Understanding the Key Mechanisms that Drive Consumer Choice in Non-Fleet Vehicle Selection

B. Clark, A. Delaney, Effie Hoareau, S. Koppel, S. Newstead, J. Charlton

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned ReportResearch


For some years, significant effort has been focused on improving the safety culture amongst vehicle fleet buyers. However, around half of all new vehicles sold in Australia are for private use. Initiatives to highlight the importance of vehicle safety amongst the private consumers include the development of safety ratings such as the Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) and the Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR) and web-based information sites such as www.howsafeisyourcar.com.au’. Previous research undertaken in Sweden and Spain found that, when purchasing a new vehicle, consumers prioritise safety-related features above all other vehicle features. However, within Australia there is little information regarding consumer’s understanding of vehicle safety features and the priority they place on these in their purchasing decision.
The aim of this research, conducted over the period 2009 to 2012, was to gain a better understating of the key mechanisms that drive consumer choice in vehicle selection within the Australian private vehicle market. This included identifying the priority assigned to vehicle safety features during the purchasing process, and explored the success behind the development of a vehicle safety culture within Sweden.
A total of 2,013 participants from Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland who were in the market for a vehicle (new or used) completed a pre- and post-vehicle purchase survey, designed to explore their purchasing behaviours and vehicle features that they prioritised during their purchasing process. The factors: age, gender concern about crash involvement, and sourcing ANCAP ratings were identified as significant factors in a ‘safe vehicle purchaser’ profile. Female participants aged 50 years and older, with a concern about being involved in a crash, and who sourced ANCAP information were more likely to place high priority on secondary safety features in their vehicle purchase. The findings from this study provide insight into the priority consumers award to vehicle safety within the current Australian private vehicle market. Recommendations are provided to enhance the priority awarded to safety features when purchasing a vehicle with the aim of enhancing the safety of the private vehicle fleet and reduce road trauma on the Australian road system.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMelbourne Vic Australia
Commissioning bodyDepartment of Justice and Community Safety (Victoria)
Number of pages147
ISBN (Electronic)9781925413229
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

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