How to Find Car Repair Financial Assistance Fast

Elderly man sitting in front seat of truck with door slightly open
| 7 min read Financial Assistance

More than 278 million cars are currently on the road in the US alone, with the average vehicle age over 11 years old. By 2023, experts predict that Americans will be driving vehicles that are 16 years old, on average. And older cars means more expensive car repairs—which can easily turn into a personal financial crisis for many Americans. If you’re one of the many people in need of car repair financial assistance, the resources below will help you get back on the road fast.

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Car repair costs to consider

Even if you do have an emergency fund, car repair costs can run into the thousands. The price of repair can easily affect anyone’s budget, and if you don’t happen to have enough savings, it can also quickly put you in debt. 

  • Cars with an average age of about 12 years were found to be most likely to have a check engine light issue. The average cost for repair for a check engine light is $398.
  • The average car repair bill, according to AAA, ranges from $500 to $600.
  • Average maintenance costs are measured by mileage. Calculate the lifetime cost of repair for your car, and expect to pay around $1,400 for the first 25,000 miles—and more after that. 
  • Some simple car repairs may surprise you by how much they cost. A minor bumper repair can cost $450, while a full bumper replacement will set you back $900
  • 63% of Americans can’t afford a $500 car repair bill without asking for car repair financial assistance from friends and family, or going into credit card debt.

Resources to help pay for car repairs

Car repair emergencies occur, whether you’re ready or not. If you’re wondering how to get help with bills, below are several resources that can help. Some of these are location-specific, and some will even provide used cars for if yours is beyond repair.

Car repair assistance for single moms

  • The Next Level Church, located in Charlotte, NC, provides car repair assistance for single moms. The ministry offers labor for minor auto repairs and services, as long as you provide the parts.
  • Help for single moms is also offered through the federal government’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Low-income applicants who are pregnant, or caring for children under the age of 19, may be eligible for car repair assistance if transportation is required to get to work.

Car repair assistance for low-income households

  • A project of the National Consumer Law Center, Working Cars for Working Families helps families access a reliable car at fair prices. They work with 120 nonprofits nationwide to match personal contributions to car down payments. They also offer low-interest vehicle loans. 
  • The Carpenter’s Garage is a nonprofit repair shop based in Vancouver, WA. They serve the community by offering car repair assistance for low-income households, based on ability to pay. 
  • Vehicles for Change offers car repair assistance for low-income families in Maryland, DC, and Virginia areas. They also distribute quality used cars for as little as $950. 
  • Another nonprofit, the Good News Garage donates reliable transportation to low-income New England households. They also have a shuttle program if you need help getting to work.

car repairs for veterans

  • Keys to Progress offers car repairs to veterans who are facing financial difficulties. Each year, they hold a giveaway event at locations throughout the US and donate quality used vehicles to veterans and their families. 
  • The Semper Fi Fund offers support and transportation resources for injured veterans. They provide car repairs—including modifications of existing vehicles to accommodate disabled vets.

Emergency car repair loans and grants

  • Modest Needs is a nonprofit that offers short-term financial support to families and individuals in temporary crisis. If you need help paying for car repairs or auto insurance, you may be eligible for one of their cash grants.
  • If you need emergency car repairs, a low-interest personal loan through a national lender may be a good option. Make sure to read the loan terms carefully, and look for any hidden fees or late payment penalties. 
  • Road Ready Repairs offers car repair financial assistance grants of up to $800 for residents of either Wayne and Oakland County, in Michigan. And if you’re working and need a car, they can also help you purchase a quality used vehicle.

Car repair assistance for disabled drivers

  • The nonprofit 1-800-Charity-Cars provides donated vehicles—for free—to disabled drivers with medical needs. 
  • If you are a disabled driver whose car is beyond repair, Cars 4 Christmas can help. Serving Kansas City area residents, the organization donates free, reliable vehicles to those in need.

Crowdfunding can pay for car repairs when you need it

When the above options fall short and you’re left wondering how to pay for car repairs with no money, crowdfunding can be a lifeline. Online fundraising can help you raise the money you need quickly—without lengthy applications, eligibility requirements, or endless waiting periods. The following tips will help ensure your car repair fundraiser is a success.

  • Write your fundraiser story in a way that is compelling, and makes an emotional connection with your audience. Let potential donors know what you’re going through, and exactly how their donation will help.
  • Consider including a video in your fundraising efforts. This helps strengthen your bond with donors, and makes it easy to share your fundraiser on social media.
  • Keep donors in the loop with regular fundraiser updates. Let your audience know once you start using funds to repair your car, or if you’ve reached a fundraising milestone that you’re particularly excited about.
  • At the end of your fundraiser, make sure to thank your donors. A simple gesture of gratitude goes a long way.  

Car repair fundraisers that work

Take a look below at how others are using crowdfunding to quickly raise the money they need for essential car repairs. 

Car repairs for a recent graduate

After going to a repair shop for a flat tire, Lindsay was told she needed more expensive repairs. As a recent graduate, she couldn’t afford the cost and turned to online fundraising for help. Through her fundraiser, Lindsay was able to pay the $1,000 repair bill and is now back on the road.

A family’s journey home

To support her young son’s academic success, Sunday drove him the 900 miles from Seattle to San Francisco for a week-long, prestigious architecture workshop. While in the Bay area, their parked car was unfortunately broken into and Sunday had thousands of dollars of personal items stolen, including her son’s architectural model and sketchbook he had worked so hard on. Through her fundraiser, Sunday raised over $5,000—more than five times her original goal—to repair her car and get back home.

Get back on the road today

When you need emergency financial assistance for car repairs and don’t know where to turn, a fundraiser is your answer. With crowdfunding, you can quickly raise the money you need to get back on the road fast—and with GoFundMe’s 0% platform fee for organizers, more of the money you raise goes directly toward paying for car repairs. Sign up today and start your fundraiser, so you can stop worrying about costly repairs and get back to living your life.

Start a car repair fundraiser