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Auto repairs delayed due to supply chain issues, how to save on rental costs

Jul 11, 2023

by: Bianca Reyes

Posted: Sep 15, 2022 / 09:08 PM EDT

Updated: Sep 15, 2022 / 09:49 PM EDT

CARMEL, Ind. — Supply chain issues continue to impact multiple industries, but now it’s even putting some consumers on a tighter budget.

Local auto repair shops said certain auto parts are taking weeks to come in – leaving drivers in a rental for longer.

“Everybody’s trying hard to get the parts – get the job done,” said Brett Bobrow, manager of an auto repair shop called Best of Indy in Carmel. “There’s been definitely a handful of different scenarios where we’ve had to wait a week – two weeks – for parts.”

Bobrow said supply chain issues continue to impact the auto industry. He said certain auto parts are hard to find, so he has to spend hours searching the internet for a solution.

“Depending on manufacturers and products, and whether it’s tires or parts, or all of the above, we’re blessed to have the availability of being able to search multiple different manufacturers,” said Bobrow. “You start searching from there and doing everything you can to find it.”

While auto repair shops wait for parts to come in from across state lines, consumers can find themselves racking up a rental bill.

“Sometimes it can take 6-8 weeks [for repairs] and that’s going to be beyond your rental coverage,” said financial expert Andy Mattingly.

Mattingly is also the Chief Operating Officer for Forum Credit Union. He said most insurance companies will reimburse rental cars up to 30 days. Any additional time needed for a rental outside of that window comes out of pocket.

“So there are a couple of financial missteps you can get into in this whole situation with not being able to get your car repaired on time,” said Mattingly.

Mattingly suggests renting a car only on days you need to commute. Other days he suggests working from home or carpooling whenever possible.

“I’m talking from personal experience,” said Mattingly. “[My family] just had a situation where we’ve had to let one of our kids use one of our two cars. So now my wife and I are rotating who works from home, and deciding who’s going to have the car, and carpooling. Fortunately I live close enough where someone can take me to work. So you got to look at all of those efforts.”

Mattingly said consumers should check if it is cheaper to get a rental for the few days or weeks they would need it, or for the entire duration of their car’s repairs.

“One of the things that you may have to think about is saying ‘Well, if it’s going to be 8-10 weeks, should I look at getting a different car?’,” said Mattingly.

Mattingly admits that, in the end, it could be cheaper to just buy a new car or fix one yourself.

“Can you source some of the parts for yourself and be able to find them a little bit sooner,” asked Mattingly. “Or maybe it’s that you buy a car just for parts. You find a car that’s wrecked and you’re buying it for the parts you need for your own car. So there’s a lot of things you can do there – if you’re a car person and you understand those things and you can do it.”



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