Pay By Cash Or Credit Card? Deciding The Best Way To Save Money

Whenever you buy something, it's good to ask yourself whether to pay by cash or credit card? There are pros and cons of each. This article will highlight which way is best to maximize your finances.

Let me start with an example of whether to pay cash or credit card when doing some car maintenance.

Pay By Cash Or Credit Card Fixing A Car

After six months of a progressively louder clicking sound emitting from my engine, I decided to take my car in for a free inspection.

After only about five minutes, the auto-mechanic mentioned that he was sure my fan unit was broken and needed replacing. Great. “How much?” I asked.

His brother, the operations manager, got back to me and said, “$925 before tax, which is about $1,004 after tax.” Sales tax is 8.5% in San Francisco.

Phew! I was mentally preparing for some $3,000+ bill because the clicking sound was near the engine. When you go on the car forums, you always read about the worst situations.

Time To Decide How To Pay For The Major Expense

The operations manager told me I'd have to come back next week because he'd have to order the entire fan unit. No problem. In the meantime, I decided to do what any rational person would do and check what fan units would cost online.

A bunch of options came up that were 30% lower than the shop's quoted price. The next week, I gave the shop owner a ring and asked why such a huge price difference. He said the difference was between an original part from the manufacturer and a replica without a warranty.

Sensing his weakness over the phone, I asked him if there was any way we could get the price down. After stumbling through some umms and awws, he responded, “Why yes, if you pay ‘cash cash,' not check, I'll knock the price down to $750 out the door.

Will I still get a receipt and the warranty?” I asked.

Absolutely,” he replied.

Enticing! What would you do?

The Dilemma Of Paying Cash To Save On Cost

Pay By Cash Or Credit To Save The Most Money

Saving 25% off the original $1,000 out-the-door price is a lot.

I was already feeling relief that I didn't have a $3,000+ bill. But to then spend under $1,000 made me feel like I was getting an absolute bargain!

At this point in my life, time is way more valuable than money. I probably could have saved a little more if I had shopped around for a cheaper auto mechanic that didn't specialize in my automobile. But the shop's Yelp ratings were great, and they knew what needed to be fixed.

Here were some of the things I had to consider when paying cash instead of credit card.

1) A lack of protection when paying with cash.

By not being able to pay by credit card or check, there is no record that I ever paid for services rendered. I could videotape me paying them cash, but I'm sure the shop owner wouldn't allow it. I've paid cash for things before that turned out not to work properly or not be authentic.

I once got abducted in Beijing, China, and because my ATM card was misused, Citibank refunded me the entire $2,000! From then on, I wanted to pay for as many thinks with a credit card as possible.

2) Might not get a valid warranty if paying with cash.

A warranty against poor workmanship or a faulty product is something we all deserve. My immediate concern when the service manager mentioned I could pay all cash was whether that meant the service would be done off books, and therefore, no warranty.

But he immediately reassured me I would get a warranty and a receipt. I still felt hesitant they would not back up their warranty.

3) Not used to carrying around a lot of cash.

The most cash I carry in my wallet is $100 since I charge everything on either my business credit card or a personal credit card. Whenever I'm holding a lot of cash, I always get a little paranoid.

4) Potential aiding of tax evasion paying with cash.

I'm assuming the reason why I can get a 25% discount is that this small business won't be reporting the work done to the IRS. It will be “off books.” Its profit margin will be 100% on labor and whatever markup it charges on the OEM part.

I don't feel guilty paying cash at a favorite restaurant, so why should I feel guilty paying cash for auto service? What a business does with its customer's cash is none of my business.

Maybe the business is just trying to save on paying a credit card transaction fee. I should always assume the best in people. But the reality is, business need to do what they can to maximize profits and survive. As the pandemic has shown, times can really be tough.

5) No rewards points or sign-up bonus paying cash.

Charging $1,004 to my Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card would earn me a basic 1,004 rewards points. That's only worth up to $20. That's not that great.

If I was getting a new Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card, however, I would get a free $200 after spending $500 in three months. Therefore, I'd get about $220 back.

But, I have been doing a lot of credit card research lately and I could get the following cash back bonuses or rewards with the following cards.

Capital One Rewards Credit Cards

  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Earn a 100,000-mile bonus when you spend $20,000 within the first 12 months of membership. Or get 50,000 bonus miles, equal to $500 in travel rewards after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months. $95 annual fee.

I could open two credit cards and charge $500 each to pay for my auto-mechanic bill and get $300 in free cash. My bill would effectively drop to $700, or $50 less than paying cash. Further, I would have purchase protection and a nice paper trail, just in case of faulty service or parts.

Alternatively, given I use Beast Master for business, I can expense the repair and automatically save 25%, whether I pay by cash or by credit card. If I pay by cash, I would just have to withdraw the cash from my business and then track the expense. If I pay by credit card, here are a couple choices as a Chase business client for the past 10 years.

Chase Business Credit Cards

  • Chase Ink Business Cash: $750 cash back after spending $7,500 within three months of opening. There's no annual fee.
  • Another great choice is the Chase Ink Business Unlimited: $750 cash back after spending $7,500 within three months of opening. 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Also no annual fee.

Besides not getting the lower $700 cash price, the other downside to paying with a new credit card is spending 5-10 minutes applying for each credit card and then waiting for 7-10 days to receive the cards in the mail.

But I am in no rush because the fan has already been making this clicking noise for six months. Waiting another couple weeks is no big deal since I only drive about 4,000 miles a year.

Pay By Cash Or Credit Credit?

I'm curious to know what you'd do since the community always seems to come up with something I'm not seeing. Here is a summary of the three options:

1) Pay by cash. The easiest and quickest way to go. In this scenario, I get 25% off ($1,004 down to $750) and then get another 25% off if I write off the auto repair as a business expense. My biggest concern is that they install the fan improperly or the fan breaks within 12 months and they won't honor the warranty, despite my receipt.

2) Pay by credit card. The conservative person would go the safe route by opening up at least a couple rewards credit cards to get purchase protection and at least $300 in free cash or 30% off. The credit card sign-up bonuses would effectively make the auto repair $50 cheaper than the cash route ($700 vs. $750), while also providing peace of mind.

3) Do both. Pay by cash to get $250 off after the job is done well. While waiting for the 1-2 hour job to get done, spend 10 minutes opening up a couple no annual fee credit cards to get at least $300 in free cash after spending $1,000 on something else. This way, I'll get at least $550 in savings, if not much more if I keep opening up new cards after three months or so.

The Choice Is Straightforward

The sad reality is that I have to do a three-year service that's one year overdue, a brake bleeding service, and I also need to get new brake pads soon. All this will cost another ~$1,500. But of course, if I pay cash, they'll give me a $300 discount!

Ah, the expenses never end when owning a car. At least I know that if I open up a new rewards credit card, I have something purposeful that needs charging. The last thing one should do is open up a credit card and buy something you don't need just for the rewards.

In Conclusion To Paying Cash Or With A Credit Card

To conclude, the debate between pay by cash or credit card is simple. In this situation, it's best to pay by cash and get the $300 discount. Then, I'll open up a new rewards credit card to get the free money for new car service expenses.

My favorite rewards credit card is the Chase Freedom Unlimited. Check it out! It has no annual fee and you get $200 after spending only $500 within three months of opening. The 1.5% unlimited cash back is incredible too.

Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt Faster With A Personal Loan

If you don’t have enough cash, getting a personal loan from Credible is a good place to start. If you have expensive credit card debt, consider consolidating your debt into a lower interest-rate personal loan.

Credible has the most comprehensive marketplace for personal loans. Lenders compete for your business so you can get the best rate. Get personalized prequalified personal loan rates in just two minutes after you fill out an application.

About The Author

Sam worked in investment banking for 13 years at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse. He received his undergraduate degree in Economics from The College of William & Mary and got his MBA from UC Berkeley. In 2012, Sam was able to retire at the age of 34 largely due to his investments that now generate roughly $350,000 a year in passive income.

Financial Samurai was started in 2009 and is one of the most trusted personal finance sites on the web with over 1.5 million pageviews a month.

In addition, if you enjoyed this article and want to get more personal finance insights and tips, please sign up for the free Financial Samurai newsletter. You’ll get access to exclusive content only available to subscribers.

Also check out his top financial products page for more great reviews.

Disclosure: Credible Operations, Inc. NMLS# 1681276, “Credible.” Not available in all states.

56 thoughts on “Pay By Cash Or Credit Card? Deciding The Best Way To Save Money”

  1. I recently had $3000 of work to be done of my vehicle. I asked if he could do any better and he took a little off. Now, I don’t walk around with $3K cash but I do use a card and would have paid that off in two payments… and get dinged 17% interest. The manager mentioned one of these “same as cash” retail cards for 12 months. If it’s NOT paid off in 12 months the interest accrued would have been charged. Paid it off in 4 month and did not put any savings at risk.

    Same thing with a furnace I had to replace. 18 months “same as cash deal” . YES I will take that and pay it off in half the time. Why risk liquid cash that could be earning money in an investment?

  2. If you don’t want to get buried in debt, always pay in cash. As long as you’re given a receipt and a valid warranty, you’re good to go.

  3. Pay by cash is the best way; no doubt.There are sure circumstances where it will be ideal to utilize money. Different cases may require a debit card or even a credit card. My recommendation to you is first to recognize what your monetary objectives are (i.e., are you attempting to avoid obligation or control your spending) at that point pick a default payment method that suits you best.

  4. Both are methods of spending money and we can’t try to save as we want. Hahaha… But in short, I think a credit card is a good source to save some money.

  5. Paying in cash is better in hand to hand way but in an online marketing store its opposite if you pay the money through card its cheaper and the delivery is faster there are different categories we can opt both the methods in my sense.thank you

  6. TheEngineer

    One of the HUGE benefit for using CASH but rarely anyone ever notice or spoke of it now a day because it has been so long since the first credit card introduce in 1950.

    It will take MORE effort to get into DEBT if you use CASH for everything!

    Sam has an MBA in finance and believe it or not he is GENETICALLY wired to be more financially responsible than most of you.

    He can play with CREDITS. The rest of you play with CASH only!

  7. Cash is still King! I don’t see an issue with paying cash for a discount, as long as:

    – The price is what you agreed upon (i.e. no hidden fees at actual payment)
    – You get a receipt
    – Any warranties are in writing
    – You are careful on the amount. I read somewhere that if you purchase something for a lot of cash, the seller is required to fill out additional paperwork.. I.e. if you buy a car for $20K cash, the car dealership is required to report the cash transaction to the IRS, which could open up the buyer to an IRS inquiry / audit.

    Not sure whether the last point is true but definitely need to consider!

    1. Not sure about car dealerships specifically, but with banks and at most merchants, transactions over $10,000 in cash require a Currency Transaction Report (or something similarly named, depending on what the transaction is) to be formed. It’s to prevent money laundering activity.

      Contrary to what the conspiracy theorists will tell you, Sam’s $750 car repair won’t be noticed by the government.

      ARB–Angry Retail Banker

  8. John D. McDonald’s Travis McGee once said something like: “If someone is else is claiming it then you had better be reporting it.”

    This is the other way around, however. If you claim it as business expense on your taxes, they better have declared it as income. And, since McGee’s time, computers are getting better and better at finding such discrepancies. Even being overworked and understaffed, due to a crazily unwieldy system, at the IRS won’t allow much of that sort of thing to sneak through.

    Either way, you are in the clear. Cash is legal tender, for all debts, public and private. Although the boys at the garage might be a little peeved at you if the IRS came calling because you claimed it.

    If the government wants to institute real tax reform I think we would all welcome it. But given as that is pretty unlikely, and there appears to be nothing we as citizens can do to make that happen, enough of this could still drive them there . . . although perhaps not in the lifetimes of anyone already paying taxes.

    As for all that juggling credit card apps and stuff? Seriously, one of the best parts of getting wealthier is being able to make your life LESS complicated, not more so.

    1. Yeah, the IRS probably won’t audit the shop, but you never know. Of course, on the other end, business owners should claim a business expense if it is legit.

      On the credit card sign-up bonuses, I didn’t pay attention for a while b/c I have my own. But with the war for people’s business and capital now, it sure seems like the bonus rewards are getting bigger and bigger.

      Further, my credit score is over 800+ now and don’t need to protect my credit score any more from too many inquiries. Further, I have things that need to be spent. Therefore, I think it’s a good idea to pick up some cash laying on the street with 5-10 minutes of work of opening up one card at least.

  9. You lost me at “Its profit margin will be 100% on labor;” how does the math work on that one?

  10. We have a trusted home renovation contractor that I negotiate a cash price for every time. First time, we were both nervous about doing a $7k job for cash (half up front). The guy came with good references and had been in business for a while so I went with it. Ever since, we’ve been doing cash deals and I think we’ve probably spent around $50k in renovations over the last 5 years with his small general contractor company. One time, the bank teller was chatty and was curious about why I kept withdrawing so much cash and I simply told him “home renovation”. He got it and apologized for being nosy. We saved about 15% off each job. His tax and hiring practices are not my concern.

      1. Cash cash. I suspect he didn’t report the sales taxes and paid his family member workers in cash. This was multiple projects over a few years. Each project was in the order of $10k – $20k. In some cases, I bought material myself and just paid his firm for labor.

  11. Wow! That’s a lot of cheddar, not to mention wasted time and energy for car repairs. I’ve been driving an EV for about 4 years now, and with a total of $300 on repairs (mostly tire rotation). Then of course there’s the gas I never buy. If you only drive 4K miles per year you might want to consider making the switch.

    1. Congratulations for a low maintenance bill. A comparable Tesla Model S costs about $80,000, so I’m still saving some money with my vehicle by $22K.

      My next car will probably be electric. Want the grid built out even further and the battery distance to go further so we can go to Tahoe no problem, 220 miles away.

      1. I’m concerned about switching to electric because PG&E is saying we’ll have our power turned off periodically for the forseeable future. They need to save money on maintenance of our power grid so they can pay their execs.

  12. Government spending in the U.S. is 43% of GDP. The obvious reason he offered the greenback option is he is not going to declare the cash and now there is no trail. Especially in a tax heavy place.

    I was remodeling a tax accountants place once and he told me the only way you can get ahead in America is if you own a cash based business.

  13. 1) Stuff like this is why I’m glad I don’t drive.

    2) Don’t worry if you’re supposedly aiding and abetting tax evasion. That’s a big assumption, first off (though a pretty reasonable one. It’s my assumption), and it’s his business whether he pays his taxes, not yours. Which leads me to…..

    3) You plan to expensethis towards your business so that you can deduct it. You DO use your vehicle for business purposes, right?

    4) Maybe I’m lazy, but juggling these sign on bonuses seems like more trouble than it’s worth. I really wouldn’t want to engineer every minor purchase I have to make just to chase these bonuses. Keeping track of the myriad of credit cards coming and going just sounds like a nuisance. And in this specific case, you’re getting a roughly $250 discount. Just go with it.

    4) You named your car “Beast Master”? You name your cars? I don’t think I’m physically capable of cringing hard enough to accurately express my thoughts on that.

    ARB–Angry Retail Banker

  14. I also like driving european cars, but prefer to lease for this reason. Once out of warranty, you can easily average 3-5k a year in repairs/maintenance. In addition to my personal experience, take a look at edmunds total cost of ownership for various european makes/models). If you buy it new, or even a few years old you also have sizable depreciation each year that’s typically 10% of the cars current value. So that’s another few k. Now add in opportunity cost of money (for paying cash), or interest if you finance. Even if you keep it for 10 years, you’ll likely end up having averaged about 1% per month of the cars original price when all is said and done (even subtracting out whatever the car is worth at the end).

    For that same amount, you likely could have leased 3 new vehicles in that same time period. Once the car is fully depreciated (likely around the 10 year mark), average repair costs shoot up again so there’s really no free lunch. A friend of mine is an example of htis- he owns a 2002 LR Discovery and spends about 5-6k a year. I know he loves that truck, but personally, for that amount I’d rather just lease a new car. Not to mention the fact that the newer cars you could have leased would have better safety, efficiency and tech.

    The above, of course, doesn’t apply to Toyotas and the like, but I haven’t found any european vehicles that offer an appealing long term ownership cost. I suppose if there were a car that I was absolutely in love with and wanted to keep forever that would be a different story. One day, I might buy a 911 to keep. But for a nice, everyday european family car I think it makes more sense to lease.

  15. “By not being able to pay by credit card or check, there is no record that I ever paid for services rendered.”

    Why wouldn’t the receipt be a sufficient record of your transaction?

    1. It is, once one gets it. But beforehand, when you’re deciding on paying by cash, you start wondering what shady things are going on and whether you might not get the receipt once you pay cash. You just never know. Everything is based on trust. With cash, the paper trail disappears.

      1. I pay with cash frequently (not necessarily for car repairs, but just in general). And when I pay with cash, I always receive a receipt immediately, on the spot. I would indeed be suspicious of any business that says they will give you a receipt later. I just haven’t had that experience.

  16. I think no matter how hard you try you always spend more when you’re using a credit card. I never feel the ding when I buy things on my card, but if I go to the grocery store with $30 then there is no room for me to go outside of that amount. I totally agree that on the protection side credit cards take the care. I do personally use my credit card for every transaction I still know that I spend more even if it is a few bucks here and there. I really want to try a cash only month and see if it lowers my spending. I’m naturally a bigger saver, but I think I would see a difference specifically at the Whole Foods, Trader Joes, & Sprouts. Probably would save me a lot of money to strictly only shop at Aldi, but that is a whole other topic.

    1. That would be an interesting study. There’s likely a psychological benefit for using cash (as it relates to saving).

      I would also go with the $750. In both situations, there’s no way of telling whether they took shortcuts. Unless you’re a car guy yourself.

      Getting a 25% discount for using cash is great though. When I was buying a car last year, I went to the dealership with the intention of buying a car with cash and negotiating the price. I don’t drive a hard bargain I guess. The sales guy told me that paying with cash is actually a negative because they want you to take credit. So, I would have lost my $1,000 credit for getting the loan with Nissan. Silly because I just paid off the loan when I got the first payment due.

  17. Agree with paying in cash. Even better, find either the OEM or aftermarket parts you need online, buy them, and have your mechanic install those. As you sat your time is the most valuable to you, having the mechanic do it both saves time and provides peace of mind. If you had the time, you can easily download all the relevant shop manuals online, and follow the step by step instructions to make the repairs yourself. This saves a boatload of money if you have the time and inclination! Barring that, providing the mechanic with the parts they need will save you even more cash.

    1. Agree. I just have concern b/c of my lack of expertise working on cars, that I buy the wrong part, install it inappropriately, and have to pay an expert anyway.

      For me, with my responsibilities now as a SAHD and writing on FS, I’m willing to pay an expert to do it right with a 12 -month warranty for parts and labor too.

  18. Financial Freedom Countdown

    If he is giving a 24% discount it is definitely not the credit card processing he is trying to save.
    Also you do not have as much protection with small businesses even with a credit card. I assume his/her Yelp reviews check out?
    Personally I always take my car to the dealer although it costs more; to be assured that the parts are genuine and they stand behind their work,

  19. Car maintenance is a pita but a necessary thing with ownership. Glad they were able to identify what was wrong so quickly at least. The worst is when you know something isn’t right with a car and the mechanic thinks it might be xyz but it ends up being something else. I guess all the computers and such they have nowadays really help identify the sources of mechanical failures much easier than in the past.

    Smart of you to check prices and ask for a better deal! I’ve taken cash discounts on home repairs and such and didn’t regret it.

  20. I have not heard about a break bleeding service. Is this some kind of scam? Sure you can change the fluids in your breaks, but break fluid lasts longer than 3 years unless you are in extreme heat, cold, or altitude. I would check your owner’s manual for that one.

    That point aside, I would pay with cash and keep my receipt. The receipt is enough. If you have that, then I can’t see how its not protected.

    I generally use CC for almost everything for the rewards since I pay off my balances. At some point time and money has to balance out. The decision point is to the person.

    1. Maybe I don’t need it. Basically, air slowly gets into the brakeliners and causes the brake to get squishy sometimes. I have felt or had squishy brakes before in my old cars.

      He said it would cost $150. My brakes feel fine. But maybe I should do it all the same given it is recommended every three years. Then I don’t have to think about it or go back hopefully for three years. I probably can skip out on it for one or two years as they said given I only have 23,000 miles on the car and the manufacturer calculates 36,000 miles on average after three years.

      But since I’ll be going back to the shop, I feel if I get it done it’s just one less thing to do. I’m 100% focused on safety now that I have a family to drive around.

      1. My understanding is that modern (silicone-based) brake fluid slowly absorbs water and can degrade the system internals, especially on cars not driven much. Heat from braking supposedly helps slow the water accumulation.
        You can easily ignore the suggestion of this bleed service, but be mindful of squishy brakes and give them attention as soon as you notice a drop in performance. You didn’t say what fan unit…engine, heater, other?…Given that most modern fans are electric, RR can be pretty easy. Personally, I would probably buy the part and do it myself even if I wasn’t retired. You’ve already blown any of the margins you’ve profiled by the time spent writing this post and replying to many of the responses. ;)

  21. Most contractors want cash as well. Just had some trees cut from my property for $1400… I had them a check written to CASH and they were disappointed it wasn’t actual cash. I think they wanted to pay the workers that day and have cash. Also spend $5k this year on a roof, they don’t take CC, so cash again. Wish I could have put the roof on a CC for $100 cash back

    Its the only reason I keep a brick and mortar bank account open for those time I need large sums of cash.

  22. Mrfireby2023

    Pay with cash. Credit card frequent flyer miles are nice but to save 25% it’s a no-brainer!

  23. CASH (via debit card). Save time and money.

    Bought my current car (2007 Mazda6) with cash back and 2017. I avoided all the usual paperwork that comes with the financing process and got a discount partially because I reminded them that I was paying in cash.

    It also saved me from buying too much car since I was limited to the $5500 that I had on hand.

    The most I had to do was call my bank and clear the large purchase. That took about 10 minutes.

  24. Easy peasy decision- pay with cash. The Cc stuff looks to be a real hassle for the few hundred buck.

    Orrr – YouTube the repair and fix it yourself. Replacing a fan motor is not hard. YouTube is the democratization of information and has saved people who are willing to learn a skill billions of dollars. It’s a great tool.

    Another option – if the clicking noise is not bothersome, don’t sweat it. It is likely just a small piece of plastic that shifted into the fan blades. It will wear away soon enough. The fan is clearly working so yo could live with it.

    1. Yeah, after the mechanic said it was the fan, I felt somewhat relieved it wasn’t the engine based on when I was reading in the forums.

      But then he showed me thr fan of a working car, and how it was pulling in a lot of air into the engine. My fan was just pinwheeling, and was not drawn in any air whatsoever. Therefore, the engine would eventually overheat which would cause massive damage.

      I did notice every time I turned off the car and walked by it in my garage that it seemed much hotter. I also felt that the interior of my car was much harder after I turned it off as well.

      1. Steve Adams

        Yeah if the fan is free wheeling and not rotating with its drive shaft, get it fixed, you or them. Random plastic rubbing could be ignored, this will reduce the life of the engine. (I own an engine rebuilding business so have seen a few versions of this where people don’t fix small things and it doesn’t pay)

        The price for cash may also include a reduction for negotiation. Allows the mechanic to offer a discount but the customer doesn’t feel like the first price was screwing them over.

        Plus with sales tax, income taxes, and revenue based insurance costs a good shop there will probably keep less then half of his profit. This way his P&L will show $1000 less revenue saving him $550 in taxes. So his take home jumps quite a bit with all cash.

        Great blog btw.

  25. Cash is still King with all the mechanics I know. Also, keeping up with proper maintenance pays for itself in the long-run. Especially on any fluids (oil, transmission, brake, etc.). Particles or water suspended in the fluid can do some amazing damage if left in too long. Helped a friend change out a steering pump and rack ($1200) because he failed to change the steering fluid ($5 and a turkey baster) for more than five years. :)

    1. Yikes! All for 5 bucks.

      Reminds me of not paying $3 for the meter one time and only putting in $1. Of course I get a $79 ticket because I came back 10 min late. Love it!

  26. The shop is probably avoiding the CC fees AND the delay in payment. The warranty is the same so long as it’s written the same on the invoice. You only lose the consumer protection services that CC’s provide, which isn’t such an issue at a brick and mortar establishment.

  27. I’d pay cash for 25% off. That’s a big discount. Of course, I’d have to trust the shop. They could stick in a cheap rebuilt part or something like that.

  28. I’d keep it simple and pay cash, get the receipt for the work done and the instant discount. I usually do the whole CC point thing on big expenses, but here you’re getting a nice discount anyway.

    Just curious, where’d you come up with the name BeastMaster? :-)

  29. “Cash talks” is still relevant today. Despite being able to live your entire life on on-line without even handling hard coin and paper.

    Also, Autoshops, like all small business, run a bit higher risk of going out of business. Then a warranty wouldn’t matter. Experienced that.

    I say cash over credit in this scenario.

  30. I do not see an issue with paying cash especially if getting a receipt.

    A lot of businesses offer cash discount (even if pay by check) so that they avoid the credit card transaction fee. Plus they get the money then and there and not have to wait for the credit card company to send them the funds.

    Must be a coincidence but I just brought one of my cars for brake issue and was hit with a huge estimate this weekend ($7.4k) because the brake line had rusted. It was a shock at the price tag and essentially the cost of what I bought the car 2nd hand about 5 yrs ago.

    1. Ugh, $7,400?! How old is your car and what is it? That is my worst auto-mechanic nightmare, getting a big surprise bill. I was bracing for $3,000+ for my given the clicking noise didn’t sound good near the engine. But, I was hopeful since the clicking sound did not accelerate when I revved the engine.

      What are you going to end up doing?

      1. Yeah it was a shock for me when they hit me with that. It is a 2006 Land Rover LR3. It’s not even my main vehicle (3rd vehicle actually) and mainly used to haul trash (I have no garbage service where I live, but have a dump 2 miles away) and I use it when I go to the airport and don’t want my Tesla to be left out.

        Apparently the underside of the land rover was pretty rusted and it got the brake line which is an ordeal for them to take out (and exhaust system would be replaced as it was rusted and would be damaged when they remove it to fix break line). Also something else they said needed to be done.

        I actually paid less for the vehicle when I bought it 2nd hand but I have sort of been stuck in a tough place as I can’t drive it safely anymore and would not be able to sell it for anything either. I ended up approving it since I think it could last a long time after this as everything else seems to be mechanically very sound..

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