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

 

Parking Lot Safety

Parking Lot Safety

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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!

 

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.

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!

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.

No More Sneezing Behind the Wheel: Making an Allergy-Proof Car

Allergy-proof car

Dominate your allergies with these tips on how to make your car allergy-proof!

 

For some people springtime can mean only one thing: allergies. Whether you get a case of the sniffles or you break down at the sight of dust, there are a few ways to help beat the allergens this time of year. That’s why we’ve put together a list of ways to make your vehicle an allergy-proof car.

According to How Stuff Works, the best thing to do is clean regularly. By vacuuming out crevices in your car every two weeks or so, you’ll prevent debris build-up. Make sure the carpet and vents are especially dust-free, and make sure to get rid of any possible moisture.

If you have an older car, one major thing to check is the weather stripping around the doors. If these are even slightly damaged, moisture can get into your car. One of the most prominent allergens you’ll find in a car is mold – get rid of moisture, plain and simple.

Our last tip is to consider is going au natural. Chemicals found in some cleaners and air fresheners can be extremely volatile, causing allergies to go berserk. Consider buying all-natural products or ones that are labelled hypo-allergenic to prevent you from having any problems.

With these tips in mind you should be one step ahead of the allergens this year.