The most dangerous second-hand cars revealed

RACQ has revealed more than 120 potentially deadly vehicle models were being sold in Queensland’s booming used-car market, prompting a warning for buyers to do their research before signing on the dotted line.
Used car with sales banners

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The Club’s 2021 Used Car Safety Ratings Buyer’s Guide* examined real-world crash data involving 290 second-hand cars to find the safest and most dangerous makes and models. 

The release of the data coincided with a surge in demand for used-cars, with three out of four vehicles purchased in Australia second-hand.

RACQ’s Lauren Ritchie said 121 vehicle models were rated as either very poor or poor, earning just one or two stars for safety.  

“This includes many popular family sedans and SUVs, as well small vehicles, which are often the car of choice for many novice drivers,” Ms Ritchie said.

“The Mitsubishi Magna (2003-2005), Suzuki Grand Vitara (1998-2005) or Nissan Micra (2011-2016) are among the worst cars for safety earning one-star, compared with the Mitsubishi Outlander (2006-2012) or Toyota Prius 3 (2009-2016) which are top performers.

“The data reveals those behind the wheel of the most dangerous used-cars are at least eight times more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a crash than those in a five-star car. 

“Cars with the lowest star rating were found to pose a danger to drivers, passengers and other road users like cyclists and pedestrians due to their lack of protection and safety technology.”

Ms Ritchie said COVID-19 had impacted the supply of new vehicles and had pushed up the price of second-hand cars.

“This means some Queensland families may no longer be able to afford the used-car they first wanted and may need to opt for an older model,” she said. 

“While the newer the car, the safer it is, we recognise cost is also an important factor. Use our guide to ensure you prioritise safety as well as budget.” 

For the full list of vehicle ratings visit: Used Car Safety Ratings - Buying a Car - RACQ.

*RACQ is part of the Vehicle Safety Research Group which commissioned the research from Monash University and is comprised of the major motoring clubs and transport agencies in Australia and New Zealand.

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The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.