26 September 2023

DIT’s used car guide updated for safety

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The Department for Infrastructure and Transport (DIT) has released the State’s latest used car safety information guide for use by members of the public seeking a safe vehicle for their budget.

Developed with the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC), the information covers safety ratings for almost 400 vehicles manufactured from the year 2000 onwards.

The Department said its commitment to encouraging motorists to explore safer vehicles formed part of South Australia’s Road Safety Action Plan 2023-25.

As a guide to help used car buyers prioritise safety, the Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR) lists 389 models by market segment and their safety rating, based on police-reported crash analysis of more than 9 million vehicles across Australia and New Zealand.

“Three out of four vehicles purchased in Australia each year are used vehicles,” the Department said.

“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,” it said.

It said the ratings covered ‘Crashworthiness’, ‘Aggressivity’ and ‘Total Secondary Safety Index’.

DIT said ‘Crashworthiness’ was the relative safety of vehicles in preventing death or serious injury to their own drivers in crashes and ‘Aggressivity’ was the serious injury risk vehicles posed to other road users with whom they collide, including pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists and drivers of other vehicles involved in a crash.

Total Secondary Safety Index’ integrated the combined Crashworthiness and Aggressivity performances into one measure.

“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,” the Department said.

“While newer vehicles are generally safer than older vehicles, it is important that you check the individual ratings before buying a used car to make a safe choice,” it said.

Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services Joe Szakacs said the Used Car Safety Rating would provide a much-needed confidence boost to people making an important investment in a used car for themselves, their family and their safety.

“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and having an accessible tool such as the UCSR to ensure you’re making a safer purchase couldn’t come soon enough,” Mr Szakacs said.

“I do not want to see people being avoidably injured because motorists choose an unsafe car,” he said.

A full 16-page list of Used Car Safety Ratings 2022 can be found on the My Licence website at this PS News link.

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