Need low cost auto repair (or maybe a free car)?

(Last Updated On: June 1, 2018)

Low cost auto repair is a common but difficult request here at While the need for reliable transportation is constantly high, the availability of resources is unfortunately low. Searching for low cost auto repair can be frustrating… but we did all the work for you and assembled this list!

Get help with auto repair, low income auto loans or maybe even a free car!

Working Cars for Working Families

Many organizations that focus on getting free cars to those in need have formed a coalition at Use their nifty Find a Program tool to find agencies that provide free cars, low cost auto repair or low income auto loans in your area.

A search in the Portland, Oregon, area directs users to contact Ways to Work Inc. at (503) 688-1785 for help obtaining a reliable vehicle. According to the Ways to Work website, “The ability to access affordable loans to purchase, repair, or refinance a car can be life-changing for working parents.  As part of the national Ways to Work program, we’re getting parents on the road when they need it most.”

low cost auto repair free car repair low income

Non-Profit Auto Repair Shops

Depending on where you’re located, you may be able to find a non-profit auto repair shop in your area. These shops provide cheap auto repair by reducing the labor costs.

Portland, Oregon, residents can find a non-profit auto repair shop across the Columbia in Vancouver. The Carpenter’s Garage has given back over $1 million to Portland and Vancouver residents in scholarships and discounted labor services.

Community Action Agencies

Local community action agencies provide assistance with rent, energy bills, weatherization assistance and sometimes even help with car repairs. Funds vary depending on your location, donation levels and fund availability. You can find a CAC in your area by searching your city or county name followed by “Community Action Agency.”

Churches & Charities

Depending on funds availability and local programs, you may be able to receive assistance from a local charity or Church. These programs are widely varied and cannot be fully researched on this blog. However, I would encourage you to reach out to the local programs in you area.

You may be able to receive assistance from St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Community Services, Salvation Army and/or United Methodist Church Car Ministry. These programs are not available in all areas and funding varies. In some cases, bus vouchers or other alternative methods of assistance may be provided.

Ways to Work

When you rely on a vehicle to get to work, losing your transportation can be an absolute disaster. Ways to Work doesn’t provide free cars but they do provide small, low interest loans to qualifying low-income applicants. Loans will be for no longer than 30 months and no more than 8% interest.

To qualify, you must reside in a service area and meet the following criteria:

  • 6 months of continuous employment OR enrolled in a post-high school education program
  • Be an involved parent of dependent child(ren)
  • Unable to obtain conventional loan resources
  • Have enough disposable income to make payments
  • Have a household income that is 80% or less than the area’s median income

To apply, you will need to visit a local loan office. Loan offices are available in 13 states. Click here to find one near you!

low income free car charity


Since 1996, Charity Cars has been encourage people to donate cars to the organization so the organization can then donate cars to families in need. As America’s #1 car donation charity, Charity Cars has been featured on Oprah, Good Morning America and other major outlets. They are especially known for providing free cars for disabled veterans, victims of domestic violence, families living in shelters and victims of natural disasters.

To be eligible, you must meet the following criteria:

  • United States resident
  • Age 18+
  • Valid Driver’s License
  • At or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level ($48,600 for a family of 4 in 2016)
  • No sustainable transportation

In order to receive a car, you will need to have access to a computer and internet service. You’ll need to be able to sign up and create an account at You’ll complete an application, generate votes to move up the waiting list and remain access on the site.

Get local help!

We’ve found additional resources in the following areas:



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