CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — New information shows in addition to paying more the at pump, people can expect to pay more behind the wheel.

The average cost of a car note is now more than what some people are spending in rent.

And these rising numbers are filling many drivers with fear.

At 700 dollars a month, the ability to afford a new vehicle is out of reach for most Americans.

While dealerships are noticing fewer cars and less foot traffic, the auto body repair shops are seeing business like they’ve never have.

“Not a lot of vehicles out there, used-vehicle wise, and a lot of people now can’t afford newer cars, so it kind of brings them a lot anxiety when they do get into an accident. They’re worried that if it does total out, are they going to be left with a check that isn’t going to be able to cover the cost of a new car,” said Collision Repair manager, Christopher Tatman.

The repair shop manager advises everyone to keep up with their routine car maintenance as a way to get as much life out of their vehicle as possible. But for those who have already hit that limit, financial experts suggest buyers begin to prepare to do a little extra work on their end.

U of I Credit Union’s vice president, Greg Anderson, had this to add, “You know you shop for everything. So, you’re shopping for a car, looking for a good price. Shop for a loan as well. There’s all types of different loan rates out there. We’ve done a lot of new car but also used car lending has been a focus for us for years.”

An unexpected car expense is hard to plan for, especially in today’s financial climate. Tatman says making sure your tires have enough tread and you’re staying up to date on oil changes is a good place to start.

If maintenance isn’t an option, getting a preapproval on a car loan as a way to set a price point while shopping is one way to lighten the load.