The 2014 Used Car Safety Ratings guide shows just over half (51 percent) of the 227 vehicles listed received an ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ rating for driver protection during a collision.
At the other end of the scale, 33 percent of included vehicles were considered ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ and were not recommended as safe choices for a used car purchase.
The ratings are based on real reports from over seven million collisions in Australia and New Zealand since 1987, and cover 90 percent of popular passenger and light commercial vehicles sold in the two countries since 1982.
"You cannot determine the safety of a car just by looking at it, especially a used car,” RACV’s Michael Case said.
"These ratings provide independent advice on which vehicle models provide better protection in a crash, not only for occupants, but for all road users.”
Buying old (and perhaps cheap) doesn’t necessarily mean buying an unsafe used car, with a range of Saab 900 and 9000 models from as far back as 1990 being awarded 5-star ratings.
For more information, check out howsafeisyourcar.com.au (website opens in new window)