When slimming down your budget, you need to look at it from every angle you can. Saving the costs of coffee by making a thermos and smarter grocery shopping all pitch in, but the biggest impact is going to be made by digging into the biggest costs. When it comes to the biggest costs, you can’t ignore your car. Here are a few saving techniques worth considering.

Drive less

It might sound like a flippant answer, but the costs of wear and tear and gas consumption are going to increase exponentially if you’re constantly taking your car out for trips that you could just as easily walk. So, stop revving that engine every time you need to hit the local shop for a bottle of milk. Looking for local alternatives to trips that might necessitate a long drive, like holidaying at homeinstead of taking a day out, can help you cut down those long-term expenses of your car, as well.

Upgrade sensibly

When it comes time to buy a new car, if you’re aiming to slim down your budget, buying used always makes the most sense. Even high-quality rides like a used Range Rover will cost considerably less on the used market, even if they’ve only ever been driven once. One pre-owner is all it takes to make a car much more affordable. It’s recommended you stick to dealerships when buying used, however, as failing to thoroughly investigate and test drive used motors on the private market can result in some horror stories.

Choosing the right car

When it comes to the car that you buy, you need to look further at just the price tag alone or how much your monthly payments are going to be. Other things factor into its lifetime costs. For one, understanding the fuel economy is important, as a higher fuel economy directly means less money spent on fuel over the lifetime. However, you should also look at sites like the Reliability Index, which highlight how likely cars are to suffer from malfunctions, meaning more repairs and replacements which means more money spent at the garage. The more reliable the vehicle, the better.

Coping with those sudden costs

Of course, even the most reliable motor will suffer the occasional problem. You can spend time on maintenance to prevent it, but it’s just a delay on the inevitable. Wear and tear cannot be stopped. It can be prepared for, however. By putting together a car emergency fund, you can be ready so that when a repair or replacement cost does hit you, you’re not forced to rely on a loan, stretching your credit further and adding interest into the equation. Figure out the average yearly cost of repairs and save up a fund to cover it.

Lastly, it might be worth considering whether you need a car in general. Looking at local transport links, and how often you need to travel may give a surprising answer. Of course, for most, a car is essential, so do keep the tips above in mind.