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.

How to Increase Your Trade-In Value

If you’re in the market for a new car, odds are you’re also looking at trading in your old model as a down payment. That’s an excellent idea but it’s best to make sure you’re getting the most possible out of your trade-in vehicle. There are a few steps you can take to pay less for your next car. Here are a few ways to increase your trade-in value from us here at Mama’s Used Cars!

Increase Your Trade-In Value

  • Tires – It’s no secret that car dealerships want to knock a few bucks off the trade-in value of your vehicle and tires are an excellent excuse to do so. Don’t give the sales staff that opportunity when you’ve reached that point. Keep your tires properly inflated or get a new set, assuming you can find some cheap.

Increase Your Trade-In Value

  • Clean – Make sure to clean the car inside and out before you head to the dealership. A spotless interior and polished exterior ensure that you’ll get the most possible out of your trade-in vehicle.

Increase Your Trade-In Value

  • Document – There are few better ways to prove a car has been properly maintained than documentation! Gather the service records, receipts, and any other documents that show how well you’ve taken care of the vehicle. It could make a major difference in how much you pay for your next vehicle!

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.

5 Ways to Determine Which Vehicle Is Right For You

what kind of vehicle should I buy

As you go on your next car-buying adventure, you may realize that you are unsure of what kind of vehicle to choose from. We’ll try to help out by giving you some of the advantages and disadvantages of each major kind of vehicle.

Sedans: Like most kinds of vehicles, sedans have a huge spectrum. But most of them are going to focus on sizable interior space, comfort, efficiency and technology. Obviously, they make great family vehicles.

Coupes: These two-door vehicles are designed for driving. They typically feature bigger or at least faster engines than sedans. Coupes usually sit somewhere between sedans and sports cars.

Trucks: We all know the obvious benefits of trucks—there’s a huge bed to put stuff in! But trucks are also made for towing. This means they have large engines and strong brake systems. This doesn’t mean trucks have to be austere. Many are just as comfortable and tech-savvy as sedans.

SUV/Crossovers: These kinds of vehicles usually offer all of the trappings of a sedan with more interior space and often times a bigger engine. Crossovers are the most popular kinds of vehicles on the road.

Compact/Subcompact: Just as you might think, the focus with compact and subcompact vehicles is efficiency. They are smaller in stature and feature smaller engines that many times allow hybrid-like fuel economy numbers.

Deciding what kind of vehicle you want can really help you narrow down your vehicle search!