Choosing the Perfect Used Car for Your Teenager

Starting the search for the perfect used car for your teenager can be a daunting task. After all, there are so many factors to think about. Price. Safety. Reliability. Fuel efficiency. Where should you begin? Well, if you’d like our humble opinion here at Mama’s Used Cars, you should begin simply by making a list. Write down all the things you want out of a used car—and then start narrowing down your search based on all those factors.

A recent Consumer Reportssurvey might be helpful here. The survey results advised against buying a teenager an older, larger vehicle, for two reasons: the more people in the vehicle, the more likely a crash and, plus, those older vehicles are just generally not as safe as today’s advanced models. Look especially for vehicles that feature Electronic Stability Control, anti-lock brakes, and an extensive system of protective airbags.

The survey also suggested that parents shy away from sports cars and pickups. But don’t worry—even with all those restrictions, there’s still plenty of great cars for teens to choose from here at Mama’s. Come see us today, bring your teen, and we’ll find a great first car for your son or daughter today. They’ll tell the story to their own kids someday in the future, perhaps while explaining why a hovercar isn’t a good choice for a first car.

Perfect Used Car

IIHS Releases First Ever List of Best Used Cars for Teens

When you’re shopping for your teenager’s first car, it’s likely that you are looking for a safe, less expensive new car. The difficulty with that, though, is that many used cars don’t offer the types of safety technology newer cars have. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), which is known for rating new vehicles in safety, understands that not all parents have a large enough budget to purchase a brand new car. This is why IIHS recently released their first list of best used cars for teens, guiding parents toward safer used car options.

“A teenager’s first car is more than just a financial decision,” says IIHS President Adrian Lund. “These lists of recommended used vehicles can help consumers factor in safety, in addition to affordability.”

The IIHS list has two different tiers, listing a variety of recommended vehicles from variousBest Used Cars for Teens price points, ranging from the inexpensive $5,000 to nearly $20,000, so parents can see which vehicles fall into their budget. IIHS used four main principles to guide the creation of their list—teenage drivers should stay away from high performance vehicles, the bigger the car, the better it will protect its passengers, electronic stability control is a requirement for the best safety, and all the vehicles need to have the best safety ratings possible.

To see the entire list, click here. Make sure to stop in to Mama’s Used Cars today to purchase your teenager’s first car!

 

The Truth about Gas-Saving Myths

When it comes to saving gas, every last person seem to have an opinion. The truth is, some of the common ‘gas-saving’ tips we’ve learned to cherish, just don’t make a difference. Here is our list of things you can stop worrying about, today.

  1. Buy a smaller car. To be fair, this used to be true, but today’s efficient, and even electric and hybrid SUVs, makes it is possible for a big vehicle to be more efficient than a smaller one. Bigger really can be better.
  2. Manual transmissions are more efficient. Again, this may have been true at one time, but improvements to automatic transmission design and construction mean the fuel use is now often about the same.
  3. Higher grade fuel goes further. This is not necessarily true – unless your car specifically designed to use high-grade gas, you’re wasting money on the premium fuel.
  4. Topping off your tank. In reality, the gas nozzle automatically shuts off when your tank is full, so any additional gas you try to add may be drawn into a vapor recovery system and back into the station’s storage tanks.
  5. Keep the tank half full. Some people think that never letting the gas level drop below half a tank will prevent evaporation inside the tank. The truth is that cars today are designed to keep fuel vapors in the tank, so that they can be burned by the engine.

Many of us continue to do some of things out of habit, or just don’t know any different. The truth is, you don’t have to panic if your fuel tank drops to a quarter of a tank. Check out boston.com for even more gas-saving myths de-bunked.

Stop by Mama’s Used Cars to see our selection of fuel efficient cars, and stop sweating it at the pump!

 Gas-saving myths

Ed Begley’s Toyota RAV4 EV Up for Sale on eBay

Ed Begley, Jr.’s list of roles is a lengthy one. You might know him from is Emmy-nominated character on St. Elsewhere or maybe as one of the dead drummers in This Is Spinal Tap. Maybe you’ve even seen him on Arrested Development, Six Feet Under, or the ever-popular cult-favorite, Battlestar Galactica. He’s also known for his work off-screen as an environmental activist. The list goes on and on and has grown to include yet another role—eBay user.

Over the past several decades, Begley has worked to help improve our environment. He’s got his own line up environmentally friendly cleaning products and is even in a long-standing rivalry with Bill Nye—yes, that Bill Nye—to see who can have the lowest carbon footprint. Because of this, Begley’s been driving a Toyota RAV4 EV around since 2002—a car that is now up for auction on eBay.

With 119,000 miles on it and a battery that was replaced in 2011, Ed Begley’s Toyota should have a good amount of gusto left in it. The car is white with a charcoal interior with a bit of wear and tear, but nothing that isn’t normal for a car with over 100,000 miles on it. Begley has even offered to autograph the cabin’s ceiling for you and you will be able to meet with him in person!

Currently, the bids have reached $13,655 for the car, which originally sold for $42,000. Talk about a great deal!

For more information, check out Begley’s eBay page.

Ed Begley’s Toyota

Toyota RAV4 EV

Surprising Your Graduate with a New Vehicle

So you purchased a used vehicle from Mama’s for your graduate to honor a job well done, and now you’re wondering how you should give it to him or her. Receiving a car as a gift is no small matter, and it requires a super special plan to surprise the graduate. There are so many ways to go about this stealthy task, but here are a few of our favorites:New Vehicle

Drive Yourself

This is the classic way to gift your graduate with a car, but there are several ways to put a spin on it. We suggest heading to dinner at a nice restaurant, but you’ll need to bring the whole family and maybe a few friends. Whoever comes along, the car you drive to the restaurant should be full. After the meal, tell the graduate you have to unexpectedly give a friend a ride, so there’s no longer any room for him in the car. When he protests, asking how he’s supposed to get home, toss him the keys and say, “You’ll just have to drive yourself!”

Scavenger Hunt

For the ultra creative surprise planner, take your graduate down memory lane as you send her on a scavenger hunt. Lead her to clues that will remind her of how hard she’s worked to graduate and the good times you’ve both had along the way. Attach the keys to the final clue and see how quickly she races to find what the vehicle they unlock.

Hide in Plain Sight

If your graduate is expecting to receive a car, wait until he starts to rethink that idea. As friends and family members stop by to celebrate, have one family member drive his car to the house. Park it with the other vehicles, so your graduate doesn’t pay special attention to it. Once the cards and gifts are opened and the party is starting to wind down, have someone re-park your graduate’s new vehicle in the driveway and ring the doorbell. Send the graduate to open the door where he’ll be greeted by his new car, now marked with a bright red bow. He’ll be shocked it’s been right in front of him the whole time.

Have you ever been surprised with a new-to-you vehicle? Tell us your story in the comments below!

Protecting Your Vehicle in the Summer’s Heat

While we appreciate the hot summer sun at the beach and the water park and a number of other outdoor activities the season brings, we at Mama’s Used Cars are never excited to slide into a car that has been baking in the sun, especially if that vehicle has leather seating. Besides scorching your fanny, however, the sun can really do some damage to your car. Here are a few ways to protect your vehicle… and your bum.

  1. Cover up – The sun’s rays can cause your exterior paint to fade and your interior fabrics to crack or tear. We recommend you park in a covered spot like a garage or carport. If neither is available, consider using a car cover or at least a windshield protector to help reflect the sun and keep internal temperatures down.
  2. Wash often – Because the heat can cause your paint to chip, it’s important to regularly wash your vehicle. A thorough wash, hand dry, and wax will go a long way in protecting your car throughout the hot summer months.
  3. Dust off – Now that the outside of your vehicle is fit to impress, it’s time to take care of the inside. Wipe dust and grim from your dashboard and center console with a microfiber cloth, and use a conditioner to protect any leather surfaces. Keeping the interior clean and cool will limit the harsh effects of the sun’s UV rays.

With these simple tips, it will be a cinch for both you and your vehicle to enjoy some fun in the sun!

Protecting your vehicle

Swedish Man Wants You to Buy His Volvo

When it comes to buying a used car, you want something that is reliable. And, if a car has travelled over 300,000 miles, it sure fits the bill. Now, most of us are not in the market for a car with that many miles, but if you happen to be in Sweden and have about $1,100, you might want to buy this 1993 Volvo 245GL just because of this amazing video.

With amazing features like “both an inside and an outside,” “two pieces of black roof sticks,” “spinsy winsies,” “decorative plate scab,” and a haunted backseat the video says you’ll be perceived as “rich and cuddly.” What’s not to love?

Despite the video being hilarious and masterfully made, owner Christoffer Castor, says it only took two hours to shoot with a few of his friends. However, even with all the attention it’s received, he has yet to sell the car.

Maybe Volvo will buy it back like Nissan did for Luke Aker after he produced an amazing ad for his 1996 Maxima.

Here at Mama’s Used Cars, we can’t offer you something as amazing as this 1993 Volvo, but we do have a great inventory of quality used cars. Come visit us and we’ll help you find the perfect car for you.

CarHistortyUSA.com Introduces Used Car Value Guide

When you’re searching for a used car to purchase, it can be frustrating not fully knowing just how much the car you’re buying will cost in the future. To help you feel better about your new car purchase, CarHistoryUSA.com has released a guide that will help people understand their used cars long-term value.

Based on statistical trends of used car values over the past two decades, this used car value guide allows potential car buyers to better understand whether their used car will still be worth money in the future. All you need to do is to search for the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the car you’re looking to buy, pay $1, and you will receive a plethora of information. Some of this information includes a vehicle’s history, previous owner information, accident check, and much more.

So if you’re looking to purchase a new car, make sure you check out the used car value guide or come into Mama’s Used Cars! We’ll be happy to help you.

Used Car Value Guide

Get Ready to Purchase Your Next Used Vehicle This Summer

If you’re one of the millions of parents who has a son or daughter graduating from high school this month, we feel for you here at Mama’s Used Cars. Allow us to offer one piece of advice: bring some tissues to the ceremony, because it will be one of the most emotional experiences of your life. Don’t let that emotion drive your decision of which used car to buy for your new grad, however!

Fortunately for you, Digital Trendsrecently posted an article that featured 9 essential questions to ask before you buy a used car, and we’re here to summarize their findings for you. The first thing you need to know is why the car is for sale. Check carefully for red flags; you don’t want to send your son or daughter off to college in a lemon! It’s hard to make lemonade out of those, no matter what people say.

Also make sure to check how many miles are currently on the vehicle; you’re looking for a car with longevity, not trying to adopt a dying legend. Never buy a used car without doing a background check—another way to avoid hidden red flags—and always take it for a test drive before making a decision. If the car passes all these tests, you’re ready to haggle over price. Bring your son or daughter along and show them how it’s done; college is great, but nothing beats real world experience, after all!

Your Next Used Vehicle

Black Book Now Provides Cars.com’s Used Vehicle Values

Black Book now provides Cars.com’s used vehicle values when car shopping

Black Book now provides Cars.com’s used vehicle values when car shopping

Cars.com is saying goodbye to Kelley Blue Book, and hello to Black Book for their used car values. Black Book is well-known for their wholesale used-vehicle values, and had originally provided Cars.com’s used car values up until 2005, when they were replaced by Kelley Blue Book. Turns out, Cars.com wants them back.

“Look at the combined audiences of both of our brands: Black Book having significant exposure on the dealers’ Web sites as well as the OEM sites, as well as the footprint, reach and breadth Cars.com has and its large audience. When you combine two strong national brands, ultimately consumers are the ones to benefit from it,” Jared Kalfus, vice president of data licensing at Black Book said to autonews.com.

We recognize that Cars.com and other online sites are how many consumers begin their online search for a used car. It’s how our customers define what they want and research fair values for their trade-in’s and used car purchases. The fact is, online sites and major retailers can’t give its customers the kind of service and value that Mama’s Used Cars offers.

If you’ve done your research (or if you haven’t) and are ready for a friendly, low pressure used car sales experience, stop by Mama’s Used Cars, we can’t wait to see you!