How to throttle down on car costs and save thousands

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How to throttle down on car costs and save thousands

In last week’s installment of USA TODAY’s Taming your budget-busting bills series we looked at ways to cut the cost of your commute by not using a car. This week we look at ways you can save on the costs of owning and operating a car.

Anyone will tell you Americans love their cars, and any American will tell you that love doesn’t come cheap.

“It’s not an inexpensive undertaking to own and operate a vehicle,” said Michael Calkins, manager of technical services at AAA.

Cars are the most expensive thing owned by most Americans who don’t own their homes and the second-most expensive thing for those who do. And the sales price is just the beginning. Once you get your new ride off the lot the bills kick into gear. Fuel, insurance and maintenance add up quickly.

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