They don’t make ’em like they used to!

The NZ Herald today reported on vehicle safety relating to older cars. The AA claims there are many safe used car options under $10,000, but it all looks quite subjective with no mention of ANCAP safety ratings.  They make some good points though, particularly the comment that the probability of being killed or seriously injured in a 1996 vehicle is 50% higher than the same accident in a new car.  So here it is in full on p3 NZ Herald this morning – Safer Cars Can Come Cheap.


People looking for a safe car but can’t afford to prise open the purse strings too far will be pleased to hear some of this year’s top-rated vehicles can be snapped up for less than $10,000.

And this year the standards are tougher than ever with hospital records from crashes being included in the data.

More than 250 models made since 1996 were assessed for this year’s Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR) guide but just 28 cars earned the Safe Pick standards while more than a third had a poor or lower rating and shouldn’t be considered a safe purchase.

The Automobile Association’s motoring services general manager Stella Stocks said on average someone was 50 per cent more likely to be killed or seriously injured crashing a car built in 1996 than one from 2014 so being aware of the safety rating could “make all the difference”.

“With the introduction of tougher safety standards for new vehicles and improved safety design features across the board, we’re seeing the safety of New Zealand’s used car fleet improving.”

This year 115 vehicles received an excellent or good rating for occupant protection in a crash but 96 models were considered poor or very poor.

The guide included of hospital records from New South Wales for the first time which was used alongside real world data from more than 7.5 million road crashes in New Zealand and Australia and more than 1.7 million injured people.

The ratings were calculated using an internationally reviewed method and were influenced by the vehicle’s mass, the structural design of the body and the safety features fitted to the vehicle, such as airbags and types of seat belts.

It also took into account the types of people who drove different cars but as far as possible the analysts looked at how the vehicle contributed to injuries in the crash, rather than the driver or where it was.

But Stocks said the guide also showed there were safe choices available at every point in the market. “A large number of the vehicles with excellent ratings are available second-hand for less than $15,000 and many for less than $10,000.” On TradeMe yesterday afternoon, there were 42 listings for one of the models with a Safe Pick – the Mazda Rx-8 – being sold for $10,000 or under. To see the full 2016 Used Car Safety Ratings guide visit


OR watch the definitive evidence on video at .  Fortunately, there aren’t many 20 year old cars remaining in business fleets anymore…50s Car crash






2 Responses

  1. Robert
    | Reply

    Its a good thing they don’t make them like they used to! Nice shot of 50’s nostelga and the old cars look great but they were built like tanks. Heavy, rigid and unforgiving. 60 years on and car technology is unrecognisable by comparison and that makes collision repairs highly complex. Cars are loaded with safe construction features and repairs are model specific so collision repairers have very high training requirements every year. Panelbeaters from the 50’s wouldn’t know where to start. It really is rocket science now compared to ‘the good old days’ even 70’s and 80’s cars. Its a shame insurance assessors don’t recognise the equipment and training investment required to operate a quality panel shop in the 21st century and remunerate for it. Payment rates are actually lower now than 10 years ago. Insurance companies should be ashamed and it’ll get worse with insurers owning collision repair shops in NZ now starting with the ‘smart’ repairs – the easy jobs – this includes AA insurance. I wouldn’t be taking their advice on ‘safe cars’!

  2. Shane Mitchell
    | Reply

    I just read the nano steel article so these 50s cars are a good comparison how far collision repairs come since then. These tanks were made of 16 gage mild steel, weighed about 2 tons, and responded like a brick wall in an impact. Now 2 guys can pick up a stripped carbon fibre car body. It’l be interesting to see what this all looks like in an other 50 years! Jetsons flying cars maybe. Bring it on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *