Owning a vehicle is a major expense that many of us can’t avoid. One of the best ways to save money is to keep your car until you pay off the loan rather than upgrading to something newer and more expensive. Taking care of your car long-term will reduce the overall cost of owning a vehicle and eliminate the stressors that often come with buying new cars every few years! Read on top three tips for keeping your used vehicle in great shape for years to come!

Our first tip is to keep a regular maintenance schedule for your vehicle. While older vehicles sometimes need costly repairs, routine care will prevent any major issues from popping up unexpectedly. Having a licensed mechanic perform tune-ups and oil changes on your vehicle and replace parts as needed will greatly extend your car’s life and make it safer to drive. Small things like checking your tire pressure and all your fluid levels are easy things you can do yourself as well.

Next on our list: get the extended warranty. We don’t always suggest this, especially if you’re leasing your vehicle or plan to invest in a new model a few years down the line. However, extended warranties will help you from having to spend your own money when issues do come up. The manufacturer’s defects will also be fully covered the entire time the warranty is in effect. Some routine maintenance is even covered depending on the extent of your warranty!

Finally, drive carefully! You want your vehicle to last for as long as possible. Wrecks and crashes can knock years off an otherwise perfectly fine car. Aggressive driving also strains the mechanics of the car. Follow speed limits, don’t brake suddenly, and increase your speed gradually. Practicing safe driving will keep you out of the shop and on the road. Keep your tank filled so that you don’t run on fumes often, as this can cause major damage to your engine.