David Ward, the Secretary General of the Global New Car Assessment Programme, has written an excellent article outlining the history and challenges of the U.S. NCAP and Euro-NCAP that is extremely well worth reading for anyone with a serious interest in vehicle safety or in road safety in general.
Buying a safe second-hand car at a reasonable price is always a challenge; the very fact that they aren’t the latest models immediately mitigates against them, and of course the older a car is, the more this typically counts against it.
In Britain, safety experts Thatcham Research have collated the results for cars which cost under £15,000 to buy second hand, have a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and CO2 emissions below 120g/km.
One thing of great interest is how much safety can be added by means of extra ‘packages’ at the time the car is first purchased. See Nos. 1 and 10, below.
In all countries, it is immensely wise to consult the relevant NCAP safety ratings, which in Britain is Euro-NCAP. Here in the USA, check these links, and make sure to check the correct year of manufacture for any used-car purchase you might be interested in:
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety – Top Safety Picks (by year)
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety – search for a specific vehicle
- NHTSA Vehicle Safety Ratings
Top 10 safest used cars in the UK now
- Volvo V40 with IntelliSafe safety pack (2012-)
- Mazda 3 (2016-)
- Toyota Auris (2015-)
- Volkswagen Golf SV (2014-)
- BMW 2 Series Active Tourer (2014-)
- Volkswagen Touran (2015-)
- Volkswagen Golf (2013-)
- Nissan Qashqai (2014-)
- Peugeot 308 (2014-)
- Volvo V40 (2012-)