top makes and models for safety in the uk

top makes and models for safety in the uk

FREE Car History Check

See MOT history, valuations, detailed specs and more… AND upgrade to see if any vehicle has been stolen, has finance or has been written off from just £3.99


When you’re buying a used car, whether it’s your first or fiftieth, safety will be a top priority. Purchasing a make or model that has a history of accidents or safety issues will often leave drivers struggling to find peace of mind on the road. Companies do record this kind of data and allow it to be entered into the public arena, meaning you can find the right information to inform your buying choice.

Here, we’ll look at a few key questions that will help guide your purchase decision.

What are the best used cars to buy?

Before you buy a used car, you need to draw up a list of requirements such as: how you will use the car, what your budget is, and how you intend to pay for the vehicle. These elements will help you work out exactly what kind of car you should be looking for. You’ll likely have your ideal car in mind, however, it’s best to leave room to change your mind should a better offer arise.

The ‘best’ used should be those that meet your unique requirements. If you have a large family, you’ll obviously want a car that has plenty of seating and boot room. If you drive a great deal, you will want to look for a vehicle with good fuel economy. The way in which you will make use of your car should be a primary influencer for which car you buy.

What are the most reliable second-hand cars?

When searching for the most reliable cars, it is generally Japanese manufacturers that have the best reputation. The Toyota Yaris is a consistent chart-topper in terms of reliability, as well the Honda Jazz and Honda Civic.

Statistics suggest many things, but the official stats of the car you are looking to purchase may be an exception to any rule. We recommend doing a full vehicle history check on the vehicle you are thinking of buying to see whether it has been in any accidents or has previously been written-off.

What are the safest vehicles to drive?

The Euro NCAP 5-star rating system helps consumers work out which new cars are safest when they come onto the market. Of course, the same cannot be done for every car that enters the used market, but combining the Euro NCAP rating with a vehicle history check can give you greater clarity over how safe your car will be. For example, the Audi Q8 has a 5-star rating and is known to be a very safe car. If you are looking to purchase a used Audi Q8, you will be able to rest assured that, should your history check come back ‘clean’, your used car is likely to have similar levels of safety.

However, it is very important to bear in mind that the NCAP test changes over time as safety technology progresses. This means that a 5-year-old car with a five-star rating with NCAP was excellent at that time but may not meet the current standards.

What cars have the most safety features?

Car safety is an ever-changing part of the industry, with new technological advancements being made every day, cars that come into the used market are a lot safer than they have been in previous decades. There are a few safety features to be aware of, including:

  • Rear AEB - Rear automatic emergency braking which detects collisions when driving in reverse
  • ACC - Adaptive cruise control will assist with braking and acceleration in order to maintain a safe distance between yourself and the car in front
  • FCW - Forward collision warning will detect a potential collision in front of you, alerting you to the danger
  • LDW - Lane departure warning will tell you when you are drifting into another lane

Some of the makes and models that are known to be among the safest cars to drive, according to include the Mercedes Benz B Class, the Volkswagen Golf, the Ford Focus, and the Toyota Rav 4. These cars have all received a 5-star safety rating.

What is the safest colour car to drive?

It might seem strange, but there are statistics that suggest the colour of the car you drive may have an influence on your road safety. Some studies that have looked at the correlation between colour and accident rate have suggested that the more visible your car is in all conditions, the safer it is. So, black or dark grey cars tend to top the list due to their ability to blend in with dark surroundings. Whereas, white cars are less likely to be in an accident.

Of course, this might not be a huge factor in your decision to purchase a used car, but it is still a good idea to check that the colour you see in front of you is the same as the colour recorded in the logbook and other registration documents. If it does not match, it might suggest the car has been in an accident in the past and covered up.

Ready to purchase a used car? Don’t forget to check the history of the vehicle for full peace of mind. Start your journey by entering the registration number below.

Car History Check

car history check

Never buy a used car without checking the vehicle's history first. Start your journey to being car confident by entering any UK vehicle reg number.
Free checks won't tell you if it's stolen! Every month, an average of 2,336 miss out as they don't upgrade.
data analysis from 19th Feb '24 to 19th May '24