A mistake we often see people make is the failure to think about what car actually suits their environment and climate. Someone who drives in a hilly, windy environment might need an entirely different kind of vehicle than someone who commutes in temperate weather inside a large city.
Picking a car that’s beneficial in your particular environment isn’t always easy. It requires an understanding of the terrain, weather, and the features needed to keep you safe on the road.
Today, we want to talk about New Mexico specifically and what vehicles can make you feel secure while driving. Here are some things to consider when shopping for a car you’ll predominantly drive around our home state.
New Mexico has three different topographic zones within its borders, and all of them can be a little rough on a vehicle. From the Rocky Mountain zone to the plains zone or the intermountain plateau, many drivers have found that owning a vehicle with off-roading capabilities is necessary, or at least preferable.
Perhaps that’s why the number one seller in New Mexico is the Ford 150. State residents love shopping Ford used cars for sale because they know the truck can take on various kinds of terrain found in their area, from mountains to vast dusty plains.
Before you go around looking at just any used off-road vehicle, let us give you a few tips:
- Focus on the tires; check for off-road tires that are in good shape and well-aligned.
- Understand that the exterior may have some nicks or scratches from its time off road.
- Listen to how the engine sounds. Is it too loud for you to deal with? Does it sound weird?
- Always, always take an off-road vehicle on a test drive. Try to do so in an area where off-roading is encouraged or maybe even necessary.
We won’t sugarcoat it: you need tires that will serve you well here in New Mexico.
Although you can always put new tires on a used car, it’s still a smart idea to try to buy a car that already comes with great tires installed to save you time and money. You don’t want to make a purchase only to find out you need to drop thousands of dollars on replacement tires.
In some parts of New Mexico, where it snows and temperatures drop below the mid-40s, you might need to invest in a car that can work well with winter tires. These can handle snow and water more adeptly and keep you safer on cold roads.
New Mexico drivers can experience lots of road types, environments, inclines, and weather changes over the course of a year. No matter what kind of used car you’re planning to buy, you need to make sure that it’s cheap enough that you can afford safe tires or that it already comes equipped with tires that will keep you safe on the road.
Here are some tips for checking the tires on used cars to determine if you will need to buy new ones:
- Conduct the penny test: if Lincoln’s head isn’t covered, these tires will need to be replaced.
- Ask for proof of when the tires were last replaced. If they’re more than three to four years old, it’s a no-go.
- How do the tires look? Are they inflated properly? Do they seem to be in good shape?
More often than not, drivers are at the mercy of Mother Nature when traversing many of the roads in New Mexico. Whether it’s rain, hail, tornadoes, or just a strong wind, you need to be in a car that makes you feel as safe as possible.
Sometimes, drivers of small cars complain that their little vehicles seem to get blown around excessively on the roads when the frequent high winds appear. If you’re worried about this, you might be better off getting an SUV or truck that feels a bit sturdier.
If you think car size is just a small factor in terms of vehicle safety, consider that small cars account for more than twice as many deaths as large cars. Larger, heavier vehicles can truly be a safer option for both individuals and families.
This brings us back to seeking out Ford F-150 used cars for sale. Part of their popularity stems from their durability and large size. However, that’s not the only option you have if you’re looking for a vehicle that’s on the larger side.
Some other popular big vehicles in the state of New Mexico include:
- Nissan Frontier
- Toyota Tundra
- Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD/3500HD
- Ram Heavy Duty
- Toyota Tacoma
- GMC Sierra 1500
Now, that’s not to say that everyone in New Mexico drives big trucks or SUVs.
Smaller cars like the Honda CRV, Honda Civic, or Ford Fusion are also popular – it just depends on how much you value a big vehicle when facing bad weather or other dangerous factors on the road.
When shopping for used cars, it’s easy to get caught up thinking about color, year, and style. However, those aren’t always the most important factors to consider, especially here in New Mexico.
As you begin your search, consider what will make you feel most safe and protected on the roads. Have you thought about what tires you need or what size will be the most beneficial? Factors like those are much more important when making the best decision on a vehicle.
If you need help finding the perfect used vehicle, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. At NM Auto Press, we assist many local drivers in their hunt for the perfect vehicle that’s located nearby, affordably priced, and in great shape.
Whether you’re looking for a used truck, a pre-owned small car, or something entirely different, we’re here to help!