Once you get your car at the right price, with the best car insurance and a maintenance plan lined up, you can still practice frugal car ownership every day.
Smart-phone applications help you find everything from the cheapest gasoline in town to a map of the most efficient route to your office.
Many businesses and schools facilitate car pooling. If your company doesn't yet, start one. You can even save money on tolls and time on some highways that give breaks to high-occupancy vehicles.
"When you're car pooling, you're saving money on gas, on tolls and on maintenance," says Christine Maley-Gruble, executive director of the Peninsula Traffic Congestion Relief Alliance in Northern California. "You can use the high-occupancy vehicle lanes, so you get to work faster."
Even simple things like parking in the shade during the summer can help you save money. You'll work your car's air conditioner less.
"There are lots of ways to save on car ownership," Economides says. "It just takes research and patience."