When buying a used vehicle, you need to ensure that it’s safe and reliable. The best way to do that is by doing your research and inspecting the used car properly. A good used car is equipped with the right safety features and technology.
Take note, some used cars are safer than others according to the Used Car Safety Ratings. Learn which used car make and model is safest to better guide your used car purchase. Safety is priceless and should never be shortchanged for things like colour, size, or look.
Read on to understand what makes a used car safe and what you can do to protect yourself on the road.
Understanding Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR)
The Used Car Safety Ratings was developed by the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC). Using data from millions of police reports and actual crashes in Australia and New Zealand, the MUARC determines which used cars are the safest. The ratings consider the role of the vehicle in the crash injury outcomes in terms of driver, and overall road user protection. It also accounts for how the vehicle’s design and specification help mitigate crash risk.
The UCSR criteria include driver protection and crash avoidance. Driver protection indicates the safety of vehicles in preventing injury to drivers in the event of a car accident. It also considers protection for other road users. Crash avoidance, on the other hand, takes the vehicle design and safety features to see how well it can mitigate crash outcomes or avoid crashes entirely.
Vehicles that provide exceptional protection and cause less serious injury to road users will be labelled Safer Pick to distinguish themselves as the best choice. When looking at the complete car safety ratings, make sure to pay close attention to how many stars they’re rated.
Important safety features for used cars
When buying a new car, make sure it is equipped with features that can help protect the passengers and others on the road. It should have safety technology installed to avoid the risk of accidents like car sensors, monitors, and collision warnings. It should also have features that reduce injuries in case a crash does happen.
Features that protect passengers from a crash
These safety features are there to save lives and significantly reduce the risk of serious injuries. Ensure that the used car you buy has these features working properly.
- Seatbelts. These are standard in all vehicles. These were designed to keep people in their seats in case of collision. These also reduce the risk of being thrown from the vehicle in case of a crash.
- Airbags. These inflate on impact to reduce the damage to passengers from collisions. Different types of airbags include front, side, curtain and knee.
- Crumple zones. These were designed to absorb impact during a crash. The goal of these crumple zones is to spread the energy across them, so they won’t impact the passenger compartment as much.
- Collapsible steering columns. In case of a frontal collision, drivers are in danger of crashing their head or throat on the steering wheel. A collapsible steering column ensures that risk is mitigated.
The features stated above are part of the car’s design. You or a mechanic could inspect these features to make sure they’re in working order.
Features that assist in avoiding collisions
The automated safety features below are preventative measures to help drivers avoid accidents. These make use of sensors, monitors, and various advanced technologies to protect drivers, passengers, and others on the road.
- Autonomous emergency braking (AEB). This feature automatically stops the vehicle if an object is detected, and the driver fails to act immediately.
- Lane assist. This helps drivers keep their vehicles safely in their lane. Some lane assist technology includes lane switching and departure assists, as well.
- Adaptive cruise control. This feature automatically adjusts the speed of the car to maintain the speed limit. It also keeps the car at a safe distance away from other vehicles on the road.
- Blind spot warning. As the name suggests, this lets drivers know if another vehicle has appeared in their blind spot to avoid collisions.
- Electronic stability control (ESC). This feature prevents loss of control of the vehicle.
- Traction control. The system identifies if a wheel has lost traction and automatically applies the brakes on that specific wheel.
- Anti-lock brake system (ABS). This feature prevents the brakes from locking up when braking harshly.
- Brake assist. This provides extra braking power in case of emergencies.
- Collision warning. This alerts the driver of impending collisions so they can avoid them.
Older used cars may have less safety technology compared to the newer ones. Think about your standards of safety and see which used vehicles fit your needs.
Buy the safest used car with a good low-rate used car loan
Aside from the safety and reliability of the vehicle, you also have to think about affordability. Use our car loan calculator to see how much your repayment may look like so you can budget with ease.