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Too poor to fix your car?


New research reveals urgent repairs we're skipping because of the cash crunch – and the trap is bigger than you think.

Car tyres balding but your bank account's too empty to replace them right now? You're not alone.

45% of Australians have skipped vehicle repairs because they haven't got enough cash, a new survey by Finder reveals.

That's 9 million folks who are driving a sub-optimal car right now.

And the problem isn't just that you're potentially going to get stuck behind a lemon in traffic.

"There are hidden risks to not keeping your car maintained," explains Finder's insurance expert James Martin.

"Your car warranty's at risk if you don't follow its maintenance schedule."

"Also, you could be denied a car insurance claim if a car was found to be poorly maintained.

"An example would be letting the tread depth of your tyres fall below the legal minimum of 1.5mm."

Skipping services might not save you money long-term.

Martin added: "The same is true of insurance. For instance, roadside assistance can cost from around $6 per month, but that's far less than towing costs if your car breaks down."

4 ways to help with car repair costs

These are James' top tips for making car repairs less painful for your hip pocket:

  • Make sure you've got the right insurance. "Consider comprehensive car insurance. Even though it's more costly than other types of cover, it's the only car insurance that'll cover damage to your vehicle. By shopping around for a better deal can save you hundreds of dollars each year," James says.
  • Make sure regular vehicle services are included in your budget. "Car servicing is a predictable cost, but we don't always remember to factor it in."
  • Build a car emergency fund. "Even if you can only save $50 a month for it, that's better than nothing," James says. "Keep it in a high-interest savings account so you earn a little extra and you're less tempted to raid it for other purposes."
  • Compare at least 3 quotes at the repairers, and ask if they can use second-hand parts. "That can help cut costs if money is tight," James adds.

The 5 biggest car expenses we're dodging right now

Car service25%
Scratches or physical damage to the car8%
Bald tyres5%
Windscreen repair4%
Speakers or radio system2%
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