In hard times, you may need to get a handle on your car expenses. And we all need to know the pros and cons of buying from the Detroit makers. Here are some sites with advice on both issues.

Lease trades. The leasing industry took a hit with the credit crisis and the decline in overall auto sales. But there are plenty of ways still to get a leased vehicle, even it if means taking over someone else's lease. This clever site provides a place to get rid of a leased car that you no longer need or that you no longer can afford. And for someone looking to take on an auto lease even for just a few months, for whatever reason, the site is target rich. Search by make and model, price, or location.

34 tips. Forget about "top 10" tips. This article gives us 34 - count 'em - ways to save money on car expenses, including removing unneeded items from the vehicle to "keep it light"; avoiding a car loan; not doing your daily commute in a Hummer; using GPS to navigate; and keeping the car for a long, long time. Moolanomy is a do-it-yourself money-management site, with guides to DIY debt consolidation and peer-to-peer loans, and ways to save money on a college education.

Hybrid or conventional. Consumer Reports makes a strong case for buying a gas-electric hybrid vehicle, even when the hybrid costs more than a conventional automobile. For the short run, that case assumes soaring gasoline prices, which don't seem to be an issue at the moment. But with oil prices so volatile, so recently, the advice here remains worth consideration.

Check automobile mileage numbers at this U.S. Environmental Protection Agency site.

Buy Detroit? Should you buy a car from one of the troubled American auto companies? Here are two opinions:

No, maybe, says this commentary at

Yes, maybe, says another columnist, on MSN Money.

Contact staff writer Reid Kanaley at 215-854-5114 or