Department of State GrowthTransport

Crashworthiness - Buying a Safer Car

A Public Education Campaign

A safe car will help protect you and your passengers if you are involved in a crash. Buying the safest car you can afford could save your life.

If everyone drove the safest car in its class, road trauma involving light passenger vehicles could be reduced by 26%.

If cars incorporated the safest design elements for their class, trauma could be reduced by 40%. 

What makes a car safe?

In a crash, different cars offer different levels of protection. Different combinations of features also impact on the safety of your car.

A car with a high safety rating and safety features will provide the best protection in a crash. 

Car Safety Ratings

The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) tests new cars in crash situations and gives them star ratings from 1 - 5.

The more stars the higher the safety rating and the lower the chance of you or your passengers being seriously injured or killed in a crash.

5 stars is the highest rating but if you can't achieve that, aim to buy a car with a minimum 4 star safety rating.


Most new cars will easily meet the 4 star rating, but you don't have to buy a new car to have a safe car. There are safe cars available in the used car market.

The Used Car Safety Rating (UCSR) program provides used cars with safety ratings based on crash data from around Australia and New Zealand.

The ratings represent how well a car can help to prevent serious injury to people involved in a crash.  The ratings consider driver protection and protection for other road users.

Check out the safety rating of your car at: 

Safety Features

Having safety features installed in your car could assist you to avoid a crash and/or help to protect you and your passengers in a crash situation.

Active safety features such as Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) help to avoid crashes.

Passive safety features such as airbags and seatbelts help you and your passengers stay alive and uninjured in the event of a crash.

Side curtain airbags and ESC are the most important optional safety features a car can have.

Check out the list of safety features to carefully consider when buying a car below:

New Car Buyers

New Car Buyers Guide

Tasmanian new car dealerships are participating in a 'Stars on Cars' campaign. 'Stars on Cars' seeks to encourage new car buyers to purchase cars with a 5 star ANCAP safety rating.

New car dealerships will be displaying ANCAP star ratings on new cars. Ask your new car dealer for more information or go to the ANCAP website.

Download Car Buyers brochure and use the safety checklist when looking to buy a car. 

First Car Buyers

First Car Buyers Guide

Young drivers have a much greater risk of crashing than other drivers, particularly in the first 12 months of solo driving.

If all young drivers in Australia drove the safest car they could afford, more than 500 young people would avoid death and serious injury every year.

Young drivers are more likely to buy older used cars but they also have a much greater risk of crashing than more experienced drivers, particularly in the first 12 months of solo driving. This makes the selection of their first car even more important.

The First Car Buyers Guide can help you to choose a safe car. Download First Car Buyers Guide and use the safety checklist when looking to buy a car.

Tasmanian Government Fleet Safety

Cars have to meet minimum safety standards to be suitable for the Tasmanian Government Fleet. Additional mandatory safety features are currently being phased in.

Further details can be found at: Mandating Minimum Safety Standards for the Government Vehicle Fleet

Useful Links