Car repair loans

Get the finance you need to get your car back on the road.

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Until it breaks down, it’s easy to forget just how much you rely on your car to get around. But when your vehicle is off the road and in need of repair, even the simplest of everyday tasks can become a major hassle. Inconveniences aside, car repairs and regular car maintenance may also set you back thousands of dollars.

Of course, it’s not always easy to find the money you need to get your car going again – which is where car repair loans can help. Let’s take a look at the car repair finance options available and how you can decide which one is right for you.

How much do car repairs cost?

There’s no such thing as an average car repair cost. Expenses vary greatly based on the make and model of vehicle, what goes wrong, and where you choose to get it fixed. And even though automotive technology has come a long way in the past few decades, when cars break down they can be very expensive to repair.

Common issues you may need to get repaired include:

  • Smash repairs. Unless you’re covered by comprehensive car insurance, the cost of repairing anything from relatively minor dings through to major body damage can be surprisingly high. On average, the dent removals could range from $60 to $500. Spray painting of the car would cost from $150 for the problem area to approximately $2000 for a full car body spray. Minor repairs such as bumper damages may range from an average of $150 to $300 or more.
  • Cylinder problems. A broken cylinder is a common mechanical issue for older cars that perhaps haven’t received the love and attention they need in recent years. Regular servicing is the best way to prevent this occurring, but if it happens to you the repair bill could be $8,000 or more.
  • Engine. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that a mechanically sound engine is crucial to your car running smoothly. Repair costs vary greatly depending on the engine issues plaguing your vehicle, but depending on the components that require replacing, the average cost of an engine overhaul is around $2000 and higher.
  • Transmission. The transmission is crucial to the effective operation of your car, so it can lead to significant mechanical problems if something goes wrong with your vehicle’s transmission. It can also hurt your wallet, with gearbox replacement generally above $2000.
  • Head gasket. The head gasket is another critical part of the inner workings of your car, sealing off the cylinder head from the engine block and preventing oil and coolant leaks. A blown head gasket can cause a whole lot of damage to your car – potentially $2,000 worth of damage, in fact.

These are just a few mechanical and body issues that could affect your car and the older your vehicle is, the greater the chance of something going wrong. Add in extra costs like roadside assistance, towing expenses and the cost of ordering spare parts from overseas, and you could be looking at a sizable car repair bill you simply cannot afford.

Car repair loan options

Are you facing an expensive car repair bill to get your car back on the road? If so, there are several finance options available to provide the funds you need to cover your costs. Check out the car repair loan options in the table below:

Loan typeFeaturesProsCons
Secured personal loanLine of credit loan guaranteed with an asset, for example your car. May not have a cap on the maximum loan amounts and terms of up to 7 years available. Some lenders may also require you to have a guarantor.
  • Lower interest rates
  • Loan can be secured by a range of assets
  • Fixed and variable rates available
  • Wide range of lenders and loans to choose from
  • Use the funds however you like
  • Need to make sure you can afford principal and interest repayments
  • Fees and interest apply to your loan
  • Penalties for missed payments
Unsecured personal loanBorrow the money you need to pay for car repairs without having to offer any asset as collateral. Loan amounts of up to 18 times your monthly income and terms of up to 5 years available. The Effective Interest Rates (EIR) are usually between 11% to 22%.
  • No security required
  • Lower interest rates than payday loans
  • Use the funds however you like
  • Wide range of lenders and loans to choose from
  • Easy to apply
  • Higher interest rates than a secured personal loan
  • Higher fees (than a secured loan) also apply
  • Penalties for missed payments
Short-term loanSometimes referred to as a payday loan. Mostly offered by private lenders instead of banks. Provides instant access to money to see you through until your next payday. Loans of up to 2 to 4 times your monthly income are available with terms ranging from 14 days to a month. Holding the debt longer than a month may cause the interest to snowball to a massive amount.
  • Fast access to money when you need it
  • Easy application and approval process
  • Minimal credit checks
  • Use the funds however you like
  • Fixed repayment schedule so you can budget ahead
  • Extremely high interest rates
  • High fees
  • Need to watch out for unscrupulous lenders who prey on desperate borrowers
  • Essential to assess whether you can afford this type of loan before you apply
Credit cardCan be worth considering if the card issuer offers an introductory interest-free period and you can realistically afford to pay off the repair bill within that promotional timeframe. Amount available varies depending on your card limit.
  • Simple and convenient
  • 0% interest if you pay off your debt before the promotional period ends
  • Plenty of options to choose from
  • High interest rate applies if you don’t pay off your debt within the promotional period
  • Penalties for missed payments
  • Paying for repairs with a credit card may attract a surcharge
  • You may not have enough remaining balance on your credit card to use it for other purchases

How to compare car repair loans

Make sure you consider the following features when weighing up your car repair loan options:

  • Interest rate. Compare interest rates across a variety of loans to work out how much you’ll be paying in interest charges. Remember also that car repair loans are available with fixed or variable interest rates, so make sure to compare apples to apples.
  • Fees. From application and establishment fees to ongoing fees and missed payment fees, make sure you’re aware of all the additional charges that may apply. Consider fees alongside the interest rate to calculate the total cost of car repair loans.
  • Repayment schedule. How much will your regular repayment amount be and how often will you have to make those repayments? Is this figure something you can regularly afford to pay?
  • Repayment flexibility. Can you make additional payments to pay off your debt ahead of schedule? This feature could save you plenty in interest charges if you come into some extra can afford to repay the loan sooner than expected.

Repairing vs replacing

If you’re stuck with a hefty car repair bill totalling several thousands of dollars, it might be time to look at alternative options. In some cases, you may find you’re better off simply upgrading to a new vehicle rather than forking out a whole lot of cash to repair your current set of wheels.

If buying a new or used vehicle could be a better solution for you and you need finance, start comparing car loans at finder Singapore today.
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