Safety vs affordability: which is the top priority for SA car buyers

Which is more important to you?

Safety vs. Affordability: If you had to choose, which one would it be? Normally, with today’s technology, a prospective car-buyer does not necessarily have to choose between the two, but this issue was put into the spotlight after the Datsun Go was declared fundamentally unsafe as it had obtained zero stars in its latest crash test course.

Would you forgo safety for a cheaper price tag? News24 obtained the views of almost 20 000 people on this issue after asking readers whether vehicle safety features and crash test ratings influenced their car-buying decision.

The horrible truth is, because times are tough and people are struggling, circumstances leave people neglecting their primary needs when it comes to buying a car, and opting for a less-safe, yet more affordable model. Most of the participants said vehicle safety was a primary concern selecting: ”Yes, I want the best protection”. A big portion of respondents said: “It all comes down to price”. Does this mean that thousands of South African car buyers would forgo safety systems in favour of a cheaper alternative? About 2 000 respondents said they were not bothered about vehicle safety.

Some of the readers commented the following on the News24 article:

“80% of cars on our roads don’t have airbags or anti-lock brakes. My Bantam and Corsa don’t have either. We survived 60 years without these money-making schemes and we can for a further 160 years.”

“So you want BMW-class safety in a R90k car? Let’s not be unrealistic. If you buy a new car for under R100k, (unfortunately) you shouldn’t expect too much.”

“Blame the manufacturers for this. It seems they feel SA lives are worth far less. With the way we behave there’s some merit in that!”