Understanding Used Car Ratings (and How They Affect What You Buy)

  • Posted 24 Oct

Understanding Used Car Ratings (and How They Affect What You Buy)

When you make a decision to choose from a range of used cars and buy one, you should make sure you complete due diligence about each one before you hand over any cash.

Focus on things like size, usefulness, reliability, crash history, service history of the car, these are important things to consider. But the safety of the car should be factored in before everything else.

It’s important that the car you’re buying doesn’t put you in danger at any point. Not all collisions are avoidable, but if your car is safe and passed safety inspections, it will minimise potential issues arising in the future.

Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR) can help you identify the safest cars for you to buy. These ratings show the safety of various vehicles in preventing serious injuries to passengers in the car at the time of an accident.

You should compare the ratings of several cars and decide on whichever seems to be the safest one you can afford.


Apart from providing safety for you, it also lets you know whether your car will offer protection to other passengers in the car in the event of a crash, including the driver and passengers of the colliding vehicle and pedestrians walking by.

The rating used to discern vehicles that provide the best protection from injuries to all people in or around a car crash is called the Safe Pick rating.

What is Safe Pick?

Vehicles with this label have been found to minimise trauma or injuries during car crashes. Cars with this label provide excellent protection to drivers and passengers of all cars in a collision, as well as to whoever else might have been nearby during the accident.

If you consider yourself to be a responsible car driver, you’ll be able to further reduce chances of fatalities and serious injuries not just to your own family but to others as well by choosing a car with this safety rating.

How are safety ratings determined?

Safety ratings are calculated after analysing the records of over 5 million reported car crashes In Australia and New Zealand that occurred between 1996 and 2000. Various factors such as a cars mass, design and safety mechanisms (like seat belts and airbags) are analysed to calculate the safety rating of a car.

The driver protection rating of each car is determined by noting the risk of death or injury to its driver during a crash. All driver protection ratings have been recalculated as recently as 2012 to keep up with newly published records and data.

Whether you’re paying from your savings or taking out a car loan, car finance can often be challenging during the process of buying a used car.

It’s important that you don’t end up spending your money on something that poses serious risks to your well-being. Understanding UCSR and making a buying decision based on these ratings will benefit you in the long run.

Interested in buying a used car? Our car finance experts are eager to help you. Get in touch with us today and find out how we can be of assistance.

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