How safe is your next car? New safety rating labels have the answer to a life and death question


New safety rating labels launched today aim to help car buyers make potentially life-saving choices when purchasing their next vehicle.

The new labels from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency show consumers how well vehicles will protect them in a crash, using a simple one to five-star safety rating.

The star ratings are based on laboratory crash-test results for new vehicles, and on analysis of 8 million real-world crashes for used imports.

“Evidence from crashes shows that people are more than twice as likely to survive a crash in a 5-star safety-rated car than in a 1-star car,” says Kane Patena, Director of Land Transport at Waka Kotahi.

“We want everyone to be able to choose the safest car they can afford, and these labels will help make that choice easier. Getting more Kiwis in to safer vehicles is a key part of New Zealand’s Road to Zero strategy, which is aiming to dramatically reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 2030,” Mr Patena says.

Road to Zero

The safety rating labels are designed to be printed by motor vehicle dealers and displayed on cars for sale, providing consumers with simple, accurate and reliable information about a vehicle’s safety performance when they’re making their next purchase.

The safety rating label sits alongside the Vehicle Fuel Economy Label (VFEL), which is administered by EECA (Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority). The VFEL must be displayed on all cars for sale by motor vehicle traders and informs customers of the fuel efficiency and estimated yearly fuel costs of the vehicle.

“EECA’s priority is to get Kiwi drivers in fuel-efficient, low emissions vehicles in order to improve energy efficiency and tackle our transport carbon emissions. But that can’t come at the expense of safety, so we’re pleased to be working alongside Waka Kotahi to help make the New Zealand fleet safer and cleaner,” EECA CEO Andrew Caseley says.

Now, when traders generate labels for their vehicles, they can automatically generate a safety label for display alongside the VFEL.

“This makes displaying a safety label as easy as possible for traders,” Caseley says, “so customers will have all the relevant information available at a glance.”

To print safety rating information for a vehicle, go to the label generator on EECA’s website(external link)

A women, man and child looking at the safety rating label on a car.

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