Used Car Purchasing Tips

Used cars

Profile PictureThere are a number of reasons why buying a Used car makes sense:

•    Depreciation – New cars depreciate a lot. Buying a two or three year old car can save anywhere from 20% to 35% off the price of a comparable new one.
•    Warranties – New cars often come with transferable warranties. Buying a used car that’s still under its new car warranty can often mean saving money on an extended service contract if it’s purchased from a franchised new car dealer.
•    Certified Used Cars – Most manufacturers offer certified used cars that, while more expensive, come with extended service contracts that offer peace of mind and can be worth the cost difference.
•    Quality – Today’s used cars offer the highest quality in history.

Buying tips

With that being said, here are some tips on what to look for:

Pricing. Prices on most used cars have leveled off and even dropped recently from historic high prices. Visit third-party pricing sites to get retail book values and use their shopping tools to adjust those values based on their condition.

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO). Certified used cars are the closest thing to new at higher used car prices. Most manufacturer programs, such as Honda, GM and Toyota include a Vehicle History Report (from AutoCheck or Carfax) and thorough mechanical inspection.

Cars sold online. Sites like and let you compare vehicles to give you a better idea of what a fair selling price might be.

Paperwork. Review as much documentation as possible including title documents and service records and receipts.

Check for:

Open recalls. According to Carfax, estimates are that 30% of all recalled cars go unfixed. Franchised new car dealers for that brand will fix any open recalls for free.

Odometer issues. Digital odometer tampering is often difficult to detect. Be sure the interior and exterior wear and tear correspond to what the odometer displays.

Flood damage. Check for any odors, corrosion, mud and dirt – especially in those hard to clean areas. Also be sure all warning lights and electrical components are working properly.

Curbstoners. Illegal dealers posing as private sellers peddle cars on the internet, along roadsides and through classified ads. These cars often have hidden problems and the seller typically cannot be found after the sale.

Professional inspection. Not something to look for but what you should have performed by both a certified master mechanic and a body and frame specialist prior to signing any sale documents.

Race Into Savings Sale at Mama’s Used Cars

The best used car specials are racing into the dealership at Mama’s Used Cars. Featured used models for this month include a 2002 Ford F-150 AWD, a 2009 Ford Mustang, 2006 Lincoln Town Car, and a 2008 Ford Expedition. There are more “Last Call” discounts on the below list of great used cars before they are shipped to auction. Please come in to Mama’s Used Cars or call 800-261-0069 for details. These offers end on 8/17.

Mama Knows Best: Reasons to Buy Used Over New

At Mama’s Used Cars in Charleston, South Carolina, customers are treated like family and shown why buying used is often the best decision a shopper can make. There are several different perks to making the savvy decision and purchasing used over new.

Immediately after a new car is driven off the lot, it loses a great portion of its value. By buying used, many users can save thousands of dollars for a car that is essentially the same for only a few thousand more miles on the odometer. Many consumers also never think of the idea that by purchasing a car used, you can often purchase a car that is a higher level of luxury for nearly the same cost as an average new car.  Continue reading

Edmunds Chooses 15 Best Used Cars

The staff at Edmunds, an automotive data tracking and testing service, have compiled a list of 15 best bets for used cars. This isn’t just a beauty contest.  The selections were based on criteria including reliability, safety value and, yes, availability. It wouldn’t help to pick a product consumers can’t find.  The list was limited to vehicles now between two and seven years old.

2008 Ford Explorer XLTThe list includes a total of 11 different brands, but four marques appear twice, Ford, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota.  (Nissan is there twice, as well, if you include both the Nissan and Infiniti brands).  The editors’ picks:

  • Compact Sedan: 2005-2010 Hyundai Elantra
  • Midsize Sedan: 2005-2010 Nissan Altima
  • Large Sedan: 2006-2010 Hyundai Azera
  • Coupe: 2005-2010 BMW 3 Series
  • Convertible: 2005-2010 Mazda Miata
  • Wagon: 2005-2010 Pontiac Vibe
  • Compact SUV/Crossover: 2005-2010 Honda CR-V
  • Midsize SUV/Crossover: 2005-2010 Ford Explorer
  • Large SUV/Crossover: 2005-2010 Chevrolet Tahoe
  • Minivan/Van: 2005-2010 Honda Odyssey
  • Compact Truck: 2005-2010 Toyota Tacoma
  • Large Truck: 2005-2010 Ford F-150
  • Luxury: 2005-2010 Infiniti G35/G37
  • Hybrid: 2005-2010 Toyota Prius
  • Sport Compact: 2005-2010 Subaru Impreza WRX

A Used Ford Mustang from Mama

In the market for a fast car with a ferocious engine, but don’t want to shell out the cash for a new one? Mama’s Used Cars has the solution for you. Right now, we are overstocked with a variety of used Ford Mustangs, including the classic 2005 Mustang.

The 2005 Mustang is somewhat of a legend. Powered by a 4.0-liter V6 engine that generates 210 horsepower and an impressive 240 lb.-ft. of torque, the ’05 Mustang takes no prisoners. And the premium trim levels get an even more powerful 4.6-liter V8 engine that delivers 300 horsepower and can pull 320 lb.-ft. of torque.

The ’05 Mustang sometimes feels like you’re stepping into a time machine, taking several retro design cues from the Mustang of the late ‘60s. But with sleek styling and updated technology, this powerful beast is anything but ancient. In fact, the chassis for the 2005 model was utterly reconfigured to give a smoother ride and improved handling to experienced drivers.

Head down to Mama’s Used Cars in Charleston, South Carolina today and get behind the wheel of one of these fierce 2005 Mustangs, or any other model year Mustangs, like the critically acclaimed 2009 Mustang. Hurry while we’ve still got them on the lot because these babies are going fast!