Safety must trump price when buying a car

The warning followed the launch of a safety campaign by auto club NRMA, ANCAP and the New South Wales State Government which revealed that vehicles more than 15 years old were four times more likely to result in a fatality than those less than five years old.

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RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding said the campaign featured a sad and confronting reality and highlighted the importance of choosing a safe vehicle.

“The campaign features a head-on collision between two vehicles – a 1998 model and a 2015 model – and it’s pretty clear which driver is going to fare better in a real-life crash,” Mr Spalding said.

“While older cars can often be more appealing because of the price tag, we urge motorists to make sure they check its safety rating before buying.

“If all vehicles had the latest safety features – like front, side and head-protecting airbags and electronic stability control – the number of serious injuries and fatalities on our roads would significantly drop.”

Mr Spalding said motorists didn’t need to splurge when buying a car as there were many affordable options on the market that still had high safety ratings.

“The good news is safe cars can be picked up for less than $10,000, so do your research and aim for a car that offers a five-star safety rating,” he said.

“RACQ’s Used Car Safety Ratings Chart is a good place to start and offers valuable information on nearly 300 vehicle models.

“After you’ve made your purchase it’s really important to keep your vehicle in good condition, so don’t skip out on regular servicing and maintenance.”