People buy foreign cars for many reasons-- they look great, can run for a long time, and they can be of very high quality depending on the make. As much as many people enjoy their foreign car, the cost of maintenance and repairs can be high if owners don't know some tricks to reduce expenses. If you own a foreign car, use the following tips to make maintenance and repairs more affordable:

Pay Attention to Gas

Some foreign cars require premium gas depending on the type of motor they have, but owners can be reluctant to pay the higher price. In most cases, the cost of premium gas is only several cents higher than regular gas. It is normal to want to save money at the pump, but if your foreign car calls for premium gas, make sure that is what you use when you fill up the tank. Failure to use the appropriate gas can lead to expense repairs for your automobile's fuel system.

Avoid the Dealership

While your car is under warranty, it is normal to visit the repair shop when you need your vehicle serviced or repaired. But after your warranty expires, going to the dealership can result in very high repair bills. It is in your best interest to find a mechanic who is experienced in caring for foreign cars, especially your make and model. In many cases, a mechanic who specializes in maintaining and repairing foreign cars will result in a less expensive bill than having your car maintained or repaired at a dealership service center. It is also a good idea to build a relationship with a mechanic that you can trust so you know that you are not overpaying for parts and labor.

Consider Aftermarket Parts

Original parts for a foreign vehicle are often quite expensive-- you can save a lot of money by turning to aftermarket parts that were designed for a specific make and model without the high price tag of an original manufacturer part. If you don't know which aftermarket part will best suit your vehicle, consult a mechanic.

Keep Up on Maintenance

The easiest way to save money on repairs for a foreign car is by properly maintaining it. Keep up on oil changes, and don't forget the have the transmission serviced as well. If you don't know exactly how to maintain your foreign car, it s in your best interest to consult the owner's manual. Staying on top of routine maintenance on a foreign car will help ensure that your vehicle is always in good repair, and it will be available when you need to drive it.