Find a location

Safer vehicles

Find out how safety features can protect you.

blue start button

Buying a car? Here are some tips to help you choose, purchase and insure a safer vehicle.

Choose the right vehicle

Safety features are vital. But they’re not the only consideration when buying with safety in mind.

You also need to take into account the vehicle’s size and power, who’s going to drive it and where it will be used.

What to look for

  • Newer vehicles generally have more safety features than older ones. If you’re shopping used, look for the newest, safest vehicle in your price range.
  • On a tight budget? Don’t worry. Vehicles don’t have to be expensive to be safe.
  • Make sure the vehicle suits the ability and experience of its driver. A teenager learning to drive might be better in a vehicle with lower horsepower. An older driver, on the other hand, might need something easy to park and maneuvre, with good visibility and few blind spots.
  • Larger vehicles usually protect you best in a crash. But they’re only safer if the driver can handle it.
  • Carting around kids? Make sure their child seats will fit securely: try installing them in the vehicle before you buy.

Vehicle safety ratings

Not all vehicles are created equal.

Which models are safest?

To find the answers without the marketing spin, we recommend the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) website.

The IIHS crash-tests vehicles, then rates from “poor” to “good” how well they’ll protect you.

IIHS also recommends Top Safety Picks for 2006 models and newer.

Compare IIHS vehicle-safety ratings external link

Tip: Look for vehicles equipped with two excellent safety features: side airbags and electronic stability control.*

* Side airbags can reduce your risk of injury in a side-impact by 45 percent. Electronic stability control reduces the risk of a fatal single-vehicle crash by about half.

Car-buying checklist

Our vehicle comparison checklist (PDF) folds right into your pocket. You may want to print off a copy. When you’re out shopping, you can use it to easily compare the safety features and ratings of vehicles you’re interested in.

Buying a used vehicle

Don’t get stuck with a lemon.

Check out our tips for buying a used vehicle.

Vehicle history reports »

Insuring your "new" car

Congratulations! You’ve found the perfect, safer vehicle.

Now you just need to get right insurance coverage.


Feed back

watch ESC video

watch Head restraint video