Is ‘Safety’ the forgotten attribute of used cars?

This article was published on: 07/25/16

Volvo recently scooped an award for being the “safest family car under £15,000”. Always having a great safety record, Volvo often generate a reputation as being “bland” or “uninspiring” due to their cars being very sturdy, safe and practical. Despite the award, it seems that the excellent safety record of Volvo isn’t doing them any favours; particularly in the used car market. A recent study has shown that safety finishes bottom of the main qualities buyers think about when purchasing a used car.

Price and “cool” factor wins out

Of the top 10 listed reasons behind the purchase of a second hand car, safety came in a miserable last place behind what could be seen as “trivial” matters including colour and appearance.

When it comes to buying second hand cars (dependant on the age of the vehicle), it could be argued that some factors to consider when buying a car brand new can be discounted. For example, a car that is four or more years old is likely to have lost some of its performance capabilities and possibly its maximum MPG (miles per gallon) due to the parts inside being well worn and not as efficient as new. Yet take a look at the list to see performance and fuel economy sitting at seven and eight of the scale ahead of size and safety.


Top Gear tests a Ford’s chassis against multiple brick walls

Sacrificing safety for style?

Cars lose performance and can suffer from visual wear and tear throughout a lifetime. However, one thing that does not deteriorate is the ability to protect its driver. A car made with a chassis designed to protect the driver will always remain that way even if the car loses horse power or the paint fades.

Given the deterioration of a car over time, it could be argued that if a buyer really wants performance or speed, it would be wiser to buy a new car or one still within its warranty, as this would provide the closest to specified performance as possible. An older car would not be expected to replicate what the technical specification says it can do.

While safety may not be a large factor in deciding on a car currently, it could in the future be a non entity given the trend of vastly improving car safety. With the introduction of better safety technologies available including, anti lock braking, power steering, pre collision assistance, adaptive cruise control and side airbags, new technology has helped the next generation of buyers know they are getting a safe car before any other factors are considered.

Should safety be a higher priority in car buyer decision making in the second hand market? Scott Rees & Co certainly believes so and with encouraging signs that new safety features are becoming fitted as standard, future generations will be free to choose a used car based on looks, performance or “cool factor” knowing the car is very safe.

Assistance for accidents

For those that do suffer injury as a result of negligence, whether that be another driver causing an incident or a design flaw on your own vehicle which should not have happened, Scott Rees & Co are available to offer the very best legal advice no matter if your car is brand new or an elder statesman.

Contact us on 0808 278 4627 or fill out our claim form here for one of our advisers to go over your claim. You can also request a callback for one of our team to give you a call when the time is best for you. Our claims run on a no win no fee basis ensuring you won’t pay a single penny should your claim be unsuccessful.

If you haven’t suffered injury, we also have a recommend a friend page which can earn you £250 for recommending our services to any of your family or friends. We look after every one of our clients and look to get the most out of each claim. Call today for free, impartial, hassle free advice.

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