Published: Nov 16, 2018

Model choice can turn ugly

We often pick a new car based on how it looks or how much it costs, but a new safety campaign is urging all of us to think about how the vehicle we buy might fare in a crash.

Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey today launched the Safer Vehicle Choices Save Lives campaign, in partnership with ANCAP and the NRMA, encouraging us to put safety, not looks, first when choosing a new car.

“Most road safety campaigns have focused on behavioural factors such as speed, fatigue, drink driving and seatbelt use. While they remain vital, this campaign highlights the importance of choosing a safer vehicle,” Mrs Pavey said.


  • The risk of a fatality in a vehicle 15 years or older is four times greater than in a car less than 5 years old
  • This campaign is the first of its kind, highlighting the role of the vehicle in determining survivability in a crash
  • Nearly 80 per cent of young drivers under 20 who died and 71 per cent of those seriously injured in car crashes in the past five years were driving cars older than 10 years. Around 45 per cent of those who died were driving vehicles at least 15 years old
  • The campaign features two vehicles -1998 and 2015 model

“We know older vehicles are attractive to young people and those older who tend to keep vehicles longer. They are two groups that we need to work hard to protect on our roads.” NRMA Executive Director Motoring Operations Melanie Kansil said.

ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, James Goodwin said this campaign aims to improve the affordability of newer, safer vehicles and encourage fleet renewal.

“In 2017 the average age of the vehicle fleet was around 10 years. Older vehicles don’t have many of the life-saving features, like front and side curtain airbags, electronic stability control and automated emergency braking,” Mr Goodwin said.

View the campaign.


* 5 star ANCAP safety rating; less than 5 years old (2013 or newer).

  • 2013 Mazda 3
  • 2014 Ford Mondeo
  • 2014 Holden Commodore
  • 2014 Hyundai i30
  • 2014 Toyota Corolla
  • 2016 Kia Rio