Taking a Road Trip on a Budget

Budget Road Trip | Charleston, SC

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.

Fuel Expenses

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.

Maintenance Tips For Used Cars

Maintenance Tips | Charleston, SC

With advancements in material quality and design, modern vehicles last far longer than they used to, which makes buying a used car more desirable than ever. Maximize your pre-owned vehicle’s lifetime and value by following these maintenance tips for used cars.

Keep to the Service Schedule

The manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule is designed to help your vehicle run at its best for as long as possible. Pay attention to all service recommendations.

Change the Timing Belt on Time

One of the most important milestones for your engine is 100,000 miles. If you want it to last, change the timing belt when you reach this point. Some engine styles can be damaged beyond repair if the belt breaks while in operation.

Do-It-Yourself Repairs

There are plenty of resources online with helpful how-to instructions on completing many service tasks yourself. Checking the tire pressure, replacing wiper blades, and even interior upholstery care are easy to train yourself on.

Tend to Scratches and Dings

It is common for your car’s exterior to accumulate a few scratches and dents over the years. Seek help from our trained technicians to help ensure a bigger problem doesn’t have a chance to develop.

Visit Mama’s Used Cars for all your car maintenance needs.

Upcoming Festivals in Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston Festivals | Charleston, SC

Charleston, South Carolina, will host tons of festivals this spring, so there’s something to do every weekend, whether you’re single and want to have fun with your friends or you’re looking for a family-friendly activity. Don’t miss these spring festivals in Charleston.

Music

Catch the High Water Festival on April 13 and 14, where you can eat, drink, and listen to live music on the North Charleston Riverfront. Don’t miss your chance to enjoy and support local musical artists at the Charleston Songwriters Festival, which runs April 18-20.

Food and drink

The Chucktown Brewdown: Homebrew Festival is set for April 20, and it features IPAs from more than 30 area home-brewers. The Blessing of the Fleet and Seafood Festival takes place on April 28, and features live music, craft show, and a boat parade.

Arts and culture

The North Charleston Arts Fest is one of the biggest events of the year, taking place over five days from May 1-5. The event showcases over 100 artists specializing in dance, theater, photography, literature, and visual arts.

The next weekend, on May 10-12, is the 49th Annual Charleston Greek Festival, the oldest festival in Charleston. This event will take place at the Greek Orthodox Church of Holy Trinity Park and celebrates the traditions, food, music, and art of Greek culture.

We at Mama’s Used Cars hope you enjoy these incredible Charleston festivals.

Winter Activities in Charleston, SC

After a long week of work and school, the weekend is the perfect time to get out of the house and have fun—but even here in South Carolina, winter is light on things to do. Here are some winter activities in Charleston that will keep you and your kids busy until spring.

Indoor Gyms and Parks

On cold days when your kids need to get energy out but they can’t go outside, try an indoor park or gym. Charleston has indoor trampoline parks like Sky Zone, as well as climbing walls and more at spots like Costal Climbing Gym.

South Carolina Aquarium

The South Carolina Aquarium is the perfect place to spend a day with your family. It’ll keep their attention for hours, and it’s educational! With dozens of exhibits from a 6,000-gallon stingray tank to the “Backyard Habitat” exhibit displaying local flora and fauna, you won’t run out of things to do.

 Escape Rooms

Escape rooms are all the rage lately, and your kids—or your friends!—will love spending an hour locked in a room solving puzzles together. Check out Escape in 60 or Time Traveler Escape Games.

Southeastern Wildlife Exposition

This event offers art exhibits, conservation education, and more to help you and your family learn about and celebrate local wildlife.

If you need a better vehicle to head out to all of these activities, contact us at Mama’s Used Cars.

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Driving Habits

Every year, millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions so they can jump into the coming year strong and focused. We think it’s a great idea to extend such resolutions to your driving habits. Here are some New Year’s resolutions we suggest to make your driving even more safe and efficient next year.

  • Be timely: Rushing through your life is never the best idea, and that includes rushing to drive somewhere. This adds stress to your day makes you less careful. This year, slow down and try to leave early so you can arrive on time without the haste.
  • Don’t use your phone while driving: Luckily, recent innovations in vehicle technology make it so you’re never tempted to touch your phone while driving, but some of us still retain the bad habit of checking our phones. This year, commit to not touching your phone while driving.
  • Increase your efficiency: Change your driving habits to be more efficient, such as reducing sudden acceleration and staying near the speed limit. You will save money on fuel that way. It also makes your ride a little more eco-conscious, which is an added benefit.
  • Stay up to date on car maintenance: Having your vehicle routinely serviced is the best way to preserve your vehicle in the long term, so stay on top of routine car maintenance this year.

These steps can help you reach your other New Year’s goals,whether it’s arriving at the gym on time or decreasing the stress in your life.Mama’s Used Cars can help reduce your stress by providing you with a reliable,affordable car.

New Years

Charleston Parks to Visit with Your Family

Charleston attracts people with colorful architecture, delicious food, and small-town feel, which make it a wonderful place to live and visit. If you’re looking to have a fun day out with the kids in this great city, though, why not check out one of its many parks? Here’s a look at some Charleston parks to visit when you want to get outdoors.

Waterfront Park

With gardens, fountains, walking paths, and plenty of park benches, Waterfront Park is one of the most popular parks in Charleston. With a view of the Charleston Bay, it’s difficult not to find yourself at peace when you’re in this beautiful area.

Angel Oak Park

You can’t live in Charleston and not know about the ancient Angel Oak, from which this park takes its name. Experts estimate that this oak tree is at least hundreds of years old, though many believe it’s more than a thousand. It creates 17,000 square feet of shade for you to picnic under, making it the perfect urban retreat.

Charles Towne Landing

Combine a visit to a park with some history at Charles Towne Landing. This park has over 600 acres, including the site of the original Charleston settlement, which was first settled in 1670. Wander through the gardens, check out a replica of a 17th-century ship, and discover the area’s native animals.

Finally, if you find you need a new ride to visit these parks, come in to Mama’s Used Cars. We can help you find the perfect vehicle from our expansive used inventory.

Charleston parks to visit

How to Get Ready for Road Trips

The summer months are here, with children being released from school for summer break, families gearing up to take vacations, and friends preparing for summer road trips. If you’ll be hitting the road this summer for long hours in the hot weather, you will want to make sure you and your vehicle are prepared. Here’s a guide on how to get ready for road trips.

  • Perform all routine maintenance before setting out: Before setting out on your road trip adventure, you will want to get an oil change and make sure you have appropriate fluid levels across the board. Coolant will keep your air conditioning running, and windshield wiper fluid will keep your visibility up.
  • Check your tires: Although a seemingly simple part of your vehicle, tires are incredibly important. They influence efficiency, traction, and control and overall handling. Check that your tires aren’t too worn, check their pressure, and have them rotated if you have to take your car in for an oil change.
  • Have a plan: To maximize everyone’s safety and comfort on the road, make sure you have a driving plan, maps to keep you on track, and entertainment options. If you rely on GPS navigation on your smartphone, have a charging cable and perhaps a phone mount for your windshield for convenient and safe navigation. Download your favorite playlists and podcasts or bring your favorite CDs to jam out to during the long drive.
  • Be prepared for setbacks and/or emergencies: It’s our worst nightmare: your car breaking down away from home. Just in case, keep your cell phone charged if you need to call for help and set up accommodations for the night, have extra water in the car, and be prepared to improvise if necessary.

Above all, if you need a new car to take that road trip with, stop in to Mama’s Used Cars—we’re sure to have something you will like.Ready for Road Trips

Top Five Best Used Cars For Road Trips

It’s summer, and for many of us, that means it’s time for a nice family vacation. If you are looking for a used car before you can go, though, these are the best used cars for road trips.

 

Toyota Camry

As a mid-size sedan, the Toyota Camry is small enough to get excellent fuel economy while also being big enough to accommodate the whole family and their cargo. Even older models of the Toyota Camry get an EPA-estimated highway mpg over 30, so you won’t have to fuel up as often on long trips.

 

Honda Accord

Honda is a popular choice for any driver looking for a reliable used car, but out of all of them we had to choose the Accord. With the Honda Accord, drivers get everyday comfort as well as fun, engaging performance. It also has the added bonus of excellent fuel economy.

 

Chevrolet Impala

While its full-size sedan design means that the Chevrolet Impala doesn’t get as much mileage as the other options on the list, it also means that the Impala is safe and accommodating. Industry critics describe the Impala’s ride as “luxurious,” so you’ll be traveling in style.

 

Hyundai Sonata

The Sonata offers a value-packed vehicle with generous trunk space for its segment. It’s also affordable and provides an efficient, sporty drive, with a comfortable and accommodating second row.

 

Ford Fusion

For those lovers of the Blue Oval, the Ford Fusion provides a versatile and practical family sedan that’s safe, economical, and fun to drive, due to its low starting price tag, good trunk space, and good performance.

best used cars for road trips

If you find that you are still undecided, of course, you can always just come down to Mama’s Used Cars, and we will help you find something to your liking.

Looking for Something to Do in Charleston? Visit the Hunley Submarine

This great city of Charleston offers so much to do at all times of the year, from great restaurants and bars to theatres, parks, and recreation right on the water. If you are looking for something new to do in Charleston, consider taking a tour of the Hunley Submarine.

The Hunley is located at 1250 Supply Street at the Old Charleston Navy Base in North Charleston, South Carolina. That’s just a 20-minute drive from Mama’s Used Cars at 1627 Savannah Highway in Charleston.

But what is the Hunley Submarine? We don’t want to give away all the excitement of the tour, so we will be brief. The Hunley was a Confederate submarine from the Civil War that successfully attacked and sank the USS Housatonic right off the coast of Charleston. This was monumental not just for the Civil War but for world history in general, as it marked the first time that a submarine sank an enemy ship.

But what happened next is still unknown. For some reason, the submarine—and the crew of eight—disappeared. The sub was discovered underwater in 1995 by Clive Cussler and brought to the surface in 2000. Scientists have worked to discover the mysterious sinking of the Hunley, but to solve it yourself, you’ll have to visit the lab. You can plan your tour on the Hunley’s website.

How to Get the Most for Your Money When Shopping for a Used Car

At Mama’s Used Cars, we make it our goal to create a stress-free, honest, and fun shopping experience for drivers looking to buy used. We want you as our customer to get the best value from your purchase. This is why we’re offering a handful of tips on how to make the most of your money when shopping for a used car.

Most for Your Money When Shopping for a Used Car | Mama's Used Cars

Think Outside the Box

Each segment of vehicles has its own popular pick, like the Ford F-150 for trucks or the Honda Accord for sedans. These are popular options, which often make them expensive options, too. To save more money, consider buying a less popular (but not necessarily less reliable) vehicle.

Think Outside the Hybrid Box

The same rule can be applied to buyers who are looking specifically for a hybrid option. The Toyota Prius is the go-to hybrid car, but there are a handful of other reliable, impressive hybrids out there available for less.

Buy Older

If you want a luxury car but feel like it’s out of your price range, that’s okay! You can adjust the age of a used car to find a price tag that fits your budget. For instance, a seven-year-old Mercedes might be as accessible to you as a four-year-old Toyota.

One of the great benefits of buying used is that it gives you so many more options than buying new. Remember to explore these options to find the best deal for you and visit Mama’s Used Cars today!