More than 80 per cent of new car buyers would not consider a car with a Euro NCAP safety rating below four stars, a survey has found.
Data collected by What Car? found that 80.75 per cent of those in the market for a new car see would not consider anything below four stars.
Just 12.1 per cent of the 937 motorists who took part in the survey said they would consider a car with three stars or more.
A handful of respondents (3.76 per cent) were not concerned by a car’s safety status and would buy a vehicle with a zero-star score.
What Car? also conducted a similar survey of used car buyers and found that 60.11 per cent would not buy a vehicle with less than four stars.
Of the the 188 used buyers surveyed 26.6 per cent were happy with three stars or more and 6.91 per cent said they would also consider two-star cars.
A surprising 5.32 per cent said they would be comfortable purchasing a car that scored no stars in the safety test.
In 2020 Euro NCAP updated its testing standards to include a vehicle’s crash protection as well as its active safety systems, such as automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist and other features, for a combined rating.
Cars without active safety systems can score poorly in the new format despite high scores in crash testing.
What Car?’s research found 69.05 per cent of buyers value crash protection and active safety technologies as equally important in determining a car’s safety level, while 22.95 per cent value crash protection more.
The research also found just 31.01 per cent of vehicle owners know their current car’s safety score.
Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car?, said: ‘While things like design and performance are often at the forefront of buyers’ minds, safety is clearly one of the most important factors for buyers – to the extent that if a vehicle doesn’t achieve a high enough score it is ruled out by the majority of buyers.’