Britain’s Safest Used Cars Revealed

Britain's safest used cars

Safety is of paramount importance when it comes to motoring, and that’s why it’s one of the most essential considerations when parents buy their children their first cars – and when they look to change their own too.

The latest safety features and ratings can make or break a car from a customer’s perspective, so the fact that the safest cars on the market in Britain have been revealed might make several people looking for a new or used car this summer sit up and take note.

Of course there will be those who say that a car is only as safe as the person behind the wheel, and that you can be as safe a driver as you like but you can’t do anything about the actions of other road users. While this is true, it’s best to get yourself behind the wheel of a car with the latest safety features and the best results in the pre-sale tests than a car that may perform badly should the worst ever happen.

Safest used cars - damage

The safest used cars in Britain

The joint study undertaken by Co-op Insurance and Thatcham Research looked at used cars that cost below £15,000 and received 5-star NCAP safety ratings.

The vehicle that came out on top – as you might be able to guess already based on the manufacturer’s reputation for safety over performance and styling – was a Volvo. To be precise, it was the Volvo V40 that picked up a 100 per cent rating for safety features when it re-wrote the NCAP safety testing record books in 2012.

Volvo V40

Volvo’s “City Safety” system – more widely known today as autonomous braking – was one of the first to be rolled out in new models; while the Safety Pack version features technology including lane assist, sign recognition and driver tiredness monitor to help to keep you safe and legal while behind the wheel.

Second on the list was the Volkswagen Golf Mk 7, released in 2012. This sporty hatchback also has autonomous braking up to speeds of 50mph making it one of the safest cars for city driving where vehicles are frequently stopping and starting; with the safety study revealing that owners made 45 per cent fewer personal injury claims for conditions such as whiplash thanks to the stop-start system.

Rounding off the top three was the 2014 Nissan Qashqai, one of the best-selling cars in Britain since its release. This model also features driver safety aids like autonomous braking and lane assistance, but they don’t come fitted as standard which many will hold against it when it comes to purchasing.

Had the Qashqai been fitted with these features when it came out of the factory, analysts believe that it may have come very close to the Volvo V40 at the top of the study.

The top ten

Volvo V40 (2012)

Volkswagen Golf Mk 7 (2012)

Nissan Qashqai (2014)

Peugeot 308 (2013)

Vauxhall Astra (2015)

Mazda 3 (2013)

Mercedes Benz A-Class (2012)

Honda Civic (2012)

Mazda CX-5 (2012)

Fiat 500L (2012)


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