In a recent post, I highlighted two tools you can use online to compare the safety ratings of new and used cars based on crash test results. I promised to share a third tool in a future post, so today I want to point you to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI). It’s affiliated with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and provides safety ratings for vehicles based on claim data reported by insurance companies. The HLDI says it conducts scientific studies of “human and economic losses” related to vehicle ownership and operation. The HLDI analyzes collision, property damage liability, personal injury protection, medical payment, bodily injury liability and comprehensive insurance losses (including theft).
HLDI loss reports can be sorted by vehicle size. If the data looks a little difficult to understand, refer to the color-coded explanatory chart on the right side of the Web page. Vehicle numbers highlighted in gold are “better than average,” and those in yellow are “substantially better than average.” Pink marks average results, while orange is below average, and red is “substantially worse than average.”
Here are some examples of the data you can find:
- Looking for a small used car from the 2008 to 2010 model years? The Mitsubishi Lancer, Suzuki SX4 and Chevrolet Cobalt get substantially-worse-than-average ratings in the “all coverages” category. In fact, no vehicle posts above-average results there. The Toyota Prius Hybrid is the only vehicle getting better-than-average scores in three subcategories: property damage liability, personal injury protection and bodily injury liability insurance losses.
- Those shopping for a large vehicle from the 2007 to 2009 model years will find the Dodge Charger and Dodge Charger HEMI posting the worst scores in the “all coverages” category, with no vehicle faring better than average there. Only one vehicle posts above-average scores in three subcategories. The Chrysler 300 4WD gets “better than average” scores for property damage liability and comprehensive losses, and a “substantially-better-than-average” mark for collision losses.
- Go back in time even further to the 2005 to 2007 model years, and you’ll find one midsize vehicle scoring “better than average” in the all-coverages category: the Saturn Aura.
Combining the HLDI information with the crash test tools I highlighted previously can help you paint a well-rounded picture of the safety of the used cars you’re considering. In a future post, I’ll show you a great tool for calculating how much a new or used vehicle might save you on gas compared to what you’re driving now.