Fewer than one in five car buyers look at official safety ratings, research shows

21 Jun 2024

Fewer than one in five (18%) motorists check official safety ratings such as Euro-NCAP when buying a new car, new findings show.

  • Only 18% check official safety ratings such as Euro-NCAP
  • 73% expect all modern cars to meet high safety standards
  • However, only 36% trust legislation covering car safety to be effective, shows June’s Startline Used Car Tracker

June’s Startline Used Car Tracker shows that 73% expect all cars to meet high safety standards – although only 36% believe that legislation can be trusted to ensure that cars have effective safety features.


Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline Motor Finance, said: “There appears to be quite a subtle message coming through in these findings. Essentially, motorists are surprisingly disinterested in industry safety testing such as Euro-NCAP or even legal requirements around car safety. However, most do trust that the car they buy will be safe.


“Perhaps the key message coming through is that the myriad safety features built into modern cars – from multiple airbags to the long list of safety features that were mandated by the EU last year and have been added to almost all UK models – simply mean that most car buyers feel that safety is a subject that has been taken care of.”


When it comes to choosing a car, 35% say they are likely to opt for a model with more safety features and 28% actively look for one with better safety. However, 15% say dealers don’t provide enough information about safety features and 14% believe that other factors such as running costs are more important than safety.


Paul said: “For around one in three people, safety still appears to be active consideration when making car buying decisions. However, there is also a perception that manufacturers and retailers are perhaps not doing enough to make this kind of information available to serve this group of consumers.”


The Startline Used Car Tracker is compiled monthly for Startline Motor Finance by APD Global Research, well-known in the motor industry for their business intelligence reporting and customer experience programs. This time, 301 consumers and 58 dealers were questioned.