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New Crash Test Ratings for 2011 Vehicles

August 5, 2010

Crash Test Ratings Talk about a crash course in crash testing! The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is about to do away with 30 years of testing, launching a new program that will make it tougher to earn five stars in crash worthiness.

The key change is that cars will be rated against each other rather than against a standard performance level. Under the current system, so many cars get top scores that they all look alike. The new rating system will better identify top performers.

The stricter criteria include tougher crash tests, a single overall safety score, and information on crash avoidance technologies - to help consumers find cars with technology aimed at avoiding a crash in the first place.

These stricter ratings will give manufacturers an incentive to raise the bar when designing cars.

The first vehicles to be evaluated under the new system include models such as the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Fiesta, Honda Odyssey, and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Once the tests are completed, the new ratings will be posted on safercar.gov.

My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar No-Haggle, Edmunds Price Promise, and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.

California Residents - Important:

There is a new online car buying service called Roadster, available only to California residents, which I highly recommend you try - especially if you hate the stress of haggling with a car salesman. They provide an expert concierge who negotiates the price of the car and delivers it to your home with zero hassle - you never have to interact with a dealership. Here is my in-depth review of Roadster and why I recommend it.

- Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan


Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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