Service SA - Used Car Safety Ratings help motorists make safer choices

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Used Car Safety Ratings help motorists make safer choices

5 October 2021

Safety ratings for almost 300 vehicles manufactured from the year 2000 onwards have been released as part of the South Australian government’s bid to help motorists make safer vehicle choices.

The Department for Infrastructure and Transport, together with the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC), has released the latest used vehicle safety information to help those in the market for a used car make a safer, more informed choice.

As a guide to help used car buyers prioritise safety, the Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR) lists 276 models within each market and their safety rating, based on police-reported crash analysis of more than 8.8 million vehicles.

Three out of four vehicles purchased in Australia each year are used vehicles and these ratings provide potential buyers, whether it’s a first car or not, with additional information to help them compare the safety performance of older vehicles and encourage them to choose a vehicle with a superior level of safety.

The UCSR illustrate the risk of death or serious injury to the driver of the vehicle in a crash, with the models offering the highest safety performance a five-star rating and the poorest performing vehicles one star.

The ratings cover:

  • Crashworthiness: the relative safety of vehicles in preventing fatality or severe injury to their own drivers in crashes
  • Aggressivity: the serious injury risk vehicles pose to other road users with whom they collide. This includes unprotected road users such as pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists and driver of the other vehicle involved in a crash.
  • Total Secondary Safety Index: integrates into one measure the combined Crashworthiness and Aggressivity performance of a vehicle.

A driver of the worst scoring vehicle is over eight times more likely to be killed or seriously injured than the driver in the best scoring vehicle.

Vehicles marked ‘Safer Pick’ are the highest performing vehicle models and indicate safer choices based on the protection offered to other road users and the likelihood of being involved in a crash based on crash avoidance features.

A full list of Used Car Safety Ratings as evaluated in 2021 can be found on The Driver's Handbook: Safer Vehicles page.