For many of us, our cars are an essential part of our everyday lives. They help us get to work and the grocery store, and for people that live outside of big cities, it may be a critical necessity for every part of their lives. Buying and owning a car can be incredibly expensive, so here are some tips on how you can cut down those costs and create room in your budget.

Buy Used When You Can

While a new car may seem like a good idea, the value of that car drops significantly the moment you drive it off the lot. Buying used doesn’t mean that you have to buy a bad car either. Low mileage and newer cars are often found at dealerships, so you don’t have to exchange quality for cost. This consideration can also be done when looking at repairs. For example, finding a used truck rear end instead of buying a new one from a dealership in the case of an accident can be an excellent way to save big money on repairs.

Schedule Maintenance By The Book

Keeping your car in tip-top shape really comes down to always maintaining your car as it is meant to be when it was first bought. The owner’s manual for your car should explain the exact schedule needed for specific services for your car. Oil changes should be done every three to five thousand miles, while batteries last from three to five years. Maintaining a record and keeping on schedule for all the services your car needs is critical in keeping your car in its best condition. Scheduling maintenance at the right times means your car is far less likely to deal with issues related to neglect, and you’ll likely spend less money in the long run on costly repairs.

Budget Potential Repair Costs

Preparing for the potential costs of keeping up with the repairs on your vehicle is essential for keeping up your car for the long haul. You want to make sure that you’re always able to get repairs done when it needs it, rather than when it turns into an emergency. This is the best way to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your car’s lifespan, and saving money in the long run. Calculate the potential repair costs of your vehicle by dividing the amount that you’ve spent in the last twelve months on repairs by twelve, and you’ll get the amount that you should be saving every month.