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.

The Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR) released each year by the Vehicle Safety Research Group (VSRG) make it simple for you to choose the safest used car in your budget. Statistics show that people driving in the lowest rated cars are 10 times more likely to die or be seriously injured as the result of a crash when compared to people travelling in the highest rated car.

In the 2019 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 1987 to 2017. Prioritise safety and take a few minutes to read the ratings for the cars you are considering. Those few minutes could save a life - your own, your passengers' or that of another road user. See the ratings on the How Safe is Your Car website.

Buyers considering a new or near new model vehicle should refer to the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) ratings at ancap.com.au (External link).

How are the ratings determined

The VSRG engaged Monash University Accident Research Centre to analyse the records from more than 8.3 million vehicles in police-reported road crashes and more than 2 million injured road users in Australia and New Zealand between 1987 and 2017. 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.

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.

in 2019, 22 cars were awarded 'Safer pick' status. To achieve the “Safe Pick” label models must:

  • provide excellent protection for their own driver, 
  • cause less serious injury to other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists in a collision,
  • and have a lower risk of being involved in a crash,
  • and be fitted with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and reversing camera or reversing sensors.

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