By Jeremy Rochow
Last updated on: September 4, 2019 at 10:08 am
Drivers of used cars with the worst safety rating are twice as likely to be killed in a collision as those driving cars rated the best, a new report has revealed.
That’s just one of the findings from the annual Used Car Safety Rating Buyer’s Guide study, which collects data from more than 8 million collisions across Australia and New Zealand and then gives vehicles a safety rating.
The study, commissioned by the Vehicle Safety Research Group – which RAA is part of – is run by the Monash Accident Research Centre.
Vehicle models are classed from 1 to 5 stars based on their safety rating and those with the best safety features were designated a Safer Pick.
The 2019/20 Used Car Safety Ratings Buyer’s Guide also showed that 4 in 5 South Australian car buyers purchased used cars.
“That’s why we strongly encourages people to use the report to help them choose the safest possible used car for their budget,” RAA motoring expert Mark Borlace said.
The data revealed that a quarter of South Australian passenger vehicles are more than 16 years old, making it the oldest average fleet of any mainland state.
Of the 389 models rated, 69 received 5 stars. The popular Mazda CX-5, built between 2012 and 2017, was 1 of 31 vehicles to receive the Safer Pick tick of approval.
In contrast, 69 models received 1 star and 56 scored just 2 stars. Holden Rodeos released between 1999 and 2002, and Honda Accords built between 1994 and 1998, were among the vehicles to receive 1 star.
The number of vehicle models tested
Mr Borlace said safety didn’t have to come at a premium price, with the report revealing some Safer Pick used vehicles were available for less than $15,000.
“The guide enables drivers to select safer vehicles that vary in age and price,” Mr Borlace said.
“If parents are contributing to the cost of their child’s car they should use the guide and insist the model bought is of a high rating.
“A vehicle’s size and weight, design, and safety features such as airbags and types of seat belts all contributed to its rating.”