Five-star safety rating for many used cars, without breaking the bank

Used cars can offer great value, particularly for those on low budgets who can’t afford showroom expenses. But not all used cars are principally safe – in fact, a driver in the worst rated vehicle in this year’s Used Car Safety Ratings is ten times more likely to be killed or seriously injured than a driver in a vehicle in the safest category.

The good news is that there is at least one excellent safety performer awarded the full five-star rating in every vehicle category in this year’s Ratings, making it even easier for motorists to pick the safest car for their budget.

Each year, an alliance made up of governments, motoring clubs including RACV, and safety groups including TAC and VicRoads, gathers used car safety ratings, based on statistics collected from car crashes in Australia and New Zealand.

Records from over 7.5 million vehicles involved in police-reported road crashes in Australia and New Zealand between 1987 and 2015 are analysed by Monash University’s Accident Research Centre, and given a 1 to 5 star safety rating.

“With most new cars of the past decade fitted with advanced safety features, we are now finally seeing more vehicles in the used car segment with crash avoidance systems” said RACV Manager Vehicle Engineering, Michael Case.

A showcase feature of the Used Car Safety Ratings is the Safer Pick feature, which indicates the safest vehicle in their respective classes. The vast majority of “Safer Pick” cars were manufactured from 2001 onwards, showing the benefits of newer vehicles in terms of safety equipment available.

“It is great to see that a few Safer Pick vehicles are available second-hand for under $10,000. This is a great outcome for young drivers, who are often on a budget and in many cases, tend to drive cars with less safety features – despite the fact that younger drivers are much more likely to be involved in a crash,” Mr Case said.

The data analysis which takes place for the Used Car Safety Rating is rigorous, and a vehicle will not receive a rating until it has been involved in at least 100 crashes and at least 20 driver injuries.

“Picking the safest vehicle possible should be every driver’s first consideration, and our Used Car Safety Ratings gives buyers the information they need to make this decision,” Mr Case said.

Written by RACV Corporate Communications (03) 9790 2572
September 22, 2017