The Road Ahead : October 2012
ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 60 THE ROAD AHEAD OCT/NOV 2012 MOTORING USED CAR SAFETY RATINGS YOU ARE ALMOST 10 times more likely to die or be seriously injured in a crash driving a used car with a poor safety record -- compared with a top performer. This startling statistic is among the findings of the RACQ's 2012 Used Car Safety Ratings Survey. The survey used data from almost six million car crashes in Australia and New Zealand to rate the safety standards of 313 of the most popular cars manufactured from 1982 onwards. "The results show that your choice of used car can have a dramatic effect on your chance of survival in a crash, with your risk of death or serious injury increasing tenfold in a model with poor safety performance," RACQ Technical & Safety Policy executive manager Steve Spalding said. "The research rated cars not only on the protection they provide the driver, but also the level of risk they present to other road users in a collision. Those that scored highly on both counts were labelled as 'Safe Picks'." BMW's X5 (2001-2008) was found to provide the highest level of protection to its occupants and other road users, topping the list of Safe Picks. At the other end of the spectrum, the 1996-2000 Suzuki Carry and Holden Scurry were jointly rated the riskiest of the used cars. "While the top Safe Pick is a prestige vehicle, motorists can be assured there are Safe Picks in almost every class of vehicle, ranging from light hatchbacks through to heavy duty 4WDs, covering a broad price range," Mr Spalding said. "So, regardless of your budget, there is a safe option available." Mr Spalding said there were 29 Safe Picks this year, up make your buy a safe pick Cheap doesn't necessarily mean nasty when it comes to buying a used car. BUYER BEWARE IN TOUGH TIMES Used car buyers should be wary of poorly-maintained vehicles for sale, as tough economic times could encourage sellers to cut car servicing and maintenance. It comes as the Queensland repair industry reported an increase in the number of motorists skimping on regular services and repairs. RACQ technical researcher Russell Manning said buyers needed to be vigilant when purchasing a second-hand car. "Used cars may come with a Safety Certificate, however this is only a very basic safety check and should not be relied upon as an indicator of the vehicle's overall condition," Mr Manning said. "A vehicle can have a valid Safety Certificate and still have significant faults. Without a proper examination by an independent mechanic before purchasing, you risk buying something unreliable and expensive to own. "Regularly scheduled servicing is like proper health and medical care for a car, delay that or ignore it completely and the vehicle becomes a ticking time bomb." Mr Manning warned that if the previous owner has failed IMAGES: 'SAFE PICKS': MAZDA2 2007-10 (LIGHT CAR). SUBARU FORESTER 2002-08 (COMPACT SUV). HONDA ODYSSEY 1995-2000 (PEOPLE MOVER). COURTESY: AUTONEWS. THE RACQ CONDUCTS INSPECTIONS ON VEHICLES AND CARAVANS. BOOK ONLINE AT RACQ.COM OR CALL 131905.
August 1st 2012