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Used car guide offers benefits to drivers

There are a number of considerations when you decide to trade in your old vehicle. However, possibly the biggest one is whether to invest in a second hand vehicle or a brand new one.

If you don't have enough capital to afford a new car, then choosing a used car is your option.

To assist in this process, the NSW government has announced the release of the latest Used Car Safety Guide. The aim of the guide is to provide buyers with sufficient advice to make good decisions about an older vehicle. There are some misconceptions about second hand cars, but careful investigation should point you in the right direction.

The guide takes recent crash statistics about vehicles and test ratings and combines them to produce a unique safety star rating from one to five. As well as this, it encapsulates all different types of passenger vehicles including small, light, medium and large cars. It also features people movers, vans, utes and SUVs.

NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and Roads Ray Williams explained some used cars are as safe as vehicles produced today.

"It is critical that buyers have access to reliable information to help choose an affordable car that will still provide the best protection from injury in the event of a crash," he said.

"This guide allows drivers to make the most informed decision to ensure they are getting behind the wheel of something safe."

It is important to note that many of the safest vehicles are under $10,000 which highlights that motorists shouldn't be concerned that safety will be compromised by price.

One of the clear benefits of the guide is the 'Safe Pick' feature that has a comprehensive list of vehicles that include Electronic Stability Control and offer the greatest safety to both occupants and other road users. Some of these vehicles include Honda Civics manufactured between 2006-2011, Toyota Camrys from the same time period and Mazda 6 from 2002 to 2007.

Mr Williams explained that the guide also offers insight into common vehicle safety myths and other information about life-saving features if you were in an accident.

"I congratulate the joint effort made by the Centre for Road Safety, the NRMA Motoring Services, road safety regulators and car clubs from around Australia and New Zealand on development of this important Guide," he said.

Young drivers benefit

A number of authorities have also come out and praised the guide for young drivers or parents looking to help purchase their child's first car.

"Being a father, I know how daunting it is selecting a young driver's first car. Often on a shoe string budget, it comes down to getting the right balance between safety and affordability," Mr Williams agreed.

The Royal Automobile Club of Queensland's (RACQ ) Executive Manager Technical and Safety Policy, Steve Spalding also said the guide will be useful for young drivers and their families when selecting their first vehicle.

"Road conditions, weather and driver skill are major contributors in car crashes however when all else fails your vehicle is the last line of defence," he said.

"It may be tempting to put a young driver into an older and cheaper car whilst they are gaining driving experience but their higher crash risk means it's vital the car they drive is as safe as possible to protect them."