Safe car buying guide

By NRMA Motoring on 07 April 2017
Car accident
Car Accident

Key things to know when buying a safe car

5 Steps to buying a safe new or used car

  • Safety ratings websites are an excellent resourceHow Safe is Your Car offer safety ratings for used cars, calculated from real crash data. The European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) and the Australasian version (ANCAP) offer safety ratings for new cars as well as new-car ratings for older models. Consider the safety of others, too, by looking at pedestrian safety scores.

  • Buy a white car – Statistically, white is the safest colour, because it’s easier to see than any other colour at night, during the day and in overcast conditions.

  • Ideally, choose a car with six airbags – Aim to have dual front, side and full-length curtain or head airbags in your car. Such models have been around for more than 10 years and are not prohibitively priced.

  • Ensure the tyres are of good quality with plenty of tread – How do you pick a good tyre? The answer is to choose a known brand. You’re far safer in the wet with plenty of tread on your tyres so avoid wearing them down all the way to the minimum tread depth indicators.

  • Make sure your purchase is mechanically sound – If you buy a used car, have it checked over for safety and reliability, and ensure you meet regular maintenance requirements. An NRMA car servicing centre can conduct this for you.

A 40 point safety check is the first step in any car service from the NRMA. To give you a complete picture of your car’s safety status, the checks include:

  • Tyre tread and pressure

  • Battery and charging system report

  • Exhaust and fan belt

  • Coolant and transmission fluid check and top-up

  • Lights, windscreen and wipers

  • Brakes and steering

  • Suspension and driveline

  • Road test, which includes checking the transmission, engine, differential, clutch and body report

And lastly if you are considering taking out a car loan, get a vehicle inspection for piece of mind.

Safety requires maintenance 

Members get $40 off* an essential or log book service at NRMA car servicing.