Healthy used cars provide long term savings

Let’s say it’s time to purchase a second automobile. Maybe it’s just a weekend driver for the beach or special events so you’ve set aside a small budget and plan to go all out to save money. It’s a fair bet that buying a less expensive “new” car has crossed your mind since many have attractive service plans and may cost less in repairs. Is the monthly payment worth it? What about the down payment; would that be best spent on a well maintained used car instead?

Saving money usually begins with less expensive down payments and no monthly repair bills indeed, but you may discover that your cheap “new” car ends up costing you more down the road. While some dealerships offer an attractive monthly service agreement that may include free oil changes and a free wash, rest assured that you’re going to pay for those freebies sooner or later. The 50’000, 80’000 and 100’000 mile service visits are not so easy on the wallet and are in addition to your regular monthly car payment. They can cost from $300.00 to $1’500.00 depending on the dealer and required service work. Granted these regular check ups are meant to ensure your car’s health over the long term but if saving money is your goal then this could be more than you originally bargained for. To save money you may choose not to have these services performed as they are often sold as “preventative” work. Buyer beware, if they are required to support your car’s warranty, you’re probably better off spending the money. Should a breakdown occur as a result of worn parts due to a skipped service visit then you may be in for big trouble.

When buying used, begin with a healthy vehicle by referencing the vehicle’s Carfax. Your initial outlay of cash should be far less as well as your monthly payment. Is many cases you may be able to pay cash for your weekend excursion vehicle! Plus, you can continue to save money by maintaining your automobile properly and avoiding expensive repairs and service visits at a dealership. Do-it yourselfers love this option and often thrive on the feeling of accomplishment they get from both the finished service work and saving money. Still others may prefer less or no time under the hood and wish to hire a pro to take care of the regular maintenance work on their used cars. Either way, by following a simple monthly maintenance plan your initial savings on your used weekend traveler won’t be gobbled up by repairs or expensive service visits. Owning a safe, reliable, inexpensive used automobile is great way to save money all the way around. Your car’s well-being begins with knowing it and what it needs to stay in great shape. Your maintenance list should consist of regularly check tires, oil, windows, brakes, interiors and fluids. Newer cars will have all status reports displayed in the dash board panel of the car. It’s easy to follow up and do the maintenance. Preparing a car maintenance chart for referencing manually on a regular basis is also a good idea.


  • Check engine oil and change according to manual

  • Check engine coolant and flush annually

  • Change air filter according to manual

  • Check automatic transmission fluid and change according to manual

  • Battery (Fill and check for leaks)

  • Wipers Blades (Change as needed for proper performance)

  • Tire Rotation (According to manual)

  • Take care of small problems fast (Odd noises, unusual vibrations etc)

  • Wash and wax regularly (Check for corrosion)

  • Regular state inspections

  • Annual mechanic Inspection (Have your mechanic giver her the once over)

As with all car purchases and monthly service plans there will be exceptions on both sides so a careful analysis of your car’s maintenance requirements is advised. Whether you choose to buy new or used, protecting your 4 wheeled investment is a great way to save money.