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Is it Time for Cars to be Advertised with Safety Ratings?

It is a question that has become a hot topic in recent times, but should new cars sold in showrooms be obliged to display a safety rating?

According to a poll done by the Western Australia Royal Automotive Club (RAC), as many as 80% of respondents believe that now is the time to make it mandatory for new cars to display a safety rating on them, making it easier for new car buyers to determine how safe is their next (prospective) car.

That comes on the back of a tidal wave of support illustrating safety is one of the most important factors that new car buyers consider when purchasing a car. In total, 90% of respondents believe it is a priority for them, but the mismatch is evident when you realise that just 55% of individuals actually know how the safety rating of the car they use each and every day at the moment.


Making sense of the situation

In today's day and age, it seems rather incomprehensible that new cars do not display a safety rating.

After all, appliances for your kitchen contain basic purchasing information around an appropriate energy rating or water consumption levels. Whether it be a fridge, microwave or dishwasher, each of these products are compelled to display such information, allowing shoppers to better compare products and also remain aware as to how their next product stacks up.

Is it really appropriate then that new car buyers are effectively required to scope out information themselves on car safety ratings? Given the profound differences between many of the cars on our roads today, where some are in many respects better equipped to protect you and your family, why should you need to dig up this information yourself? More to the point, when agencies like ANCAP document these ratings extensively, why is it so hard to imagine that these ratings might be displayed on a car?

It is not just consumers vying for the move. ANCAP believes that its data should certainly be incorporated on new vehicles, with CEO Carla Hoorweg on the record as saying: “There is strong market support for ANCAP safety ratings to be available for all new vehicles, with safety ranking as the most important attribute by new car buyers." 

There really is no reason why showrooms haven't embraced this move as yet. When you consider that as many as 92% of the latest cars released boast a five-star ANCAP safety rating, not only is it important to identify those that don't, but manufacturers nor dealers can really fall back on concerns that their vehicles might be 'outed' as rating lower than their peers.


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