Used car safety ratings - RACV

Used car safety ratings

2015-2016 update - passenger vehicles built 1996–2013

Used Car Safety Ratings are an excellent resource to help motorists buy a safe, second-hand car because the ratings are based on real crashes. A Safe Pick rating not only provides you with good protection but also protects the occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. See the online used car guide before you buy a used car.


Top used car safe picks

About a third of cars tested scored a Poor or Very Poor rating for occupant crash safety protection. It’s not all bad news though, the Ford Fiesta manufactured from 2009-2013 did very well In the Light Car category, scoring 5 stars. In fact top rating used vehicles can be bought for less than $10,000 so safety doesn’t have to be compromised by price. The FG Falcon (2008-2013) is another Safe Pick for under $8,000. Other lower-priced top rating Safe Pick models include Honda Civic (2006-11), Subaru Impreza (2007-11), Holden Captiva (2006-13) and Toyota Aurion (2006-12). See more cars for under $5,000, $10,000 and $20,000.

how ratings are calculated

Records from over 7 million vehicles in police-reported road crashes in Australia and New Zealand were analysed. The ratings were calculated using an internationally reviewed method and show that risk of injury is influenced by the vehicle’s mass, the structural design of the body, and the safety features, such as airbags and types of seatbelts.

Models of vehicles that cause less injuries to other road users, including other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, as well as providing excellent protection for the occupants and are fitted with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) are awarded the “Safe Pick” label. In some models ESC was only provided as an option so it’s well worth if the particular car you’re looking at has it fitted.

The ratings are based on work by the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) in conjunction with the RACV, TAC and VicRoads.



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