Used Car Safety Ratings revamped

New factors will be considered going forward for Used Car Safety Ratings. Picture: ON FILE

Alongside the release of updated Used Car Safety Ratings, the Victorian Government has expanded the considerations made when rating models.

For the first time, safety ratings have considered a vehicle’s level of protection for other road users and the presence of crash avoidance features, such as autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist and reversing sensors and cameras.

“Buying the safest used car you can afford could save your life or someone else’s – that’s why we’ve updated the rating system and encourage all Victorians to use it,” said Minister for Roads and Road Safety Melissa Horne.

Previously, the ratings only included the protection a vehicle provided its driver. This has been changed to encourage people to consider more than just crash protection and their own safety when choosing a car.

This year, 518 vehicle models received a star rating out of five for driver protection, a vehicle’s ability to keep other road users safe, and its capacity to prevent a crash through included collision avoidance technologies.

“The difference between the life-saving technology features fitted in a vehicle manufactured in 2021 compared to a vehicle manufactured in 2001 is worlds apart. Data tells us that safer cars save lives,” said Head of Road Safety Victoria Marcelo Vidales.

The new focus on protection levels for other road users has resulted in a reduction in overall safety ratings for some larger dual cab utilities, while medium SUVs were the safest vehicles overall.

Of the drivers and passengers who have died on Victoria’s roads this year, more than half were travelling in vehicles aged 10 years or more.

Monash University Accident Research Centre calculated the ratings by analysing more than nine million vehicles and 2.5 million injured road users involved in police-reported road crashes across Australia and New Zealand between 1987 and 2021.

The TAC’s How Safe is Your Car website has all the new ratings. People in the market for a new or used car can visit

“This new approach to used car safety highlights the importance of considering your own safety, as well as that of others, when buying a car,” said Transport Accident Commission (TAC) Chief Executive Officer Tracey Slatter.