Used Car Safety Ratings

If you are in the market to buy a car, the Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR) are a reliable source of information on a used car's safety performance.

In the 2017 release there are ratings for 389 vehicle models which cover most of the popular vehicles in the Australian and New Zealand vehicle fleets manufactured from 1982 to 2015.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to read the Buyer's Guide to Used Car Safety Ratings 2017-2018 [PDF 104 Kb] or go to the howsafeisyourcar (External link) website to find out how the vehicle you want to buy performs on the safety front. Those few minutes could save a life – your own, your passengers’ or that of another road user.

Buyers considering a new or near new model vehicle that is not listed in the Buyer's Guide to Used Car Safety Ratings 2017-2018 [PDF 104 Kb] should check the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) rating at (External link).

How are the ratings determined

Records from over 7.5 million vehicles in police-reported road crashes in Australia and New Zealand between 1987 and 2015 were analysed by Monash University’s Accident Research Centre. The ratings were calculated using an internationally reviewed method and are influenced by the vehicle’s mass, the structural design of the body, and the safety features fitted to the vehicle, such as airbags and types of seat belts.

Each of the driver protection ratings in the 2017 update has been recalculated based on the most recent crash data available so they are not comparable with the ratings published in previous years. 

To achieve the “Safe Pick” label models must:

  • result in lower injuries to other road users with which they collide, including other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, 
  • provide excellent protection for their own driver, 
  • and be fitted with Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

The score for each individual model can be compared against the ratings for all other vehicles. The driver protection ratings are about the risk of death or serious injury to the driver of the vehicle in the event of a crash. The ratings are not about the risk of being involved in the crash in the first place, which is generally determined by a range of factors including, vehicle technology, driver behaviour, vehicle condition and the road environment.


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