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

 

Best Used Cars

Finding the right used car isn’t easy but some vehicles are designed to last much longer than others. Get more for your money with this quick list of the best used cars on the market right now. We’re happy to help you find your dream car here at Mama’s Used Cars!

Best Used Cars - The Ford F-150

Best Used Cars – The Ford F-150

  1. Ford F-150 – Boasting a reputation for reliability, the Ford F-150 is a great choice for drivers in search of affordable capability. The popular pickup is the best-selling vehicle on the planet, making models from 2006 to 2010 easy to find. That also means there are more options to choose from.
  2. Ford Flex – The Ford Flex has long served as the go-to family SUV in the industry. The affordable model offered plenty of interior space and seating for family and friends. The design didn’t change between 2009 and 2012 and Ford’s engineering is second to none, making the Ford Flex a top choice.
  3. Toyota Prius – The fuel-efficient hybrid has made a name for itself when it comes to long-lasting reliability. The brand itself has a reputation for innovative engineering. The Prius offers high fuel economy and a spacious interior that’s perfect for drivers of all ages.
  4. Ford Fusion – A family favorite, the Ford Fusion is a mid-size sedan with a spacious interior and the latest technologies year after year. Premium materials and an upscale design make it one of the most popular models on the market.
  5. Chevrolet Equinox – Featuring enough seating for family, friends, and then some, the Chevrolet Equinox has seen a lot of love among drivers of all ages over the years. Even older models tend to feature upscale interiors and a design built to last.

Did You Know: Christmas is a Good Time to Purchase Used Vehicles

close up of father and daughter with gift boxThe month of December isn’t just ideal for snagging deals on candy canes and snow shovels. Christmastime is actually one of the best times to purchase used vehicles. If the thought of replacing your current car has been on the back-burner, you may want to push it to the top of the list. Buy a used car now versus in the spring, and you could save some serious cash.

This is all according to a study done by the automotive website CarGurus. The demand for cars is lower during the holiday season. The lots are cold and most people are preoccupied with baking cookies, sipping eggnog and wrapping gifts. Thanks to this detail, the price drop. According to the study by CarGurus, car prices hit their lowest average between Thanksgiving and the first week in January. Come the New Year and the era of resolutions, prices rise apace.

So, if a new-to-you car lies in your near future, your smartest move is to buy now. And shop used. Used cars are already a great deal because of the amount of value you can get at a much lower price than new. Add to that the fact that prices are lower than ever this month, and you’ve got a deal even the Grinch couldn’t refuse.

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.

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!

 

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.

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.

2016 Honda Pilot Earns 2015 Top Safety Pick+ Rating from IIHS

2015 Top Safety Pick+

The 2016 Honda Pilot has earned a 2015 Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), once again showing that Honda knows exactly what it’s doing when it comes to automotive safety. Then again, we already knew that from all the Hondas that have come and gone through the years at Mama’s Used Cars.

The mid-size family SUV earned the highest possible score of “Good” in all categories, including side, roof strength, head restraint, moderate overlap front, and the tricky small overlap front crashworthiness evaluations.

The optional Honda Sensing suite is what allowed the Pilot to earn that extra + rating, rated “superior” by the IIHS. It combines a windshield-mounted camera and radar behind the grille to provide collision mitigation braking, lane keeping assistance, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, road departure mitigation, and forward collision warning.

“The Pilot demonstrates Honda’s commitment to achieving the highest levels of safety performance,” said IIHS president Adrian Lund. “The Pilot’s crashworthiness ratings set a high standard, and its optional front crash prevention system will help drivers avoid some kinds of crashes to begin with.”

If you’re looking for any other Top Safety Pick+ car options, come down to Mama’s Used Cars today. We’ll find you the best vehicle for the best price, that will fit your lifestyle!

 

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!

Find the Safest Used Cars on the Market Here at Mama’s

Safest Used Cars

Safe Drivers Are Happy Drivers

One of the great advantages of shopping for a used car is saving tons of money on a great vehicle. But just because a vehicle sports a cheaper price tag doesn’t mean it’s going to be a death trap. Here at Mama’s Used Cars, we strive to fill our inventory with the safest used cars on the market—and sell those great vehicles to you at affordable prices.

The safest used vehicles tend to be mid-size and full-size vehicles, which gives even more credence to the SUV and crossover boom of the last few years. According to a safety study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, vehicles like the Honda Odyssey, Subaru Legacy, and Toyota Highlander all scored a death rate of zero. You can’t get much safer than that.

If you’re looking for a more upscale vehicle, the Audi A4, Volvo XC90, and Mercedes-Benz GL class also recorded death rates of zero. “The rise in the number of vehicles with zero driver deaths shows what’s possible,” said David Zuby, the IIHS executive vice president. Come see us at Mama’s Used Cars and find your next car, a car that will keep you and everyone around you safe for years to come.