How to Choose a Safe Car

Schedule Pre-purchase Car Inspection
Service Area

$99.00

Upfront, Transparent Price
Average rating from 4,135 customers who received a Pre-purchase Car Inspection.

When in the market to buy a new or used car, the vast array of brands and models from which to choose can make the process confusing. Of course, there may be a style or some particular features that you want in a vehicle, but there are practical issues to consider as well.

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a car is its safety. This is because even the best drivers sometimes have accidents, and you want a vehicle that is likely to protect you and any passengers in the event of a collision.

Part 1 of 1: Choosing a safe car

IIHS ratings
Image: IIHS

Step 1: Research recent crash test scores. Crash test ratings indicate how well various vehicles held up in controlled collisions with crash test dummies and provide a good idea of how well particular models would hold up in real-life accidents with actual passengers.

You can browse safety test ratings at either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. The tests from IIHS are generally more comprehensive, but both agencies are reputable sources for safety information.

safer car ratings page
Image: Safercar

Look for good scores on all of the collision tests for car models that interest you, especially when it comes to frontal collision scores, which applies to the largest percentage of accidents.

Step 2: Ensure there are airbags in addition to seat belts. While seat belts go a long way in protecting those inside the car from harm during an accident, airbags also prevent a lot of fatalities and serious injuries.

crash test dummies

For maximum safety benefit, look not only for front airbags but also side airbags in both the front and back seats. After frontal collisions, side collisions are the most common type of accident. Side collisions are also more likely than any other type to result in a fatality.

ESC features
Image: IIHS

Step 2: Look for the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) feature. ESC is basically a multi-directional version of the Antilock Braking System (ABS), and it significantly reduces incidents of skidding on curvy roads.

ESC applies braking forces to individual tires, which gives the driver greater maneuverability and is estimated to reduce by half the risk of having a single vehicle crash resulting in a fatality. This feature seems even more important in light of reports indicating that half of the deaths resulting from car wrecks each year are due to single vehicle crashes.

mechanic performing a pre-purchase inspection

Step 4: Have the car thoroughly inspected before you buy. While you may choose a vehicle that has high safety ratings and the safety features you desire, it doesn’t mean the individual car you are considering for purchase is in proper working order. Always have a qualified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, conduct a pre-purchase inspection before completing a sale.

Taking the time to find a safe car for your next purchase is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your family from harm. Although it requires a little time and effort to do the research, safety ratings are public and easily accessible online. With the addition of a pre-purchase inspection before you commit, you can gain a lot of peace of mind each time you get behind the wheel of your new car.


Next Step

Schedule Pre-purchase Car Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Pre-purchase Car Inspection. Yourmechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7 days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 10k cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Pre-purchase Car Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Pre-purchase Car Inspection Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

4,135

Rating Summary
3,841
166
34
32
62
3,841
166
34
32
62

Torrieanto

10 years of experience
469 reviews
Torrieanto
10 years of experience
Jeep Wrangler - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Largo, Florida
Torrieanto did a fantastic job on a used car pre-purchase inspection. He was very thorough and took the time to explain the technical details and ramifications to me. He also gave me peace of mind with my purchase and a few negotiating points to further reduce the purchase price.
Lexus IS200t - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Tampa, Florida
Went above and beyond. Really took his time and was very professional. Great customer service. Thank you!

Daniel

9 years of experience
66 reviews
Daniel
9 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz CLK550 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - La Grange, Illinois
Very impressed. Friendly, very knowledgeable, showed up on time. Extremely thorough and professional. I will call on him again
Honda Civic - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Cicero, Illinois
Such a great mechanic he bumped up my appointment a day early and even came on time to see and diagnose what it is my car had I would definitely recommend Daniel to my friends and family very helpful and resourceful, a very friendly smile and very good communication!

Gus

15 years of experience
16 reviews
Gus
15 years of experience
Audi A6 Quattro - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Arlington Heights, Illinois
Gus was great! He talked with me before and after he did his inspection and was very informative. He walked me through what he checked and what he recommended to replace/service on the vehicle for optimal performance. I would definitely recommend him!
Chevrolet Camaro - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Elk Grove Village, Illinois
My experienced with Gus was great. He was very personable, friendly, knowledgeable, professional, friendly, and knowledgeable.

Albert

13 years of experience
7 reviews
Albert
13 years of experience
Toyota Celica - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Walnut, California
Great Service, I would hire him again. I highly recommend getting Albert for a pre-purchase inspection. Albert looked thoroughly at the car and made sure there wasn’t any problem with the car. An expert at his work. Thank You, Albert

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE