Testing how cars behave in serious crashes has undergone the biggest shake-up for a decade. The Euro NCAP safety ratings have been overhauled to make them more relevant to the kinds of cars that are now popular.
The independent assessments show in an easy to understand way how cars respond in crashes. They are important in helping car buyers to compare the safety of different vehicles. Read on to see why the new changes could affect you.
More than four out of five drivers want safety equipment such as automatic braking to be standard on new cars. And safety campaigners are urging drivers to buy only cars with it fitted as standard. They hope this will pressure car makers into fitting the tech more widely.
Currently, only one of Britain’s top 10 best-selling cars – the Mercedes-Benz C-Class – comes with automatic braking as part of its normal equipment. But research has found that when it’s an optional extra, car buyers ignore it. Instead they favour more tangible everyday kit such as sunroofs or upgraded sound systems. And according to studies, a fifth of car buyers refuse to pay extra for safety equipment.
Despite this, researchers for Stop the Crash found that 83 per cent of drivers actually want safety kit such as automatic braking to be standard. Chairman of Stop the Crash David Ward said: “This research shows how important safety is to the consumer. But it highlights how this often fails to translate into safety options being purchased in the showroom. Manufacturers must offer safety systems as standard with proven ability to save lives.”
Whiplash can be a legitimate complaint. But it’s so hard to prove there are calls to make claiming harder to cut down on fraud
Drivers can now work out exactly what their car insurance premium pays for – and it’s probably not what you think. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has broken down the cost of premiums to show the different elements we pay for when our annual renewal is due. It wants to use the stats to encourage the government to speed up reforms which it hopes will cut the cost of cover for drivers.
By far the biggest part of our car insurance is in pay outs for personal injuries. These account for more than a third (37 per cent) of every driver’s premium. With the average driver paying £434 a year for cover, that’s £161 from every driver in the UK going on injury compensation.