By Clair Morton
Published: Thursday, October 11, 2018
Here’s a scary statistic: drivers of used cars with the lowest safety rating are twice as likely to be killed in a crash as drivers of the highest-rated vehicles.
The report used data from more than 8 million collisions across the nation and New Zealand to identify the models that offer better protection in a crash.
Of the 372 models rated, 61 received 5 stars – 13 of which were singled as ‘safer picks’ – while 63 were given just 1 star.
The worst performing was the light car category, with 18 of the 31 light cars only getting a 1-star rating.
Of the light cars, only the Honda City, built from 2009 to 2013, gained the maximum rating of 5 stars.
RAA Senior Manager of Future Mobility Mark Borlace said it was also concerning that commercial utes typically had lower safety ratings.
“Utes with fewer safety stars are a major concern given the consistent increase in popularity of these vehicles over recent years,’’ Mr Borlace said.
“This was in part due to design standards for light commercial vehicles lagging behind those of regular passenger cars.’’
And what about the best-rated used cars? Large SUVs were the safest on the whole – unlike all other categories, no SUVs were given 1 star. Large and medium cars, meanwhile, had the most vehicles with a 5-star rating.
“Many of our ‘safer pick’ used vehicles are available for less than $15,000 and some for under $10,000, which is especially important for young people buying their first car,’’ Mr Borlace said.
The Toyota Camry built from 2011-16, for instance, is rated as one of the guide’s Safer Picks and can be bought for under $10,000.