Find a safe used car using the Used Car Safety Ratings

14 December 2020

South Australians thinking about purchasing a used car are being reminded of the importance of checking its Used Car Safety Rating (UCSR), with the updated ratings for 2020 launched today.

Today’s annual UCSR update provides motorists with the latest star rating information for a range of used vehicles.

The updated ratings identify models that provide better protection for their drivers and have been determined through a statistical analysis of real-world crash data, undertaken by the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC).

Department for Infrastructure and Transport Executive Director Road and Marine Services, Emma Kokar encouraged South Australians to focus on models which scored five stars when considering their next used car purchase.

“This year’s results again reinforce the importance of prioritising safety when you’re looking to purchase a used vehicle,” she said.

The research undertaken by MUARC evaluated data from more than 8 million vehicles involved in police-reported crashes across Australia and New Zealand to assign a star rating from one to five to each model.

Research lead and MUARC Deputy Director Associate Professor Stuart Newstead said UCSR ratings illustrate the risk of death or serious injury (resulting in hospital admission) to the driver of the vehicle in a crash.

“In conducting the UCSR analysis we spread the results across all star rating bands in order to differentiate safety performance between vehicles, with five-star models performing equally as well or better than vehicles that were rated in the top 8 per cent for safety,” he said.

“Vehicles rated one-star were at least 90 per cent more likely to kill or seriously injure the driver in a crash compared to the safest vehicles.

“Going a step further, vehicles with the ‘Safer Pick’ marker indicate safer choices based on the protection offered to other road users (other vehicle drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists) and the likelihood of being involved in a crash based on the crash avoidance features fitted (electronic stability control and reversing cameras or sensors).”

For more information, or to download the UCSR Buyer’s Guide, please visit

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