More than three quarters of UK drivers want the motor industry to be more proactive when it comes to highlighting vehicle safety features – but few currently prioritise safety in the buying process.
In a study of 2,000 motorists carried out by Co-op Insurance, 77% of respondents believed safety ratings should be more clearly highlighted when buying a new or used car.
However, despite 79% describing car safety as ‘very important’ in the buying process, just 4% currently see safety as the most important factor. And 71% don’t place safety in their top five buying criteria – with price, value for money and car brand taking precedence.
According to separate research carried out by Co-op Insurance with Thatcham Research, ‘a deluge of jargon, acronyms and a lack of quality information’ holds back more than half of drivers (54%) from asking any questions about safety when purchasing a car.
77% are left confused by AEB systems, 73% by ESC (stability control) and 71% by mid-speed collision mitigation systems (collision warning alarm).
Thatcham Research says there are three key safety questions to consider.
Matthew Avery, Thatcham’s director of research, said: “There is a good choice of new and used cars that have excellent safety features to choose from.
“The key safety questions to consider when purchasing a used car are: firstly what Euro NCAP rating does it have – five stars are what you should be looking for; does it have AEB fitted? And thirdly, what other safety technology options, often found in safety packs, are available?”
James Hillon, director of products at Co-op Insurance, said: “Our research has found that price dominates the buying decision and safety just isn’t front of mind when consumers shop for a used car.
“We are keen to help educate people not only about car safety, but about what they should be thinking about before they even set foot on a car forecourt.
“By knowing more about the safety options that are available, we hope that this will lead to more informed buying decisions and, hopefully, safer choices leading to safer roads.”