Why less than half of new car buyers care about safety
More than half of new car shoppers are not placing safety among their primary concerns.
That is according to a new study which found 52 percent of people don't place a car's safety rating as one of their top three priorities when buying.
The finder.com.au study found 53 percent of women are likely to put safety top of their list of considerations, compared to just 45 percent of men.
While 30 percent of men surveyed placed technology at the forefront of their buying decision, just 23 percent of women did the same.
"It is concerning that over half of Australians don’t consider safety the most important factor when looking to buy a new vehicle,” said finder.com.au car insurance expert Bernie Hassan.
Preferences were split across generations, with just 41 percent of Generation Y buyers prioritising safety – significantly less than the 59 percent of baby boomers who made it their primary concern.
However, the data might not reflect a general lack of concern for safety.
Australasian New Car Assessment Program CEO James Goodwin suggested a high level of safety was becoming the assumed standard for modern car buyers.
“The reality is that new car buyers, and the automotive industry, have made safety a priority with the top-ten-selling vehicles this year all having a five-star rating,” Mr Goodwin told CarAdvice.
“Hopefully the results of this research means that in 2018 people are now expecting to be buying a safe car and that they don’t need to prioritise whether they or their children will survive a crash or not."
Nonetheless, Mr Goodwin urged people to buy the safest vehicle they could afford, whether new or used.
Revealing that many buyers vote with their wallets, 48 percent of respondents to the survey favoured low maintenance costs as their key purchase indicator, ahead of fuel economy (42 percent) and technology (27 percent).
Although some people are desperate for the right car in the right colour, they’re clearly not in the majority. That criterion ranked fifth on the list of concerns, with just 14 percent of respondents making it their prime selling point.
As a nationwide survey, the data also reveals a few interesting differences between buyers in each state.
People living in Sydney are more likely than those living in Perth to fork out for potentially bumper-saving cameras and sensors, for example.
More than half (53 percent) of Brisbane buyers were concerned about running costs, compared to just 46 percent of Melbournians.
Top features Australians look for when buying a car (aside from safety rating):
1. Maintenance costs (48 percent)
2. Fuel economy (42 percent)
3. Technology (27 percent)
4. Security (17 percent)
5. Exterior colour (14 percent)
6. Accessories (nine percent)
7. Cruise control (eight percent)
8. Seat fabric (seven percent)
9. Other (five percent)
Brought to you by CarAdvice.com.au.