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Best car for home visiting nurse in New England?

Nurses   (1,227 Views 22 Comments)
by PHNinNE PHNinNE (New Member) New Member

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7,929 Visitors; 735 Posts

It's way more about tires than the car, particularly in New England where the issue is more with ice and compacted snow than with deep, light snow. People often assume that SUVs are better on ice and compacted snow, although their weight and high center of gravity makes them poor performers on these surfaces, and SUV's tend to use a drivetrain more accurately described as 4 wheel drive rather than all-wheel drive (yes there is a difference). A not-excessively heavy AWD vehicle, such as a Subaru, with either dedicated ice tires (not 'all-season' tires) or studded tires is usually a safe bet.

Definitely check your state laws RE: studded tires as some states don't permit them (as they can really damage the roads).

Add me to the list of Suburu fans. The great thing about the Outback (and Forester) is the ground clearance, which really helps when you're trying to get to work and they haven't really plowed the roads. Both models have gotten me (and my husband) to work in blizzard conditions here in the NE.

And Wuzzie's post - fantastic tips. I wish more drivers would listen to them.

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MunoRN has 10 years experience and works as a Critical Care.

63,449 Visitors; 6,013 Posts

I just realized that in my first response I forgot to put "snow" in front of "tires". What I actually meant was get an inexpensive wheels to mount good quality SNOW tires on so they can easily be switched when the time comes.

In my area you can get steel winter wheels (not fancy but do the job) for $20 each, which is about the cost of per tire for mounting. So if you're willing to switch out your wheel/tire yourself then you're saving close to $200 a year on mounting winter and summer tire on the same set of wheels. You do have to pay to initially mount the tires on the winter wheels, but since you're only using them for part of the year, mine tend to last around 6 winters.

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1 Follower; 8,911 Visitors; 541 Posts

Subaru's seem to be new England's official car a forester would be a good option. I have a Honda Pilot and my mother drives a Toyota RAV4 (although she wishes she still had her Honda CR-V).

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1 Follower; 8,911 Visitors; 541 Posts

We also both use Nokian studded winter tires.

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3 Followers; 33,630 Visitors; 4,132 Posts

Best vehicle? That plane to Miami. LOL

Good luck.

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4,252 Visitors; 325 Posts

+++1 on the winter tires, and also buy those cheap steel rims for winter if you can get them at a reasonable price. I'll give a big "Meh" for Subaru- I have a neutral opinion about the company but it's certainly not the only car that will work, and work well on snow and ice. Any front wheel drive car will work.

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9,903 Visitors; 386 Posts

Not what you asked, but for those new to New England, make sure you have a snow bag packed in your car at ALL times. Blanket, rock salt, flashlight, change of clothes (including socks!), snacks, water, small shovel, ice scraper, de icer spray,hand warmers, and anything you will need if you get stuck at work, or stuck in a snowmageddon type traffic jam, or slide off into an icepatch and have to wait for AAA.I keep kitty litter, too. And hopefully you will never need any of it, because whatever car you choose will get you back and forth.

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KelRN215 has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a Complex Care Manager.

1 Article; 67,343 Visitors; 7,344 Posts

I have only ever had a Chevy Cavalier and a Toyota Corolla in my adult life. If the weather is that bad, I'm rescheduling my visits. I was a visiting nurse in Boston during the record breaking winter of 2015. Rarely did I have visits that couldn't be rescheduled. In my current job, any and all visits will be rescheduled in snow.

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1,047 Visitors; 211 Posts

You're going to need a Jeep. It gets deep. You need clearance to not get stuck. Serious 4WD and not AWD.

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4 Followers; 17,763 Visitors; 2,730 Posts

You're going to need a Jeep. It gets deep. You need clearance to not get stuck. Serious 4WD and not AWD.

Respectfully, this isn't really true. It depends on the type of AWD and that is brand specific. Subaru has practically been Vermont's state vehicle for the last 20 years and there's a reason for it.

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