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2011 Used Car Safety Ratings now include a Safe Pick

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Author: Date: 25 July 2011

NRMA Motoring & Services and the NSW Centre for Road Safety today released safety ratings for used cars involved in crashes, introducing a Safe Pick rating for the very best vehicles in each category.

NRMA vehicle safety expert Jack Haley said the annual Used Car Safety Ratings provided consumers with essential information about the safety performance of vehicles in protecting drivers in a crash.

"The Used Car Safety Ratings are an excellent resource for motorists looking to purchase a safe second-hand vehicle because they measure the safety performance of these cars in real crashes," Mr Haley said.

"This year we have introduced a Safe Pick rating for the very best vehicles which, as well as protecting their driver in crashes, also minimise injury to other road users," Mr Haley said.

"A carefully selected group of 20 vehicles scored the Safe Pick rating of which 13 were small, medium or large vehicles.

"The two large vehicles that scored a Safe Pick rating were Australian-built, being the recent model Ford Falcon and Toyota Camry, which is a credit to those local manufacturers."

NSW Centre for Road Safety Director Dr Soames Job said that buying a safe used car does not have to be expensive.

"Many of the safest cars in each market group are relatively affordable," Dr Job said.

Some examples include:

  • Volvo S40 1997-2004 from $4,500
  • Peugeot 307 2001-2009 from $6,000
  • Honda Civic 2006-2009 from $11,000
  • Volkswagen Golf 1999-2009 from $5,000
  • Mazda 6 2002-2007 from $8,000
  • Toyota Camry 2006-2009 from $11,500
  • Honda CRV 2002-2006 from $9,000

"Used car buyers still need to be very stringent when selecting a vehicle as 38 models rated excellent and 40 rated good. Conversely, 18 models rated in the poor category and 47 very poor."

The ratings were calculated by the Monash University Accident Research Centre which analysed injury outcomes to more than 5.6 million people involved in crashes and 1.2 million injured road users between 1982 and 2009.

Dr Job said that if the community is serious about reducing road trauma, consumers need to consider how any vehicle we purchase protects all road users, not just its own occupants.

"Vehicles identified as a Safe Pick provide best possible injury protection to all road users including their own occupants, occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists in a crash," Dr Job said.

"We all want to drive a car that keeps us safe in a crash but we also want everyone else to drive a car that keeps us safe if they crash into us.

"These ratings with the Safe Pick label help motorists to choose vehicles that achieve both these objectives," Dr Job concluded.

The 2011 Used Car Safety Ratings brochure will shortly be available at NRMA and RTA branches or at www.rta.nsw.gov.au.

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