used car safety ratings

2014 update - passenger vehicles built between 1997–2012

You’ve got your sights set on that car. It’s the right price, looks good, and it’s the perfect size for what you need. But there are two important factors you may not have thought about.

It is important that your vehicle offers you good protection from injury in a crash – but it is also important that your vehicle offers good protection to other road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists or the drivers of other vehicles involved in a crash. For example, the crash statistics analysed by Monash University indicate that large SUVs are more likely to cause serious injuries to other road users in a crash than most other vehicle types.

The Used Car Safety Ratings charts provide you with the crash safety rating for the driver. Models of vehicles that cause lower injuries to unprotected road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, as well as providing good protection for the driver, are awarded the “Safe Pick” label. "Safe Pick" vehicles also feature Electronic Stability Control (ESC).  If you are serious about reducing road trauma you need to consider how your vehicle protects other road users as well as you, the driver.

how these ratings are calculated

Records from over 7 million vehicles in police-reported road crashes in Australia and New Zealand between 1987 and 2012 were analysed by Monash University’s Accident Research Centre (MUARC).  The ratings were calculated using an internationally reviewed method and are influenced by the vehicle’s mass, the structural design of the body, and the safety features, such as airbags and types of seat belts, in the vehicle.

UCSR Crashed CarEach of the driver protection ratings in the 2014 update has been recalculated based on the most recent crash data available so they are not necessarily comparable with the ratings in previous years‘ brochures. 

The scores for each individual make/model are compared against the ratings for all other vehicles.  

The ratings are about the risk of injury related to the vehicle in the event of a crash.  They are not about the risk of being involved in the crash in the first place, which is generally determined by a range of factors including driver behaviour and crash environment.



Used Car Safety Ratings are part of RACV's contribution to the safer vehicles component of the Decade of Action for Road Safety.