Collision repair can be a costly endeavor simply because of the sheer amount of skill and time that goes into making repairs when a car has been damaged in an accident. If you get stuck having to fork over cash for the repairs because of lacking insurance, there are a few things you can do to save a little money at the collision center. 

1. Find out about aftermarket parts availability. - Not every repair shop will use aftermarket vehicle parts in their repairs, either because of lacking availability or the preference of many customers to get their replacement parts straight from the auto manufacturer. However, aftermarket parts are usually just as good and can be much cheaper to obtain. Therefore, when you start obtaining estimates in the beginning for the repairs, make sure you take not of whether aftermarket parts can be used. 

2. Ask about possible payment plans. - Believe it or not, many collision centers deal with drivers who do not have all of the money up front regularly and have developed programs to help them out. In some cases, they will take a portion of the payment up front and allow you to pay the remaining balance when you pick up your car. Some even have connections to finance companies that can extend a personal loan to you for repairs. If you know you will have a hard time coming up with the money, it never hurts to ask about payment options that may be available. 

3. Learn About Ways to Reduce Costs. - When the insurance company is not involved in a collision repair, it gives you the freedom to do as you wish when it comes to fixing your car. Therefore, if you have a little auto body experience and can remove some of the damaged components of your vehicle on your own, it may be a good idea to go ahead and do so. Some collision centers will take off hundreds of dollars if you can just get the car ready to go before it is taken to the shop. 

You may have to carry a certain level of insurance coverage for your vehicle, but if you are like a lot of drivers, you will choose minimal coverage options to keep your costs down as low as possible. This may be easier in your wallet now, but if you are involved in an accident, it can leave you with a major amount of damage and insurance coverage that will not pick up the tab. Talk to a collision repair expert for more information on how to save on your final bill.