them that there are competitors knocking on your door and ask if they could keep your same insurance coverage, but at a better rate.

I was shocked my long-time insurance company knocked $300 off my yearly bill for the exact same insurance coverage.   Caution:  Some insurance companies will offer to lower your rate by taking away some of your coverage – DON’T DO IT.  Make sure they offer to lower your rate on the exact same coverage you already have.

Getting ready to hit the road?  Don’t forget to check your tire pressure.  According to national auto statistics, thousands of accidents occur from tires being improperly inflated.  When weather changes, so does your tire pressure.

Enjoy the end of summer – maybe it’s time to take a little road trip!

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