9 Ways We’ve Learned to Save Money on Auto Expenses

A woman smiles as she leans out of the car.
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The cost of new and used cars has been hitting record highs. We’ve also seen gas prices rise and rental car rates soar.

You’ve likely felt the financial pinch.

But we’ve been learning ways to better navigate these high costs. Here are our top stories to help drivers save money on auto expenses in 2023 and beyond.

9 Ways to Save Money on Auto Expenses

Use these tips to help you cut down the costs of buying — or just driving — a car.

1. Learn to Buy a Car Without Haggling

For many people, the worst part of the car-buying experience is trying to haggle with the salesperson for a better price. Negotiating is an art not everyone has mastered.

However, there are other approaches you can take at the dealership that can still score you sweet savings. A former car sales manager explains how to buy a car without haggling in this article.

2. Decide Whether Buying or Leasing Is Best for You

Rising prices don’t make car buying favorable to consumers. But when you need a new set of wheels, you need a new set of wheels.

When shopping for a new vehicle, you can choose to either buy or lease. This article explains the pros and cons of both options so you can make the best decision for your situation.

3. Negotiate the Best Deal on Your Car Lease

Just because you may have your leased vehicle for only a couple of years doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fight for the best deal you can get.

This article shares 11 tips on how to negotiate a car lease so you don’t walk off the car lot with regrets.

Pro Tip

Think you can never make money from a leased vehicle? Think again. Here are three ways you can earn thousands from your leased car.

4. Know How to Buy a Used Car Without Getting Ripped Off

Used cars are less expensive than buying the latest model, but there’s always the worry that you’ll purchase a lemon.

If you’re interested in buying a used vehicle, heed these seven tips to make sure you’re getting a good car at the best price.

5. Determine How Much You Can Afford to Spend on a Car

Cars are a big expense. The last thing you want is to lock yourself into a monthly payment you can’t afford.

Before buying a new set of wheels, ask yourself these seven questions to determine how much car you can afford.

6. Make a Budget for Maintenance and Repairs

Your monthly car payment may be your biggest auto-related expense, but it’s not the only thing you should be budgeting for. All vehicles require regular maintenance, and you also need to prepare for future repairs as your vehicle ages.

This article explains how much to budget for car maintenance and repairs so you’re not caught off guard when these expenses pop up.

7. Consider Alternatives to Pricy Rental Cars

Enjoy your vacation without stressing out about all the extra costs. Instead of booking an expensive rental car when you’re away from home, there are other alternatives.

This post shares six ways to get around on vacation without needing to rent a car.

Pro Tip

A fairly low rental car rate doesn’t always mean your rental will be affordable. Learn what mistakes to avoid when booking a rental car.

8. Use These Tips to Save Money on Gas

You can reduce the amount of money you spend on gas by being selective about where you fill up, how you pay and when you go to the gas station. How you drive and the condition of your car can even impact how much you spend on gas.

These 22 tips will help you save money when fueling up your vehicle.

9. Sign Up for One of These Fuel Rewards Programs

Joining a fuel rewards program is just one of the ways you can save money on gas. But with so many programs available, it can be difficult to know which one offers the best deal.

This article compares six gas rewards programs from popular chains and shares how each one works to save you money.

Nicole Dow is a former senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. Senior writer Mike Brassfield contributed to this report.