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New list reveals safest second hand cars


A new list of the safest used cars will provide essential information to Victorians, rating the performance of vehicles in protecting occupants and other road users in a crash, Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas announced today.

Mr Pallas today released the 2010 Used Car Safety Ratings with Consumer Affairs Minister and Member for Mitcham Tony Robinson at the Whitehorse Accident Repair Centre in Vermont.

He said the ratings were based on work by the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) in conjunction with the TAC, VicRoads and the RACV.

“We understand Victorians are concerned about safety on our roads, which is why the Brumby Labor Government is taking action to drive down the road toll,” Mr Pallas said.

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

"Australasian research indicates that if each motorist upgraded their vehicle to the safest in its class, road trauma would drop by about one third.

“All categories have at least one vehicle that was rated ‘good’ (four stars), while more than a third (72) of the 199 vehicles were rated ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ (five stars).

“It is no surprise the vehicles with the best safety features provided the best protection from injury in a crash. Regardless of the size and category of the vehicle, the cars built without safety in mind are the ones that provide the least protection for their occupants and other road users.”

The ratings were calculated by MUARC, which analysed the injuries of more than 5.4 million people involved in crashes and one million injured road users in police-reported road crashes in New Zealand and Australia between 1987 and 2008.

Mr Robinson said the Brumby Labor Government was committed to improving road safety and helping Victorian drivers choose safer vehicles that provided important benefits.

“The advice to all drivers is to check out the used cars list to help ensure they are purchasing the safest possible car to protect themselves and others on the road,” Mr Robinson said.

MUARC Senior Research Fellow Dr Stuart Newstead said the ratings reflected how well individual models protect their occupants and other road users – including cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and drivers of other vehicles – from injury in the event of a crash.

TAC Road Safety Manager Samantha Cockfield said while all motorists wanted to drive a car that kept the occupants safe in a crash, it was important to consider the impact that vehicle would have on other road users in the event of a crash.

“These ratings will help all motorists to choose vehicles that can achieve both these objectives,” Ms Cockfield said.

RACV Vehicle Engineering Manager Michael Case said European and Japanese designs featured heavily among the best performing cars, particularly newer models. 

“Of the Australian made cars, the 2006-2008 Toyota Camry and Aurion and the 2004-2008 Ford Territory scored an ‘Excellent’ rating,” Mr Case said.

Five-star used cars in the small, medium and large car range include:

Small: Chrysler Neon 1996-99; Mazda MX5/Eunos Roadster 1998-2005; Peugeot 307 2001-08; Volvo S40/V40 1997-2004; and Volkswagen Golf/Jetta 2024-08.

Medium: Audi A4 2001-08; BMW 5 Series E39 1996-2003; Mazda 6 2002-07; Mercedes Benz C-Class W203 2000-07; Honda Accord 2003-07; Peugeot 406 1996-2004; Saab 900/9-3 1994-2002; Saab 9000 1986-97; and Subaru Liberty/Legacy/Outback 2003-08.

Large: Toyota Aurion 2006-08 and Toyota Camry 2006-08.

The 2010 Used Car Safety Ratings brochure is available here or at RACV shops. People can also search this site to find out more.

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