In the past, crash safety tests were irrelevant to most buyers as affordability and style were more prominent priorities than safety features and how well the car was built.
Today, almost 75% of prospective new car owners say their purchase decision will be influenced by whether a car has been crash tested – and safety rated. This is one of the findings of a new survey recently conducted by the Automobile Association (AA).
Car-buying in SA: 75% of new buyers influenced by 'crash test results' - AA
And, based on results from our Wheels24 poll, our readers seem to share the same sentiment.
The AA says 81% of prospective buyers polled said the ratings of vehicles would also influence their decision if they are presented with two similar vehicles with different safety ratings.
The survey comes after the launch last year of #SaferCarsforAfrica, the first independent crash test assessment by Global NCAP and the AA.
"Buyers are no longer swayed by the extras available on vehicles such as Bluetooth features, or the trim on a car; more and more are looking at how the vehicle will hold up in a crash, and, importantly, how safe their passengers will be in such an event," the AA notes.
In addition, the AA says it is critical that government legislates that minimum safety standards are applied to new vehicles, and that new vehicles must carry vehicle safety ratings at the point of sale, making it easier for buyers to assess the safety of vehicles, and to use this information in making their decision.
How important is vehicle safety to you?
Wheels24's poll garnered more than 11 500 results after asking readers what they thought about vehicle crash safety and how important is the matter when it comes to purchasing a new vehicle.
Our survey shows that 69% of readers indicated that they would not buy a new vehicle if it has not been crash tested.