Used car safety ratings strengthened with fresh data


Refreshed safety ratings for used cars help consumers prioritise vehicle safety when they consider their next purchase.

The NZ Transport Agency and the Automobile Association (AA) have welcomed the release of the 21st annual update of Used Car Safety Ratings.

The ratings are calculated from real-life crashes. Each year, another year’s worth of data is added to update vehicles’ safety ratings.

The data now includes information from more than 6 million vehicles in police-reported road crashes and more than 1.4 million injured road users across New Zealand and Australia. It shows the difference in the risk of death or serious injury in a crash between the worst and the best rated car was more than nine times for vehicles built from 1996.

More than 200 models have received a Used Car Safety Rating, including most of the popular vehicles sold in New Zealand.

The Transport Agency’s group manager Access and Use Celia Patrick says the updated data shows that the range of safe second hand cars is increasing.

“There is an ever-increasing number of safe second-hand cars available at all price points,” says Ms Patrick.

“The data behind the latest Used Car Safety Ratings has been added to our RightCar website. People in the market to buy a used vehicle can check out the website to help them choose a safe car in the class of their choice

AA general manager motoring services Stella Stocks says 109 vehicles rated as excellent or good safe choices and 54 rated poorly.

“This shows why it’s important to check out the safety of a vehicle before making a purchase,” Ms Stocks says. 

“It’s not always obvious to consumers about what makes one vehicle safer than another so we encourage consumers to learn what to look for and buy the safest car they can afford.

“Buyers should be looking for features such as electronic stability control and airbags at a minimum. These make a real difference in keeping drivers and their passengers safe in the event of a crash.”

The Used Car Safety Ratings are available at online, at and Brochures can be picked up at AA locations.

The 2013 Used Car Safety Ratings are created from an analysis of more than 6 million vehicles in police-reported road crashes and more than 1.4 million injured road users in New Zealand and Australia between 1987 and 2011. The analysis was completed by the Monash University Accident Research Centre.

There are 2167 vehicle models with ratings for protection to drivers. These cover most of the popular vehicles in the Australian and New Zealand vehicle fleets.