It is a well-known fact that the car is the most expensive things the majority of people purchase after a home (unless you are insanely rich and own a yacht). We spend quite a bit purchasing a car and then we spent surprisingly huge amounts on maintaining and caring for our cars.

The good news is that there are more than a few things you can do to minimize your expenses, both when it comes to purchasing a vehicle and maintaining it.

Buying a Car

It doesn’t matter if you decide to purchase new, upgrade with your current dealer or choose a used car, the chances are that you will be spending more than a few monthly salaries on your new mode of transportation. This is why one should be very smart when purchasing a car.

Research

Before anything else, you will want to do a bit of researching and finding exactly what make and model will make the most sense to you. Sometimes you will want to buy a more expensive model and then find out that a car that costs five thousand less can perfectly cater to all your needs. Doing research will also help you find out what the prices are on the car you want and who offers the best deals.

Buy Online

Most people buy used cars after doing dozens of hours of browsing, checking out cars far and wide for the best fit. But, did you know that you can save quite a bit of money online even if you are purchasing from a dealership. Namely, salespeople who sell online are usually commissioned in a different way than in-store salespeople and they wish to move as many cars as possible. As a result, you get the best possible price.

Spark Competition

Another great way to drive the price down is to get a few dealerships and to pit them against each other. Let them know that you are in communication with another dealership and make sure to share all of the discounts you managed to get from this other dealership. You will want to be as specific as you can about the car you want and find out what they are willing to do for you price-wise.

Be Smart about Financing

Most experts say that you should come in a dealership with your financing already figured out. You will want to do as many applications for auto loan preapprovals to ensure and find the financing option that suits you the best. Your preapproval will usually last you about 60 days and this will give you more than enough time to find a car you wish to buy.  Of course, once you find the car and the dealer, ask about their financing. You never know how affordable it can be.

Car Maintenance

Many first-time car owners realize how expensive it is to care for a car only once they purchase it. Seasoned car owners, however, know a few tricks that drive their maintenance costs down. Keep in mind that maintenance here is used also to cover driving habits and various bureaucratic expenses.

Regular Maintenance

This sounds really parent-y, but there is nothing that will save you more money on your car than regular maintenance. Make sure to consult your owner’s manual and find out when you need what. Check up on your fluids, take good care of your tires and make sure you go in for regular major checkups. Also, keep in mind that no one can force you to use their mechanics. You can use anyone you want and you won’t lose your warranty.

Smart Driving

Smart driving can actually save you sizeable amounts of money and it is not like you will be doing anything tiring or time-consuming. Find your car’s most fuel-conserving cruising speed and keep it there when on the highway. Avoid hard braking as this will shorten the lifespan of your brake pads (even if you use quality brakes like DBA).

Become an Insurance Pro

People waste enormous amounts of money on their insurance and it is all because they fail to research it a bit. Learn what will raise your premium and try to avoid stuff like that – letting your teenager drive the car or claiming for tiny expenses. Also, if you do not cover too many miles in any given year, try to find an insurer that gives discounts based on the mileage.

In the end, it is all about learning new ways to be prudent and save a few bucks here and there. Before you know it, the savings will pile on and you’ll really start to notice it.