Which are the safest second-hand cars?


The Automobile Association and the New Zealand Transport Agency are pleased to release the 2011 safety ratings for used cars and announce a new Safe Pick rating for the safest vehicles in each category.

AA General Manager Motoring Services, Stella Stocks, says consumers have a choice when it comes to buying their next vehicle and, for their own benefit and that of their passengers, safety needs to be a priority.

“Our road toll last year was 375.  However, on average in each of the past five years, 2,554 people were seriously injured and 12,516 people received minor injuries on our roads.  A safer vehicle is far more likely to protect its occupants and reduce the likelihood of an accident being fatal or inflicting lifelong injuries,” says Ms Stocks.

“These ratings for second-hand cars provide a guide for consumers looking to buy a safer vehicle that is also within their budget.  Buying a safe second-hand vehicle does not have to be expensive and these latest ratings show us that there are affordable options,” she says.

NZTA Vehicles Manager Don Hutchinson says the introduction this year of a Safe Pick rating makes it easy for consumers to identify which are the safest second-hand cars.

“A carefully selected group of 20 vehicles scored the Safe Pick rating of which 13 were small, medium or large vehicles provides consumers with a range of options depending on the purpose that they require the vehicle for,” says Mr Hutchinson.

Some examples include:

  • Volvo S40 1997-2004 from $4,000
  • Peugeot 307 2001-2009 from $7,000
  • Honda Civic 2006-2009 from $10,500
  • Volkswagen Golf 1999-2009 from $5,000
  • Mazda 6 2002-2007 from $9,000
  • Toyota Camry 2006-2009 from $12,000
  • Honda CRV 2002-2006 from $9,000

“Used car buyers still need to be very stringent when selecting a vehicle as 38 models rated excellent and 40 rated good.  Conversely, 18 models rated in the poor category and 47 very poor,” says Mr Hutchinson.

The ratings were calculated by the Monash University Accident Research Centre which analysed injury outcomes to more than 5.6 million people involved in crashes and 1.2 million injured road users between 1982 and 2009.

The ratings reflect how well individual models protect both their drivers and the Safe Pick label shows how well the model protects other road users– including cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and drivers of other vehicles – from injury in the event of a crash.