Safest Cars for Every Budget

July 31, 2017


Road Safety


Ayla Dolan-Evans

When car shopping it’s easy to get carried away with finding the perfect colour, or maybe you are set on a buttery leather interior? Of course, car safety should come at the top of the list when looking to purchase a new or used vehicle. We have compiled a list of the best in vehicle safety for every budget.

Safest cars under $20K

Good quality second hand vehicle

Looking for a car but hoping to keep the budget closer to $10K? A second hand car can be an excellent option for a second car for the family, your child’s first vehicle or if you’re simply not fussed on having the latest and greatest. Still, safety should come first when shopping for a used vehicle. Researching car models properly is the best way to decide which is suited for you; once you think you’ve found the one, be sure to book an RACQ Vehicle Inspection to have it checked over before committing to purchasing.

Check out your potential second hand car at How Safe Is Your Car to ensure the year model is safe as many manufacturers improve their vehicles dramatically over time; current ratings and awards may not apply to older models of current vehicles. For example, the new Suzuki Swift has a 5 star safety rating but the 2010 and earlier models only have a 1 star used car safety rating (based on actual police accident data). Carsales can be a goldmine for reasonably priced good quality used vehicles. Models such as the Golf MKVI (2009 onwards) with a 5 star ANCAP rating and even the stylish Audi A3 can be found for less than $10K (2005 and onwards have a 5 star ANCAP rating).


Priced at $14,990, this small car is packed full of impressive safety features. The model includes modern collision avoidance technology, even offering autonomous braking for an extra $400; a worthwhile addition for instant braking likely to prevent a serious accident. Rating 5/5 in ANCAP Crash Safety testing, this would be an excellent choice for those seeking a first car for their children.

Volkswagen Polo

This VW model features a state of the art multi-collision brake system; maintaining the brakes after impact to avoid the vehicle rolling towards oncoming traffic. Even more impressive, this incredibly safe and sporty small car is priced at only $16,490 with an optional extra of metallic paint for $500.

Safest cars under $30K

Father, daughter and son changing a car tyre

Mazda 3

The Mazda 3 is a sleek and sporty model that is the perfect choice for drivers shopping for a safe vehicle below the $30k mark. Advanced seat belt reminders, autonomous emergency braking and standard dual frontal, side, chest and side head airbags helped this vehicle achieve a 5 star ANCAP safety rating. The stylish and practical vehicle is available from only $20,490.

Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is a popular choice of a family car for under $30K and has achieved a 5 star ANCAP safety rating. Autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and lane support systems are just some of the impressive modern safety technologies utilised in this model. Priced at only $22,150 this vehicle is a safe and affordable choice!

VW Golf

The trendy VW Golf comes with an impressive 5 star ANCAP safety rating. Complete with dual frontal, side, chest and side head airbags this vehicle is both practical and safe. Autonomous emergency braking helps avoid collisions as does the manual speed limiter and standard secondary collision avoidance. Best of all this VW can be purchased for around $22,840.

Safest cars over $40K

Car interior

Audi A3

The Audi A3 has been named the safest small car in the incident of a collision. During safety tests, even a concrete block travelling at 64km/h failed to budge the windscreen pillar even a millimetre. Those with a higher budget looking for the best of the best in car safety can purchase this model for around $62,490 with all the trimmings.

Mercedes Benz C-Class

Available in a number of aesthetically pleasing body shapes, this Mercedes Benz model rates very well for safety in the sedan configuration. Complete with standard drowsy driver alert, automatic braking and rear-view mirror, this is the ideal vehicle for those wanting the latest in safety technology. The base price for the Mercedes Benz C-Class starts at around $65,000 and tops $160,000 for those wanting all the rings and bells.

Audi A6 Allroad Quattro

The Audi A6 comes packed with excellent safety features as standard; from front and rear parking sensors to blind-spot assist and mostly everything in between. This luxury vehicle is for the true car lover that wants the best of the best; priced at $117,900.

No matter your budget, be sure to have safety in mind when purchasing your next vehicle. Whether you are searching for a cheap but cheerful car for your teenager or a sporty new number to enjoy on weekends, the safety of yourself and your family is priceless.

Ayla Dolan-Evans

Ayla is a Brisbane based communications professional and writer. She focusses on workplace health and safety and legal issues.

Ayla is a Brisbane based communications professional and writer. She focusses on workplace health and safety and legal issues.