When you own a vehicle, you should plan to pay for its maintenance over the time you own it to keep it running well. And if it is an older vehicle, the cost of maintenance and repairs can increase. As a good rule of thumb, a professional mechanic recommends to allow for $1,200 for maintenance each year on your vehicle. If you are prepared for vehicle maintenance and repairs, you will have the funds saved and ready in an account for when you will need them. Otherwise, you will need to come up with the funds more in the spur of the moment. Here are some tips to help you come up with the funds to pay for car repairs.

Apply for a Personal Loan

One of the first things you can try to get money to pay for car repairs is to get a car repair loan. This is a good idea if your vehicle needs repairs or maintenance that are expensive. Your bank or credit union will have a variety of financing loans that you can apply for, either as an unsecured loan or a secured loan that you use an asset as collateral.

A signature loan is an unsecured loan that will give you funds using just your signature as backing. You will still need to qualify for the loan with a credit check and an application process, so be prepared to provide the loan agent with the information they need for the loan. But if you have a good history with your bank or credit union, this can help you get approved.

You can also apply for a secured loan, which has an asset as collateral to pay for the loan if you were to default. For collateral, you can use your vehicle, a savings account, certificate of deposit, or other valuable, such as gold or an investment account. This type of loan also will usually offer a lower rate than an unsecured loan, so it will be a cheaper option and will cost less over the term of the loan.

Use Your Insurance

If your vehicle needs repairs due to an accident or crash, you can file a claim through your auto insurance company. Contact your insurance agent to find out your options and how to start the process to pay for the needed repairs. You will still need to pay for your insurance deductible, which may be around $500 and is your responsibility as the insurance policyholder.

If you don't have the funds to cover the deductible, it can be taken out of your insurance claim's total. For example, if your vehicle's estimate of repairs is $2,800, the $500 deductible can be taken out of the claim payout and your insurance would only pay you $2,300. But keep in mind you won't have enough funds to pay for the full vehicle repairs, so you would need to make arrangements with the repair shop, such as paying the rest to them over time or putting the rest on a credit card.

Charge It

If you have a credit card, you have access to already-approved funds to help pay for the repairs to your vehicle. This will help in the event you need your vehicle to drive to work each day. The great part about a credit card is you can make payments on the charge over the course of several months. A credit card only requires you to pay a minimal amount of your balance each month.

But keep in mind the interest on a credit card is revolving, meaning it is calculated on your average daily balance. This can cost you a bit more in interest than if you were to use a secured loan to pay for the repairs, but it is easily accessible if you already have the card.