Parents Encouraged To Help Teens Buy Safer Cars

6 January 2017
Federal Transport Minister Darren Chester has urged parents to consider chipping in for their kids to buy a safer car. See which cars to avoid…

It is a plea that comes off the back of Australia’s worst annual road toll in five years.

Speaking on ABC News 24, Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said Australia needs to try to get younger people into safer cars.

“One of the great ironies of modern life is that the worst car you will ever drive is probably going to be your first car and that is when you are at the highest risk of having an accident,” Mr Chester said.

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The minister is promoting the ANCAP safety ratings to help parents understand that they can “spend a little bit more” to get a safer car for their kids.

He said while a new car costing $15,000-$20,000 would have a lot of safety features, the second hand market has cars with “pretty good safety features” for around $10,000.

“We need to try and get people into those newer vehicles as quickly as we can, recognising that not everyone can afford a brand new car,” he said.

“But if [safer vehicles] get into the second-hand market then perhaps we can see benefits flowing in terms of reductions in road trauma.”

Mr Chester said road trauma costs Australia’s economy $30 billion a year, in addition to the “immeasurable” social impact.

“More than 1,200 people dying in one year is a tragedy of national proportions and I want to make sure that in 2017, we recommit ourselves as governments but also as individual road-users, that we recommit ourselves to having a safety-first culture on our roads,” he said.

What are ANCAP and UCSR Ratings?

The ANCAP (Australasian New Car Assessment Program) safety ratings indicate the level of safety a vehicle provides on a 1 to 5 star scale.

According to ANCAP, you have twice the chance of being killed in a 3-star ANCAP rated car compared to a 5-star ANCAP rated car.

But first car buyers shopping for a used car should also check out the used car safety ratings (UCSR).

The UCSR are based on Monash University analysis of real police reported crashes in Australia and New Zealand involving the different makes and models of cars.

These ratings assess used cars on:

  • their level of protection for drivers in a crash and;
  • their danger to other road users.

Used cars to avoid

According to the latest UCSR report, the following used cars are the most unsafe, with ‘very poor’ (1-star) ratings.

Unsafe Light cars:

Make Model Year
Daihatsu Charade 93-00
Daihatsu Sirion/Storia 98-04
Ford Festiva WD/WH/WF 94-01
Holden Barina TK 05-11
Holden Barina SB 95-00
Holden/Suzuki Barina/Swift/Cultus 89-99
Hyundai Getz/TB 02-11
Mazda 121/Autozam Review 94-96
Mazda 121/Metro/Demio 97-02
Mazda 2/Demio 02-07
Mitsubishi Colt 04-11
Suzuki Swift 05-10
Toyota Echo 99-05
Toyota Starlet 96-99


Unsafe Small Cars:

Make Model Year
Daewoo Cielo 95-97
Daewoo Lanos 97-03
Daewoo Nubira 97-03
Daihatsu Applause 89-99
Ford Laser 95-97
Honda Civic 96-00
Honda Integra 93-01
Hyundai Accent 00-06
Hyundai Elantra 00-06
Hyundai Excel/Accent 95-00
Hyundai Lantra 96-00
Kia Rio 00-05
Kia Rio JB 05-11
Mazda 323/Familia/Lantis 95-98
Mitsubishi Lancer/Mirage CE 96-03
Mitsubishi Lancer CH 03-07
Nissan Pulsar/Bluebird Sylphy 00-05
Nissan Pulsar/Vector/Sentra 96-99
Proton Wira 95-96
Subaru Impreza 93-00
Suzuki Baleno/Cultus Crescent 95-02
Toyota Paseo/Cynos 91-99
Toyota/Holden Corolla/Nova 94-97


Unsafe Medium Cars:

Make Model Year
Ford/Mazda Telstar/626/MX6
Holden/Toyota Apollo JM/JP
Honda Prelude 92-96
Hyundai Sonata 89-97
Hyundai Sonata 98-01
Mitsubishi Galant 95-96
Toyota Celica 94-99


Unsafe Large cars:

Make Model Year
Ford Falcon AU 98-02
Ford Falcon EF/EL 94-98
Holden Commodore VT/VX 97-02
Holden Stateman/Caprice VR/VS 94-98
Holden/Toyota Commodore VR/VS/Lexcen 93-97
Mitsubishi Magna TE/TF/TH/TJ/ Verada KE/KF/KH/KJ/ Diamante 96-03
Mitsubishi Magna TR/TS/Verada KR/KS/ V3000/Diamante 91-96
Nissan Maxima/Cefiro 95-99


Unsafe Commercial Utes:

Make Model Year
Ford Falcon Ute 96-99
Holden Commodore Ute VR/VS 94-00
Nissan Navara 92-96
Toyota 4Runner/Hilux 89-97

Unsafe Compact SUVS:

Make Model Year
Daihatsu Terios 97-05
Holden Cruze 02-06
Holden/Suzuki Drover/Sierra/Samurai
/SJ410 /SJ413
Suzuki Vitara/Escudo 88-98


Unsafe Medium SUVs:

Make Model Year
Toyota RAV4 94-00

Safest used cars to seek out

The UCSR gives the best performing cars a Safe Pick rating. Listed below are the ‘Safe Pick’ cars from the latest rating.

Safest Small Car

Make Model Year
Ford Focus LV 09-12


Safest Medium Cars

Make Model Year
Audi A4 01-08
Audi A4/S4 B8/AllRoad/RS4 08-14
Ford Mondeo 07-14
Lexus IS350/IS250/IS F 05-13
Mazda RX-8 03-11
Mercedes Benz C-Class W204/C204 07-14
Mercedes Benz CLK C209 03-09


Safest Large Cars

Make Model Year
Ford Falcon FG/FG-X 08-14
Holden Statesman/Caprice WM/WN 06-14


Safest Commercial Ute

Make Model Year
Isuzu D-Max 08-13


Safest Compact SUVs

Make Model Year
Hyundai ix35 10-14
Mitsubishi/Peugeot Outlander/4007 06-12


Safest Medium SUVs

Make Model Year
Ford Territory SZ 11-14
Mazda CX-7 06-12
Subaru Tribeca 06-14
Toyota Kluger/Highlander 07-13


Safest Large SUVs

Make Model Year
BMW X5 01-06
BMW X5 E70 07-13
Lexus RX270/350/400h/450h 09-14
Mazda CX-9 07-14
Mercedes Benz ML-Class W163 98-05
Volvo XC90 03-14