A Guide to Choosing a Used Car

So, you’ve made the wise choice and decided to purchase a used car. However, since this will be one of the biggest purchases of your life, you want to make sure it’s a good one. Here are a few suggestions on choosing a used car.

  1. Create a budget. Keep track of all your expenses so you know how much of a car payment you can afford. Don’t forget items like insurance, fuel, and maintenance costs.
  2. Make a list of models. Decide what your preferred makes and models are. If your top choice is a something like a Honda Accord, consider competing brands, like a Ford Fusion, and you can still get a great car and potentially save thousands.
  3. Check market value. Use online tools like KBB.com or Edmunds.com to research used car prices to know what the model is worth.
  4. Take a thorough test drive. Don’t just drive around the block. Check every aspect of the car you can, including heating and air conditioning, the sound system, engine noises, brake power, transmission shifting, and technology.
  5. Check its history. Get a vehicle history report to check for any accidents, see how many owners it has had, etc.
  6. Get it inspected. Hire a mechanic you trust to inspect the car for you to check for any mechanical issues.
  7. Negotiate a price. With all of the information you’ve gathered on the car, you should have a good idea of what it is worth. Give a reasonable offer and show your research.
  8. Drive away. Once you’ve made the deal and signed the paperwork, enjoy the fruits of your hard work while driving away in your new car.

Come see our excellent selection of used cars here at Mama’s Used Cars.

Guide to choosing a used car

 

Charleston Wine and Food Festival 2017

A gathering of some of the best chefs and wineries is usually something you see on television. The Charleston Wine and Food Festival brings the best of the best to a tasting unlike any other in the area. Stop by this year to chat with some of the most regarded purveyors in the country.

The festival takes place from March 1st through the 5th in Marion Square and throughout Charleston. Experience exclusive dinners, fancy wine tasting, seminars, workshops, and more.

The festival is designed to bring the region’s homegrown-style flavor to top chefs, winemakers, artisans, and enthusiasts from around the world. Now in its 12th year, the Charleston Wine and Food Festival is scheduled to feature more than 100 events with over 300 chefs and 150 wine professionals.

The Culinary Village, the center of it all, will host three days of cooking demonstrations, special guests, and tasting. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from the best, including culinary celebrities like Sean Brock and Andrea Immer Robinson.

There’s no other wine and food festival like the one found in Charleston in the entirety of the United States. This is one event you don’t want to miss!

Here at Mama’s Used Cars, we love a good wine and food festival!

US Road Trips for Classic Cars

Road trips for classic cars

Most of us lack the time, money, or resolve to weather a US road trip, but it doesn’t stop people from romanticizing the notion anyway. If you’re up to the task, you might consider taking your classic car on any one of these epic road trips across the United States. Are you brave enough to set out on the open road with nothing but you and your set of wheels?

St. Augustine, Florida: Looking for a laid-back, artsy beach vibe? Head for this cool, historic town near Jacksonville’s beaches.

Palmetto Springs, Georgia: Spend your vacation inside at Serenbe, a self-sustaining farm and inn with onsite restaurants.

The Appalachian Forests in NC: The nearby area around Asheville is known for its craft beer, but the main draw is the stunning, scenic views of the Appalachian Mountains.

Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee: Between an antique fall, a farm store, and funky live music, this little country town just south of Nashville offers a charming atmosphere and culture.

Middleburg, Virginia: Get a taste of New England-esque romance with rolling green pastures, grazing horses, and historical architecture.

Tell us how your US road trip goes. With this many road trips for classic cars to enjoy, you’re sure to have a great time on the open road.

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.

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.

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?

Flying Car Companies Release Plans for 2017

Flying car

A flying car may be your next vehicle! Sure, it may take a few years, and a few hundred thousand dollars, but it’s a FLYING CAR!

Sometime in the distant future, we’ll have flying cars. Well, maybe not that distant. In fact, several new companies have recently released details about plans to produce, sell, and deliver several flying cars within the next few years, some as early as 2017. The future is finally here.

So, like the Jetsons, right? The flying cars companies like Terrafugia, AeroMobil, Moller International, and PAL-V are developing are basically small engine planes with foldable wings. Nonetheless, they work as both cars and planes, assuming you can find an airstrip nearby.

What are the advantages to having a flying car? Aside from being able to say you have a flying car, there aren’t many pros to owning one of these cars, unless you fly everyday of course. According to CNN, the regulations and red tape involved in these vehicles are the biggest hurdles, especially because they have to pass both FAA and automotive safety regulations.

How do I get my hands on one? Right now, companies like AeroMobil are only targeting the wealthy, with the cheapest flying cars coming in around $300,000. Whether you like it or not, flying car companies may always remain a thing of the future.

Since it may be awhile before you can get your flying car, maybe you should stop by Mama’s used cars to try out our more “grounded” models!

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