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?

Ford Autonomous Vehicle Testing to Start This Year

Ford autonomous vehicle testing

Calm down Jr. They’re working on the autonomous cars, ok?

With testing already going on in Michigan at Michigan University’s Mcity facility and on public roads in Arizona, Ford autonomous vehicle testing will also start in California in 2016. The Silicon Valley Ford testing and innovation center will allow for a wider array of tests thanks to California’s year-round mild weather, since rain and snow make testing autonomous vehicles more difficult.

Recently approved by the California DMV, Ford will test a new Ford Fusion on California roads, allowing testers to observe how the autonomous Fusion will react to the different environment and different traffic laws, like motorcycles that can legally split lanes.

Silicon Valley is the perfect place for autonomous testing thanks to the abundance of tech knowledge in the area. Ford hopes to develop lasting partnerships with the local companies like Google, Uber, and Baidu, all of which are testing autonomous vehicles around the country. Ford will also draw on its existing partnership with the University of California Berkeley and other local colleges.

If you can’t wait for an autonomous vehicle, you might want to try a used car from Mama’s Used Cars! We’re located in Charleston, South Carolina, and we’re waiting for you to visit!

Benefits of Buying a Used Car

buying a used car

Buying a used car can be fun, we promise! Just read on to find out. 

Buying a brand new car might seem like a great idea, but don’t discount the benefits of buying a used car—often, if you get something from the last few years, used cars are very similar to new cars but with some cool perks.

First off, used cars are, overall, cheaper. They have a lower initial cost, lower monthly payments, lower car insurance, sales tax, registration fees. If you’re on a tight budget, used cars are the best way to go. Plus, if you want to sell your car again down the line, you get a better return on your investment—the value of a car depreciates the most in its first three years.

And sure, you won’t get the very latest technology on a used car, but not everyone needs that. A lot of slightly older cars will still have cool features like navigation systems. Plus, newer used cars in good condition are often put through a certification process by dealerships, so if you get a certified pre-owned car you’ll end up with something like new but cheaper and with some handy warranties.

Buying used is the right choice for a lot of people, so definitely think about it! Then head down to Mama’s Used Cars to pick out your favorite!

 

The Importance of All-Wheel Drive Vehicles in Winter

All-Wheel Drive Vehicles

When winter rolls in, drivers need to start thinking about what preventative measures to take in order to get themselves safe and their vehicles functioning properly. Things like performing routine maintenance, swapping out all-season tires for winter tires, and making sure your HVAC system is working properly are all crucial elements to preparing for winter. But other drivers may take it a step further and wonder if all-wheel drive vehicles are more suitable to the slippery roads of winter.

The number one benefit, and possibly the most obvious one, is that AWD comes with increased traction over other modes of driving. AWD allows all four wheels to spin independently, so if a one or two wheels lose traction or slip, the other wheels can still pull the vehicle forward. This comes in handy on icy roads during hazardous winter storms. Modern technology also calls for innovations in AWD systems; many AWD vehicles now function on computer systems that allocate more power to wheels with better traction. Additionally, AWD makes for excellent resale value, so someday when you need to sell your vehicle, it will be worth more.

As with any extra, beneficial features, all-wheel drive vehicles typically cost more than other types and lower the mpg of a given vehicle, but many drivers find that the added peace of mind that accompanies AWD systems pays off in the end. If you are in the market for a new car with the winter months coming up, you may be better off looking for a car with all-wheel drive.

December Car Sales Make it the Best Month to Buy

December Car Sales

2015 is drawing to a close as we move into the last month of the year, and people are in the midst of spending lots of money on a variety of different things in preparation for holiday festivities. However, the end of the year is also a great time to buy cars, as dealerships are knocking down prices to clear the outgoing models from their lots and in the hopes of fitting in as many sales as possible before the New Year begins. December car sales make right now one of the best times of the year to buy a new car.

The year-end sales rush causes many manufacturers to dramatically slash sticker prices by the thousands with the intent of clearing inventory of outdated products and ushering in the new. 2016 models that have already launched may also see impressive deals as dealerships try to attract buyers to updated models. However, demand around this time of year also falls drastically, so even used car dealerships will offer great deals in an attempt to bolster sales as fewer people are looking for new vehicles during the holiday season.

Though December car sales may attract you, keep in mind, too, that dealerships operate on what is known as the US Sales Reporting Calendar. This calendar, unlike the public one, ends on January 4th as opposed to New Year’s, so buyers may find even better deals during the first few days of January when car dealerships are fitting in a few extra sales before the Sales Reporting Calendar ends.