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.
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.