The sunshine, vacation time, and open roads of summer are right around the corner. A well-planned road trip can introduce you to new regions and bring your friends and family close like nothing else can, but without planning, road trips are overly tiring and painfully expensive. Save money and avoid stress with these tips on planning this summer’s road trip on a budget.
Plan the Route
This step is unavoidable, but you shouldn’t underestimate its importance. Don’t just think up the sights you want to see – if you go the extra mile and use Google Maps or Rand McNally to plan out where you will drive, stay, and shop in advance, your road trip will run more smoothly and cost far less.
Once you’ve figured out all the where’s of your trip you can move on to calculating the how much. Create a good estimate for your daily mileage. Multiply your car’s average miles per gallon by the size of the tank – this is how far a full tank will go. Use this number to see how many times you will likely need to buy gas on your trip, and by using the GasBuddy app, you can easily find the cheapest gas prices in any area.
When driving, boost your fuel economy by maintaining a consistent speed, and try to remain at about 60 miles per hour. For every five mph above 60, you waste an additional 26 cents per gallon on gas. Spend your money smarter with a low and consistent speed.
Food, Lodging, and Entertainment
Sometimes, a little creativity can boost the fun of your trip and help you stay faithful to your budget. Consider camping at a State Park rather than a motel – there is more to learn and explore and they are often less expensive. Do your food shopping at grocery stores along the way and bring along a small grill to cook dinners for your friends and family. Finally, make sure to research affordable entertainment in the areas you’ll see. Official state or city tourism websites are great resources that highlight dozens of free events every day of the week.
Are you ready to hit the road? Contact us at Mama’s Used Cars to find the vehicle perfect for your next drive.
Buying a car is a major investment. That’s why it’s important to keep in mind how much you’ll be able to get out of your vehicle when it comes time to sell it. Here are some cars that retain their value exceptionally well, making them great options for smart buyers looking to get the most out of their purchase.
Subcompact: Honda Fit
Don’t let its size fool you; the Honda Fit boasts a comfortable and surprisingly spacious cabin, excellent fuel efficiency, and a huge variety of impressive features. Because it’s such a desirable subcompact, the Honda Fit retains its value very well, making it a smart option for drivers looking for something on the smaller side.
Compact: Subaru WRX
Simply put, the Subaru WRX is an absolute blast to drive. Standard all-wheel drive, a sporty turbocharged engine, and agile handling will have you making excuses to get out on the road as much as possible. And when it comes time to buy a new car, you can count on the Subaru WRX to hold its value.
Midsize: Toyota Camry
The Toyota Camry is a constant bestseller, and for good reason. Dependable, versatile, and fun, the Camry is the perfect choice for those looking for a midsize car that can do it all.
When shopping for a used car, remember you’re investing in the cars future value as well. Stop by Mama’s Used Cars today to find the vehicle that’s perfect for you!
While spring is a beautiful time of year with flowers and trees in bloom, it comes with a few dangers as well. Here are some spring driving tips to help you along the way.
- Potholes. Every spring, the potholes of winter make their appearance. The bigger they are, they worse they can affect your car. Drive around potholes, if possible, so you don’t knock your car out of alignment.
- Tires. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Fully inflated tires can help decrease damage caused by potholes.
- Puddles. Spring is one of the wettest times of the year due to the rain. This leads to slick road conditions. When the roads are wet, leave more following distance between you and the car ahead of you. In addition, try to avoid driving through large puddles. They could be hiding large potholes and the water could cause you to hydroplane or hamper your braking power.
- Pedestrians. Warmer temperatures will bring more people out on the road. Be on the lookout for pedestrians as well as motorcyclists and bicyclists.
- Animals. Along with people, animals become more active in the spring. Watch for animals crossing the roads. Be especially alert at dawn and dusk.
Here at Mama’s Used Cars, we want everyone to travel safely this spring.
If you’re in the market for a new car, odds are you’re also looking at trading in your old model as a down payment. That’s an excellent idea but it’s best to make sure you’re getting the most possible out of your trade-in vehicle. There are a few steps you can take to pay less for your next car. Here are a few ways to increase your trade-in value from us here at Mama’s Used Cars!
- Tires – It’s no secret that car dealerships want to knock a few bucks off the trade-in value of your vehicle and tires are an excellent excuse to do so. Don’t give the sales staff that opportunity when you’ve reached that point. Keep your tires properly inflated or get a new set, assuming you can find some cheap.
- Clean – Make sure to clean the car inside and out before you head to the dealership. A spotless interior and polished exterior ensure that you’ll get the most possible out of your trade-in vehicle.
- Document – There are few better ways to prove a car has been properly maintained than documentation! Gather the service records, receipts, and any other documents that show how well you’ve taken care of the vehicle. It could make a major difference in how much you pay for your next vehicle!
There’s a lot that goes into owning a vehicle, ranging from general care to keeping an eye on every part of the vehicle for defects, damages, and more. That can be a bit overwhelming, especially for first-time car owners. Fortunately, here’s everything you need to know about car care for first-time owners from us here at Mama’s Used Cars.
- Washing – Skipping a weekly wash and wax can be enticing but it could be devastating to your car. Washing and waxing the paint helps preserve its pristine look from common road hazards like grime, salt, and bugs. Most waxes only last a few weeks to a month so be sure to wash your vehicle often!
- Owner’s Manual – Often referred to as a guide to your vehicle, the owner’s manual will be able to answer almost any question you have about your car. If you don’t have a manual, odds are you can find it online for free. Make sure to mark the page with the service schedule for easy access later on!
- Flat Tire – Despite the rise in roadside assistance, knowing how to change a flat tire could save you time and money. Spend some time in the garage or driveway making sure you know how to remove and replace a tire. You’ll thank yourself later on!
Flood waters can severely damage almost every part of a vehicle but it might not be too late to salvage it. If your car has been covered any higher than halfway up the wheels, it’s time to take a damage assessment. Not sure what to do first? Don’t worry! Here’s what to do if you’re dealing with flooding from us here at Mama’s Used Cars.
- Don’t Be Curious – Generally speaking, curiosity is a good thing but it isn’t something you want to let take the wheel when performing a damage assessment of your drowned vehicle. Avoid starting your car as any lingering water could damage the engine beyond repair.
- Call Your Insurance – Flood damage is usually covered by comprehensive insurance which is something most drivers have. Don’t wait too long to call or you could find yourself waiting days or weeks for an adjuster.
- Consider a New Car – A flood-damaged car can experience problems down the road so if the adjuster brings up the possibility of totaling the car, it might be worth considering. If the flood waters ruined the interior or you’re having problems with the electrical system, odds are it isn’t worth fixing. At best, some flood-damaged cars could be cleaned and sold with a salvage title.
If you have lasting damage to your vehicle, give Mama’s a call and we’ll see what we can do for you!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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?
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!