This week Euro NCAP, the guys responsible for the safety testing of new cars, compared a Rover 100 from 1997 with a brand new Honda Jazz. Both cars cost the same adjusting for inflation, both cars hit the wall at 40 and both cars had 40% of the front hit the wall. Watch the video below.
This has led to many articles over the internet predicting the banning of old cars and hailing the fact that old cars are just unsafe. There is a few things worth taking into consideration with this. Firstly, this test hasn’t shown us anything we didn’t already know, many of these tests have been done before and new cars are safer by a mile, just watch the Chevrolet Bel Air crash test video against a new Chevy. However it should also be considered that this kind of crash is very rare, it’s unlikely you would not slow down below 40 before a crash like this. On top of this the Rover 100 wasn’t a safe car in 1997, it scored 1 star then, so it’s continuation of being unsafe is unsurprising.
This isn’t discounting the test, it is an interesting one and does remind us of the impressive safety of new cars. However it doesn’t mean you can’t use your old car. You can use it and drive it as safely as you always have (assuming you drive safely). The chances of crashing are just as unlikely as they were before if not less, and put it into context, look how many motorcyclists are out there riding their bikes with not a crumple zone in site. So unlike the hysteria being generated around the web the advice is use your common sense, drive safe and enjoy your old cars, besides of the two below which would you rather drive?