Buy a new, old car: RACQ

The State’s peak motoring body has urged drivers not to shy away from upgrading their vehicles to safer, more fuel-efficient models after figures revealed buyers were shying away from purchasing new cars.

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The Australian Financial Review reported new car sales tumbled in June by 9.6 percent which capped off a sluggish 15 consecutive months in the new vehicle market, which could be a sign of tough economic times.

RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding said while those in the market for a new car may baulk at showroom prices, he reminded those shopping for a new vehicle that there were still good quality and safe used cars available.

“We don’t want to see people forgo the opportunity to buy a safer and more fuel-efficient car because of prohibitive costs on brand new vehicles,” Mr Spalding said.

“We know crash outcomes are not only vastly improved when the vehicle involved is less than ten years old, but technology in newer cars can help a driver avoid a crash altogether.”

RELATED: Deal or deadly ride? RACQ rates safest used cars.

Mr Spalding reminded drivers the Used Car Safety Ratings program, led by Monash University and supported by RACQ, scrutinised hundreds of vehicles and rated them for safety.

“The good news is drivers can upgrade to safer used vehicles without breaking the bank. By purchasing something with a high Used Car Safety Rating you can be sure your family are in a safe vehicle, for under $12,000,” he said.

“The difference between a 1 star car and a 5 star can be tragic in crash, not just for the occupants, but for other road users like cyclists and pedestrians, so it’s worth taking it into account when upgrading your car.

“For those wanting to stay on top of car costs, we’d urge drivers to check out our Vehicle Running Costs resource, which can help you choose a car that is not only safe but will be easier on the hip pocket in the long run.”