Choosing a safe car

What safety features you have on have on your car is often a compromise between your budget, the 'luxury features' and the suitability of the vehicle for it's purpose. This of course will depend on you, and what you think is most important, but there's no doubt it can be a tough decision.

Fortunately as manufacturing technology becomes more efficient and competition in the market more fierce, those of us interested in the budget to mid range market vehicles have started to reap the benefits. Less than 20 years ago having front airbags in a 'budget' vehicle was a luxury optional extra. Today they are considered to be as essential as a seatbelt in almost any new vehicle.

Thanks also to increased public awareness of the risks to car drivers, manufacturers have also started to listen to their customers and consider good safety features to be a necessity rather than just an option.

How safe is that car in a crash?

Thanks mainly to the internet, it is now easier than ever to do your own research when it comes to checking how safe that car from the slick TV commercial really is.

In terms of overall safety, probably your first point of call should be the web site of the European NCAP safety testing site at This is a non-commercial site that offers test results for most current and new production vehicles based on numerous standard safety test criteria.

It's impartial test data can show you how much protection is provided for adults, children and also pedestrians when involved in various standard accident scenarios.

It also allows you to compare the crash test results of various vehicles to see which one performs the best. A simple 5 star rating system gives you a quick overall view of the vehicles performance in all the tests.

Once you have armed yourself with this information, you will then be ready to consider the other safety features that may be on offer, both as standard and as optional extras.

Common car safety features

Here are of some of the more common safety features described in the sales literature of a new car:-

  • Airbags. These may just be in the front for a budget model, but can also be both at the front and sides for both the front and rear occupants of a vehicle. They provide protection from both front, rear and side impact collisions

  • ABS - Anti-Lock Breaking System. This feature prevents your breaks from locking should you apply hard pressure to them in an emergency. The system rapidly applies intermittent pressure to the brakes, thus preventing them from locking

  • ESC - Electronic Stability Control (sometimes also called traction control). A feature that senses impending slides, skids and other issues and applies the brakes to keep the car under control

Different manufacturers may have slightly different names for some of the above features, but they will basically do the same thing. Additionally their vehicles may have systems that are unique to that manufacturer, which may or may not give one make an advantage over another, but may also come at an additional cost.

Car Safety and Other Road Users

It is important to consider the safety of other less well protected road users such as cyclists, motorcycle riders and pedestrians. Pedestrian safety in particular is one of the standard tests carried out by European NCAP on most new cars. You can visit their website and easily find out how a particular model performs.

When buying a new car the dealer should be able to advise you on all the safety features it has to offer.

If you have been involved in a car accident that was not your fault, Car Call and our partners can help you get a replacement vehicle, car repairs, legal assistance and injury compensation. Please give us a call on 02392 484 244 , and one of our experienced claims advisors will be happy to assist you.

No need to claim on your insurance

Anyone who has been involved in a road accident has the right to choose who repairs their vehicle. If you were responsible for the accident you were involved in, the company that insures your vehicle would normally deal with your accident claim.

However if you were not at-fault for the accident, you can choose to either claim on your own insurance policy or make a claim independently of your insurer. To find out more call 02392 484 244 and we will be happy to help.

We and our partners help thousands of people make independent accident claims. Our service enables motorists to get the help and assistance they need to resolve their accident related issues, with the costs being recovered directly from the at-fault driver on your behalf.

No excess to pay

Unfortunately even if an accident was not your fault, your insurer will almost certainly require you to pay your excess before any repair is started on your car.

This money should of course be recovered by an insurer at a later date, but with our service - you do not have to pay it at all.

By using our independent claims service, you are not making a claim on your insurance policy and so you will have no excess to pay.

Receive a comparable replacement hire vehicle

Not all insurance policies will include a replacement hire-car for you to use if yours is damaged and unroadworthy. In fact it is typically an 'optional extra' on your policy.

Other policies may offer a 'courtesy car' but this is often just a 'basic' saloon or hatchback which may not be suitable for your needs.

Car Call and its partners will provide a comparable replacement vehicle as part of our service. This means we will endeavour to supply a hire-vehicle that similar to your own in terms of its type, make and engine size.

So whether you drive a small hatchback or a prestige sports car, we will look to provide a similar hire-vehicle that suits your needs.

Manufacturer approved vehicle repairs

If you have been involved in a car accident, the last thing you want to have to worry about is the quality of the repairs to your car. We have a UK wide network of partner approved Accident Repair Centres available to all of our customers.

Many of our accident repair centres are have manufacturer approvals for specific brands, so if you require a manufacturer approved repair centre, simply tell your personal claim handler and they will ensure your vehicle goes to an approved repairer.

Want you vehicle repaired by a specific garage? No problem, we can alternatively use a repairer that you specify.

Legal Assistance

Our partner solicitors provide legal assistance as part of our service. They specialise in motor claims related issues, so you can be assured of the best possible advice and assistance.

They issues they can assist you with include:

  • Recovery of the cost of the replacement hire-vehicle
  • Recovery of the cost of uplifting your damaged vehicle
  • Recovery of all repair costs
  • Recovery of the cost of damaged of personal items
  • Seeking financial compensation for an injury