Latest vehicle safety ratings released


Updated safety ratings for most cars and other light vehicles in New Zealand have been published on the Rightcar website from today – to help Kiwis make safer choices when purchasing vehicles.

The updated 1- to 5-star safety ratings, which indicate how much protection a vehicle provides people in a crash, apply to the vast majority of used cars, SUVs, utes and other light vehicles on our roads.  

Based on the latest independent analysis of real-world crash data from New Zealand and Australia, the safety ratings of around 900,000 light vehicles in the New Zealand fleet have changed compared to their 2022 star-safety ratings. 

“No one expects to crash, but everyone makes mistakes – and when this happens safe vehicles play a major role in preventing deaths and serious injuries,” explains NZ Transport Agency, Waka Kotahi Senior Manager Road Safety Fabian Marsh.  

“Many people are unaware that the safety of different vehicles – both used and new – can vary greatly, or that in a crash they are twice as safe in a 5-star safety rated car than in 1- star safety rated car.   

“So, as we look ahead to Christmas and summer holiday journeys, we urge Kiwis to visit Rightcar – to check the latest safety rating of vehicles they own or are thinking of buying,” Mr Marsh says.  

Vehicle safety ratings – quick facts

  • People are twice as safe in a 5-star safety rated car than in a 1-star safety rated car in a crash. 
  • Vehicles with 1 or 2- star safety ratings make up around 40% of the light vehicle fleet in New Zealand, but are over-represented in crashes involving deaths and serious injuries on our roads.  
  • Previous analysis has shown high safety rated vehicles are available in most categories and price brackets.  
  • The Rightcar website also includes information about vehicles’ crash avoidance features, such as automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping systems, which can help people to avoid crashing. NZ Transport Agency, Waka Kotahi recommends people check the crash avoidance features a vehicle has, along with its safety rating.  

Rightcar(external link)

Crash test/safety rating videos