Victorians in the market for a used car are being urged to prioritise safety, with the release of the 2022 Used Car Safety Ratings.

Minister for Roads and Road Safety Melissa Horne said this year’s ratings show that people driving in the lowest rated car are eight times more likely to die or be seriously injured in a crash than people travelling in the highest rated car.

The Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR), released annually by Monash University Accident Research Centre, make it simple for Victorians to choose the safest used car in their budget, across all vehicle categories.

Of the 389 vehicles rated, 55 received a five-star rating, and 13 were awarded ‘Safer Pick’ status. Fifty-nine models were rated ‘poor’ (two stars), and a further 59 were ‘very poor’ (one star).

The age of a vehicle continues to be a significant factor, largely because safety features such as auto emergency braking, lane keep assist, electronic stability control and side curtain airbags are not as common on older cars.


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Of the 125 drivers and passengers who have died on Victoria’s roads so far this year, more than half (65) have involved vehicles aged 10 years or older.

Encouragingly, Transport Accident Commission’s latest Road Safety Monitor survey revealed Victorians are increasingly prioritising safety, with 70 per cent of respondents considering safety features the most important factor when buying a vehicle.

MUARC calculated the 2022 UCSR by analysing the records from more than 9 million vehicles in police-reported road crashes in New Zealand and Australia between 1987 and 2020. The ratings consider the protection cars offer to drivers in a crash, harm to other road users, combined crashworthiness and crash risk.

The annual ratings update is overseen by the Vehicle Safety Research Group (VRSG), on which the Victorian Government is represented by the TAC and Department of Transport.