Updated vehicle safety list released

Updated vehicle safety list released

AA vehicle safety ratingsVehicles are becoming safer but not necessarily more expensive according to the latest 2016 Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR) guide.

AA Motoring Services general manager Stella Stocks says the guide shows that safe choices are available at every point in the market.

“A large number of the vehicles with excellent ratings are available secondhand for less than $15,000 and many for less than $10,000,” she says.

The guide reveals that all market groups from small cars through to utes have at least one excellent or good driver protection rating, with 28 vehicles earning the ‘safe pick’ standard. This means they also provide good protection for occupants in other vehicles, pedestrians and motorcyclists in a crash.

Stocks points out that the guide’s information is significant because a person is on average 50% more likely to be killed or seriously injured crashing a car built in 1996 than a car built in 2014. “With so much choice in the secondhand market, being aware of the safety rating of the car you want to buy could make all the difference.”

The 2016 guide includes 49 more vehicles than last year. The increase is due to the inclusion of hospital records from New South Wales which, for the first time, have been used alongside real world crash data from New Zealand and Australia, making the data used to assess the vehicles more comprehensive.

This year 115 vehicles received an excellent or good rating for occupant protection in a crash. At the bottom of the rating system, 96 models were considered poor or very poor and shouldn’t be considered a safe purchase.

The ratings in the guide are based on reports from more than 7.5 million road crashes reported to police and more than 1.7 million injured road users in New Zealand and Australia from 1987 to 2014. The latest ratings are not comparable with ratings published in previous years as they have been recalculated based on the latest crash data.

“With the introduction of tougher safety standards for new vehicles and improved safety design features across the board, we’re seeing the safety of New Zealand’s used car fleet improving,” says Stocks. “That also means the benchmark for excellent protection is consistently being set higher.”

This year the guide provides information on the performance of more than 266 models made since 1996 onwards.

The AA and the NZ Transport Agency are members of the Vehicle Safety Research Group, which commissioned the analysis of the crash data by the Monash University Accident Research Centre. To see the full 2016 Used Car Safety Ratings guide visit aa.co.nz/UCSR2016.

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