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many manufacturers to dramatically slash sticker prices by the thousands with the intent of clearing inventory of outdated products and ushering in the new. 2016 models that have already launched may also see impressive deals as dealerships try to attract buyers to updated models.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.

The Importance of Winter Driving Safety

winter, tips, safety

With winter coming up, drivers may start to worry about potential hazards posed by winter weather like snow and ice. Truthfully, the safest way to deal with these hazards is to simply avoid them. Listen to snow emergencies and closures and stay inside when you can. However, for many people, staying in is not a possibility. In that case, winter driving safety is good to know when braving the slippery roads.

Oftentimes, a change of tires can make all the difference. Cold temperatures can reduce the malleability of rubber, making normal tires more prone to sliding. Old, worn tires should be replaced anyway, even if you aren’t interested in seasonal snow tires. Traction can have a big influence on how far you slide while stopping.

Either way, drivers should be cautious while stopping, as vehicles will take longer to come to a full stop and sudden starts will cause fishtailing on slippery roads. If you do happen to slide, don’t hit the brakes or gas – ease off and turn into the direction you are sliding. Overall, be slow and cautious when stopping behind another vehicle or passing them.

Winter driving safety and maintaining a cautious and defensive outlook can prevent many emergencies and accidents in the colder months. Being prepared and exercising these simple tips can keep you getting where you’re going safely. However, keep in mind that it’s always better to stay home or be late than put yourself in potentially life-threatening danger.

What are the Best Used Cars for New Drivers?

Best used cars for new drivers

Getting your first car is always a milestone in a teenager’s life, and many of them dream of getting something ‘cool’ like a convertible or some sort of luxurious muscle car. However, not only is that typically not practical for the family’s budget, but parents are often concerned about the safety of their first-time drivers. Young drivers simply don’t have the experience and knowledge to be defensive on the road, and as a result, they can get into more accidents. That’s why the IIHS put together a list of best used cars for new drivers.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety published a similar list last year, but the 2015 year’s list of safe, used vehicles has grown by more than 50 percent, reflecting an increase in availability of safety features such as electronic stability control and more airbags. However, despite the recommendation of large, older sedans, the IIHS warns parents they should still consider spending a bit more money in the interest of investing in better safety features.

Cars on the list include the Ford Taurus, Volvo S80, Chevy Malibu, Kia Optima, Buick Encore, GMC Terrain, Chevy Traverse, and many, many more. The best used cars for new drivers span a wide array of classes, sizes, and model years, and the list is worth a look for parents looking to get the safest vehicles for their teenagers.

Tips for Handling Driving Emergencies

driving emergencies

Do you ever look at traffic and think how miraculous it is that the situation is as consistently predictable as it is? The truth is that for the most part, everyone knows what is at stake. And for the most, people practice the golden rule on the road. Yet despite our best efforts, driving emergencies do happen.

# 1 – Tire Blowout

This emergency occurs most often when a tire is underinflated on the highway and the temperature is hot. According to Edmunds.com, “The repeated flexing of an underinflated tire causes the failure.”

The first thing to do is not brake, and then try to get off of the road as quickly as possible. Maintain as much of a straight line as possible while allowing the vehicle to coast toward the side of the road.

# 2 – Going Off the Road

The problem comes about when there is little shoulder and particularly when your left tires are on the pavement, the left tires are off, and the pavement is slightly elevated.

Here’s the plan: “release the accelerator, keep the steering wheel straight, allow the vehicle to slow on its own and smoothly steer back on the road.”

# 3 – Sudden stops

To help you prepare for the time you may need to stop suddenly, you should know more about ABS.

Anti-lock brakes are required by law and have been since 2012. And yet they only work when you use them properly. When a vehicle skids, steering is unavailable. ABS pumps the brakes so you don’t have to, allowing you to also steer as you brake. Here’s another thing: you need to stomp on the brakes to engage the ABS.

The best way to plan for an emergency is to expect them. Then you will never be surprised.

The Best Driving Apps: Spice Up Your Commute

best driving apps

Is your commute starting to grind a bit? Need to mix things up? Here are a few of the best driving apps that can make your commute better, or at least temporarily bearable.

Noisli

  • For iOS, this app allows you to enjoy different kinds of ambient sounds. Imagine listening to the hustle and bustle of a coffee shop in your car while enjoying your morning coffee. Okay. That does seem a little depressing. Try the sound of rain or white noise or mix and match them (rain in a coffee shop near the beach?).

Audible

  • Designed for both iOS and Android systems, Audible is like Spotify except for books. The app has over 180,000 books available for streaming. It has lots of cool features, such as if the narration is too fast, you can actually adjust the pace.

Overcast

  • Do you enjoy podcasts? According to Buzzfeed, Overcast features “access to the entire podcast library.” You can download podcasts and listen to them offline (handy if your cell connection is spotty along your route).

Spotify or Apple Music

  • If you don’t subscribe to one of these music streaming services yet, you are truly missing out. Music streaming makes it so easy to discover new music and what better way to spend your commute?

Helpful Tips for Buying a Pickup Truck

tips for buying a pickup truck

Thinking about a pickup truck for your next vehicle? There are a lot of good reasons to get one but you should find out what kind of truck works best with your lifestyle. Here are a few tips for buying a pickup truck.

Before you start looking at options, you should decide what you are willing to pay first. Edmunds.com recommends that your monthly payment be no more than 20% of your monthly income.

What are you going to use the truck for? This question will go furthest in helping you decide what to get.

Is it for work, recreation, or both? If it’s for work, you might to forego some of the interior amenities to get a bigger engine and more towing capacity. If it’s for recreation, you might want to consider a larger cab for your family and more creature comforts like a quality stereo.

This question will also help you decide what bed size to get. Most trucks come with two size beds. Those using a truck for work are more apt to get a longer bed. But if you are just going to use the bed to store kayaks and bicycles, then you might want to go for a shorter bed.

In the past, buying a truck almost always meant sacrificing fuel economy. That’s not so much the case anymore with the advent of so many fuel saving technologies. But you still want decide what’s important: power or efficiency. If it’s equal, find a truck that strikes that balance for you.

When you are thinking about buying a truck, it’s all about finding out what’s important for you and seeing what’s out there, so come in to Mama’s Used Cars to get your own!

Auto-Related Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father's Day Gift Ideas

Ok, our tips are great, but if you just can’t bear a trip to the store, just let dad have a nap!

Father’s Day is right around the corner, a perfect opportunity to show dad how much you really care. While neck ties are a tried-and-true gift to get, believe it or not there are other gifts out there. We’ve put together a list of (car-related) Father’s Day gift ideas to help you get the perfect present.

  • According to AutoGuide.com, one of the best things to do is grab some tools and get to work on an old car. Working on cars has brought fathers and sons (and daughters!) together for generations, and there’s nothing quite like fixing a car with someone you care about.
  • If you and your dad are looking to avoid manual labor, consider going to an automotive museum. There is a car-related museum in virtually every state, a perfect opportunity to learn something new and spend some quality time with dad. Plus, if you have to drive a few hours, you can get in a mini-road trip.
  • Although they can be a bit pricey, going to a driving school with dad can be a memorable experience. There are tons of these schools, ranging from basic to high-speed exotic cars, which let you get behind the wheel and burn some rubber.

Last but not least, make something homemade. This is great way for kids to show their appreciation by making a key lanyard or rear-view mirror decoration. What better way to say you care?

If these ideas don’t do it for you, check out the selection at Mama’s Used Cars for some amazing Father’s Day deals!

Healthy and Cool Summer Treats for Quick Snacks This Season

Cool Summer Treats

Looking for something tasty to satisfy your appetite this summer, without blowing your diet? Or are you just hoping to find some cool, refreshing snacks to lower your body temperature, during the hotter months?

Check out this list of healthy, cool summer treats:

  • Popsicles – These can be purchased cheaply and are usually very low calorie, but you can also make them at home with real fruit.
  • Banana chips – Slice up a banana, place the slices in your freezer, and hours later, you’ve got banana chips – tasty, creamy treats.
  • Iced coffee – As long as you don’t add too much milk or sugar, your favorite cup of coffee over a handful of ice is a great way to start the day.
  • Slushies – While slushies may be packed with sugar when you buy them at fairs, you can easily make healthy slushies at home, by mixing fresh fruit juice with crushed ice.

Do you have any other ideas? Let us know in the comments.

Summer Travel: Getting the Best Gas Mileage

 

Best gas mileage

Have you noticed that your mileage is quickly getting worse? Better read our tips on how to fix it!

There are other ways to save money on a road trip aside from shortening your trip and heading home early. You can modify the way you drive to get more bang for your buck. We at Mama’s Used Cars thought that we would share some of our tips for getting the best gas mileage as you plan to hit the road this summer.

Before You Go

  • Before you head out on your next adventure, it is important to make sure your vehicle is prepared. Keeping up with routine maintenance such as oil changes, replacing the air filter, checking tire pressure, etc. are important in getting the most efficiency out of your vehicle, no matter what model year it is.
  • Also, when you fill up your tank before setting out on your trip, choose the coolest time of day. Gas is most dense when it is cooler, so your savings can be immediate.

During Your Trip

  • When driving, it is important to stick to the speed limit. Not only will this reduce the likelihood of interrupting your trip with a speeding ticket, but it will also reduce the amount of time you spend starting and stopping. According to the experts at com, the closer to the set speed limit you travel, the more likely you are to sail through green lights rather than constantly stop at red lights.
  • Speaking of starting and stopping, using cruise control on the highway takes away the need to continually press on the gas pedal and helps to improve efficiency.
  • Though we all like the feel of the wind in our hair, rolling up your windows will reduce added resistance to your vehicle and increase your gas mileage by up to 10%.

We hope you find these tips helpful in increasing your vehicle’s efficiency during your summer traveling. Do you have any other tips to add? We would love to hear them in the comments below.

Enjoy the Ride: Bicycle Safety Awareness Month

 

Bicycle Safety Awareness month

This month is Bicycle Safety Awareness Month! Take a look at our handy tips that will ensure you have a happy, and safe, bike ride!

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 726 cyclists were killed in 2012 due to motor collisions while another 49,000 were injured. In our humble opinion, even one is too many! So in an effort to promote awareness this May, which marks the advent of Bicycle Safety Awareness month, here are a few safety tips to remember as we share the roadways!

Bikers:

  1. Wear a helmet – this is the quintessential protection that can ultimately be the difference between life and death. Period.
  2. Before heading out for a ride, make sure your bike is road-worthy! Check the tires, brakes, lights, reflectors, etc. to make sure all are in working order.
  3. Go with the flow! In other words, travel in the same direction as traffic while obeying displayed signs, signals, and lane markings.
  4. Don’t make assumptions! Before crossing an intersection, be sure to make eye contact with drivers. Just because you see them doesn’t mean they see you – which reminds us…
  5. Don’t blend in! Wear bright colors, reflectors, lights etc., to ensure that drivers can easily see you on the road.

Drivers: Be sure to leave ample room when passing a biker on the road and, please, be extra cautious and alert at intersections.

So while the month of May serves as a reminder to recognize bicycle safety, we hope the observance will not be limited to just one month. We at Mama’s Used Cars encourage all to slow down, share the road, and enjoy the ride.