Make the safe choice

News story
Safety should be the priority when buying a used vehicle.
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a young girl poses in front of a new car parked in a sales lot

Choosing a used vehicle can feel overwhelming, but when it all boils down to it - safety should be your number one priority, not the colour. 

Buying the right vehicle can not only save your life and prevent serious injury, it can also reduce your risk of having a crash in the first place, and what could be more important than that? 

The good news is that there are many safe and affordable used vehicles out there to choose from, and thanks to the 2023 Used Car Safety Rating Guide published by the Monash University Accident Research Centre, much of the legwork has already been done for you. 

The free guide uses real-world statistics from across Australia to assign an 'Overall Safety' star rating to 518 used vehicles, with 1 star being the worst for safety performance and 5 stars indicating the top 20% of vehicles. 

The ratings are based on a combined score for: 

  • Driver Safety – how well the vehicle protects its driver from being killed or seriously injured in a crash. 
  • Other Road User Safety – how well the vehicle model protects other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists from being killed or seriously injured in a crash. 
  • Crash Avoidance – the crash avoidance technologies available such as electronic stability control, emergency breaking and roll stability control. 

The guide awards ‘Safer Pick’ status to vehicles, making it even easier to involve the family in the decision. Research tells us that parents can play a pivotal role in getting teenagers to value the importance of car safety.

On a budget? Then you’ll be pleased to know that more than half the ‘Safer Picks’ are available second-hand for less than $10,000. 

The Road Safety Commission is pleased to partner with like-minded organisations to fund the annual Used Car Safety Rating Guide. You can view the latest version on the Used Car Safety Ratings 2023 publication page. 

If you are looking to purchase a new or near-new vehicle and it is not covered by the Used Car Safety Ratings, ANCAP SAFETY provides comprehensive safety rating information - visit the ANCAP website for more information.