Top Reasons to Live in the South: From Warm Weather to Sweet Tea

top reasons to live in the South

Living in the South is great, especially because of the friendly atmosphere, warm climate, historic landmarks, and the great food. Whether you are thinking about moving or you simply want to visit, we’ve put together a list of the top reasons to live in the South.

For starters, the South has a truly laid-back atmosphere in most locations. According to the Frisky, one of the best things about the South is the porch-sitting tradition, something everyone should experience. As the epitome of relaxation, sitting on a porch is a great way to pass the day.

Fine dining is all around, as well as excellent drinks. Naturally, we’re talking about sweet tea. Northerners might like to be a little more conservative with the sugar, but there is nothing quite like a true Southern sweet tea on a hot afternoon—just be sure to sip it slowly.

One identifying factor for most Southerners is the phrase “y’all,” something you will quickly learn to adopt if you visit the South. No one knows quite how it started, but this iconic phrase has been a dead giveaway for Southerners who go on vacation in the North. For most, “y’all” is a truly charming contraction.

Finally, one of the best things about the South is the weather—and yes, we’re talking about the humidity. Although some people hate the muggy weather, nothing keeps your skin looking nicer than truly humid weather. Plus, warm weather is definitely preferable to spending the winter in icy climates.

Grab a Bite to Eat: Top Restaurants in Charleston, SC

top restaurants in Charleston, SC

Charleston is known for its scenic views and historic landmarks, as well as its incredible fine dining. In fact, the area is home to some of the best restaurants on the East Coast. We’ve put together a list of top restaurants in Charleston, SC to help you explore some of the best places to eat in the area.

According to Trip Advisor, the number one hot spot is Halls Chophouse. Named a Traveler’s Choice Winner, this restaurant has unparalleled surf and turf, top-shelf liquor, and excellent service. If you are looking for a treat, stop by Halls.

For something truly refined, check out the Charleston Grill. Plates cost roughly $30 to $40 each, but it is worth every penny. You can excellent seafood and superb wine—just be sure to wear a nice outfit. Whether you are celebrating and anniversary or you simply feel like being classy, check out the Charleston Grill.

The Oyster House on Market is one restaurant you won’t forget. For visitors coming to Charleston for the first time, this place is great. You can get excellent seafood casserole, hush puppies, sea bass, and, naturally, the best oysters around. For seafood lovers, this place is a must.

Other places to check out in Charleston include 167 Raw, Cru Café, Circa 1886, and the Peninsula Grill among others.

Popularity of Used Cars is Higher than Ever

popularity of used cars

Used cars are poised to sell better than ever in 2016, largely because consumers are realizing just how affordable a used car can be. The popularity of used cars is likely on the rise due to multiple factors, from less spending money to brand exclusivity among other things.

According to Edmunds, one major factor is that since 2015, brands have been significantly increasing the cost of their new cars. Buying a used car lets you save up to 30% of the initial cost, even if a model is only a year or two old. Demand drives cost up—waiting a little while means less demand and less overall cost.

“The market is flush with off-lease vehicles that are coming back to dealerships,” reads the Used Vehicle Market Report. “Most former rentals are concentrated within the segments of midsize car, compact car, subcompact car and larger car and are often distinctly different in terms of content and mileage from off-lease or consumer trade-ins,” the report said. “Based on the influx of this inventory and the expectation of low gas prices, Edmunds predicts that average prices will continue to fall for these segments.”

The growth of car-rental agencies and leasing is also making used cars more available. Such agencies get rid of cars after a few years, flooding the market with affordable used cars. Plus, most people have less cash than normal due to hard economic times, making financing easier for used vehicle buyers. These are just some of the reasons you might also consider buying a used car today.

Find the Right Mother’s Day Automotive Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day automotive gift ideas

Mother’s Day is right around the corner on May 8, making now one of the last chance’s you will have to find mom the right gift. Although you might think automotive gifts are better suited for Father’s Day, there are plenty of Mother’s Day automotive gift ideas out there that any mom would love to have.

According to Autozone, you can’t go wrong with electronics. Does your mom love listening to music in the car? Consider buying her a new stereo system. A range of brands are available on the market, with features like AUX/USB inputs to allow your mom to plug in her own music from her iPod or iPhone.

Talking on the cell phone and driving can be dangerous—that’s why you should consider buying mom a Bluetooth headset. These great gifts are compact and easy to install, letting you mom talk on the phone with a hands-free device. Bluetooth connectivity is only available on certain new cars; however, you can also install a Bluetooth system if you wish.

Getting stranded with a dead battery is the worst. That’s why a jump starter pack is a great gift. Your mom can simple hook this device up to her car and get going in no time. Although this gift will only be used once in a blue moon, she’ll be glad she has it when she needs it.

The Best Music Venues in Charleston

music venues in Charleston SCIf you are a live music fan and you just happen to live in Charleston, you must consider yourself the luckiest person in the world. There are so many great music venues in Charleston, each providing a stage for a diverse array of artists. Here are some of our favorites…

Silver Dollar – 478 King St.

Featuring a strong college bar vibe, people here love live music. The Silver Dollar hosts live shows almost every night of the week.

Music Farm – 32 Ann St.

This is a great middle-of-the-road venue; that is, not too big and not too small. Great sound with a nice bar, you can see such diverse acts as Waka Flocka and Cracker.

Charleston Music Hall – 37 John St.

Everything from screening music documentaries to featuring brilliant music artists like Aaron Neville and Gregg Allman, the Charleston Music Hall is a wonderful venue. It features fantastic sound and acoustics.

Circular Congregational Church – 150 Meeting St.

The church features an astounding musical production called From Gospel to Gershwin. It pulls together elements from jazz, gospel, Gershwin, Gullah, spirituals, Civil War songs—all of the music that defined the area over the years.

5 Ways to Determine Which Vehicle Is Right For You

what kind of vehicle should I buy

As you go on your next car-buying adventure, you may realize that you are unsure of what kind of vehicle to choose from. We’ll try to help out by giving you some of the advantages and disadvantages of each major kind of vehicle.

Sedans: Like most kinds of vehicles, sedans have a huge spectrum. But most of them are going to focus on sizable interior space, comfort, efficiency and technology. Obviously, they make great family vehicles.

Coupes: These two-door vehicles are designed for driving. They typically feature bigger or at least faster engines than sedans. Coupes usually sit somewhere between sedans and sports cars.

Trucks: We all know the obvious benefits of trucks—there’s a huge bed to put stuff in! But trucks are also made for towing. This means they have large engines and strong brake systems. This doesn’t mean trucks have to be austere. Many are just as comfortable and tech-savvy as sedans.

SUV/Crossovers: These kinds of vehicles usually offer all of the trappings of a sedan with more interior space and often times a bigger engine. Crossovers are the most popular kinds of vehicles on the road.

Compact/Subcompact: Just as you might think, the focus with compact and subcompact vehicles is efficiency. They are smaller in stature and feature smaller engines that many times allow hybrid-like fuel economy numbers.

Deciding what kind of vehicle you want can really help you narrow down your vehicle search!

Is Car Insurance Important?

Is Car Insurance Important?

If you’re a new driver or have never been in an accident, you probably are on the fence about car insurance. When you’re a confident driver, is car insurance important? In short, the answer is a resounding yes. We here at Mama’s Used Cars have a few reasons why car insurance is important, especially if you’re on the road every day.

  1. Peace of Mind – Even if you’re the most confident driver on the road, there’s always the chance someone else will hit you. If you’re both uninsured, you’re in for a lot of trouble. Even if you aren’t injured, shelling out the cash to fix your car can still be a huge hit to your wallet. With car insurance, you can drive confidently with peace of mind.
  2. Required By Law – In many states, having a minimum amount of car insurance is required by law. Not having car insurance could lead to a suspended license, fines, or worse. Some states may even take your car until you can prove you have car insurance.
  3. Save Money – According to the National Safety Council, the average cost of an accident in 2013 was $9,300 in property damage alone. Once you add in accidents that caused disabling injuries, that number soars to over $80,000. If you don’t have that much cash, car insurance is a necessity.

Parking Lot Safety

Parking Lot Safety

There were over 2,000 work-related deaths on company parking lots between 1993 and 2003. That’s a large number and it doesn’t include supermarket or mall parking lots. Parking lot safety is a major concern for both drivers and pedestrians. We here at Mama’s Used Cars have a few tips to keep you safe in the parking lot!

  1. Caution – As a driver, you should always keep your eyes open for other cars and pedestrians in the parking lot. Follow the set speed limits and turn around corners slowly, especially if you can’t see around them. If you’re a pedestrian, walk on the sides of the lane and avoid walking behind vehicles taller than you. Try to stay in the view of drivers so they can see you as well as you can see them.
  2. Dress Properly – If the parking lot is likely to be icy, come prepared with proper footwear. The last thing any driver wants to see is a pedestrian slip and fall in front of them. Making sure you can stay on your feet is a necessity in the parking lot.
  3. Pull Through – As a driver, you should avoid reversing, especially out of spaces. When possible, pull all the way through so you can drive forward when you’re ready to leave. If you have to reverse, go slowly and have your lights on. Doing so will give other drivers and pedestrians a chance to see you and possibly avoid an accident.

Ford SUV Sales Start Strong in 2016

Ford SUV sales

The year has only just begun and Ford SUV sales are already up. In fact, January was the strongest year start for SUVs since 2004. In addition, with the popularity of the Ford Transit, van sales have their best start in 31 years.

“For Ford, overall transaction prices were up $1,800 in January – almost three times more than the overall industry average – driven largely by strong customer demand, especially for our SUVs and F-Series pickups,” said Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service, in a statement.

Here at Mama’s Used Cars, while we don’t sell new cars, we have a large inventory of pre-owned Ford vehicles that is constantly changing. Many of these cars, trucks, and SUVs come certified pre-owned, which means you’ll get a warranty and a lot of peace of mind with your purchase.

If you’re looking for one of the best SUVs, crossovers, or pickups on the market, then Ford is a great choice. If you’re looking for a specific model, year, or specific features, let us know what you need, and we’ll help you find it.

We’re excited to see such a great start to 2016 and can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings.

Pamper Your Car on Valentine’s Day

pamper your car

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, which if you’re single may mean you are more aware of this than many of your friends who actually have a significant other. But, even if you do celebrate February 14th as Singles Awareness Day, you can still show some love to a very important “person” in your life—your car.

Just think about how much you appreciate your car—it gets you to wherever you need to go, gives you some great entertainment, and keeps you cool, comfortable, and safe on your travels.

Here are a few suggestions on how to pamper your car this Valentine’s Day.

  • Make it feel beautiful. Give your car a good wash, inside and out. You can even let your car spend a day at the “spa” by getting a professional detailing.
  • Fall in love again. Remember how excited you were when you first purchased your car. You probably couldn’t wait to sign those papers and take it out for a long drive. Reignite that spark by heading out on a long road trip just so you can enjoy driving again.
  • Clear up any contention. If your car has been giving you trouble in certain areas—any squeaks, stalls, funny sounds, or behaving strangely—take it in for a checkup and let a service professional give your car a good tune up.

Will you be taking care of your car this Valentine’s Day?