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Buying a car

Road Safety starts with your car. Buying your first car can be exciting and daunting at the same time – there are so many options and it’s common to look for the “best deal” rather than thinking about buying the safest car. 

If you opt for a used car, prioritize safety when buying your first vehicle. Investing in a car with the higher safety rating significantly enhances your chance of surviving a serious crash. Driving a 2021 manufactured vehicle reduces the risk of road users being killed or seriously injured by 33 per cent compared to a vehicle manufactured in 2001.

Newer vehicles provide more protection in a crash as they use modern high-strength materials and have features like improved impact crumple zones and collapsible steering columns. Also, newer vehicles are being fitted features that can help avoid a crash or reduce the severity if a crash does occur.

When shopping for a used car don’t let your emotions, someone else’s opinion, or cosmetics sway your decision-making processes. Choosing to buy a used car based on its safety rating rather than cosmetic choices like colour, number of doors or boot size could save your life.

Here are some tools to use when researching a car safety rating.

  • The website includes a searchable database of safety ratings for new and used cars using vehicle make and model.  The “help me choose” function allows you to search based on your characteristics (ie parent, young driver, employer, city driver, rural/regional driver), your budget and engine type.
  • The NRMA Used Car Safety Ratings Buyer’s Guide 2019-2020 has a list of commonly purchased used cars and includes a ‘safer pick’ rating. NRMA has given the safer pick rating to vehicles that give excellent protection to the driver, cause less serious injury to other road users and include crash avoidance technology.

AANT’s Edon Bell, Senior Manager Retail & Operations says, “when buying a used car, prioritising safety features, especially cars with a five-star safety rating, could be the difference between you getting home safely, or not”.

Next month, Edon takes the stage at Street Smart High to dive into the topic of car safety. As the largest road safety event for young people in the Territory, Street Smart High aims to develop road safety knowledge, skills and attitudes amongst the next generation of drivers.

Remember, the car you drive plays a major role in your safety and others’ safety.

Street Smart High

The largest youth road safety event in the Northern Territory.