Drivers in the dark about safety ratings

Almost half of new car buyers (49.5%) do not know what the Euro NCAP safety rating of their current car is, while more than 10% are not aware of what a Euro NCAP safety rating is at all.

This is according to the latest industry research What Car?.

Its research of in-market buyers also found 43.5% would not consider a car which achieved less than four stars in the current Euro NCAP safety tests. Just 16.4% of buyers said they would consider a car with three stars.

Of the respondents who were aware of Euro NCAP safety ratings, 13% stated that the safety rating was not important, with 29.4% stating that the safety rating is very important when considering a car purchase.

What Car? also surveyed buyers to find out which safety technologies they would want as standard in their next car. More than half (53.3%) said automatic headlights, and 48.4% wanted blind spot warnings.

Automatic emergency braking was cited by 43%, and more than a third (34.8%) considered lane departure warnings important for their next car.

What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: “Design and performance will often be important things to consider when buying a car. However, while some people also value safety, with nearly a third of respondents refusing to buy a car with less than a five-star safety rating, many others seem to be in the dark about how safe their cars are. Perhaps this is because there is an incorrect assumption that all modern cars are similarly safe, so prospective buyers need to be mindful of this.”