WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- "I am the firs owner, and I will be the last owner," says Ariel Manacher.
When Ariel first bought his Toyota Camry in 1996, he never imagined hitting 226-thousand miles.
"I didn't know it would get this far, but it did, and we're pleased," he says.
Consumer Reports auto expert Liza Barth says people often really aren't aware of the long-term financial benefits of holding on to a car.
"Our research shows if you hit 200,000 miles, which takes the average driver about 15 years, you could potentially save more than $30,000.
First, shop for a car you can live with long-term.
Barth says, "Make sure it fits your lifestyle and don't compromise on features, especially safety features like electronic stability control and rear-view camera, if you can get it."
And, pick a vehicle with a reliable track record, like Ariel's Camry.
Stick to the maintenance schedule in your owner's manual because missing even one oil change can contribute to premature engine wear.
"But don't waste money on maintenance you don't need. Many vehicles can go 10,000 miles versus 3,000 miles on an oil change," Barth says.
Also, don't skimp to save a couple of bucks on cheap parts and fluids. It could cost you in the long run.
And, listen for any strange sounds and get small things fixed before they become a big problem.
Ariel Manacher says, "The car starts every day, and that's what you really want in a car. You want to get in it and go. You don't want to worry about it.
Consumer Reports auto expert says if you are facing a repair that twill cost more than the car is worth or your vehicle starts to be unreliable, even with frequent repairs, then it may be time to say goodbye.