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Luxury drivers are the most crashers

Posted on: May 15, 2013 by Platinum Direct

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Luxury cars are more likely to be involved in an accident insurance claim than other vehicles, according to data compiled by the NRMA Insurance. The figures show luxury sedans had a 30 percent higher collision frequency during the past year compared to all other vehicle types. Luxury SUVs had a 27 percent higher collision frequency. Commercial vans followed third on the list with a 15 percent higher than normal rate.

NRMA’s head of research, Robert McDonald, said the findings boiled down to driver behaviour, as well as higher end cars having more components to break and more complicated paint finishes, making them more susceptible to insurance claims. “Complexity is a big thing. It’s not hard to generate a claim on an expensive vehicle,” he said.

“Components like active cruise control, where a car uses a radar sensor behind the grill which keeps a safe distance from the car in front – the minimum for those radar senses is around $2000 and it’s often the first thing that breaks in a crash.”

McDonald said luxury vehicles were generally identified as being European and priced well above $60,000. The luxury sedan category includes some of the most expensive cars on the road, including the $229,500 (plus on-road costs) BMW M5. The luxury SUV category includes vehicles such as the $179,400 (plus on-road costs) Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG. Both cars are capable of sprinting to 100km/h from a standstill in less than 4.5 seconds.

“These cars can attract people more interested in performance and can be a bit perkier. That could play a role,” McDonald said. “I suspect that it’s generally the bump and grind of Sydney traffic that drives a lot of the collisions though.”

People movers (14 percent higher frequency) and convertibles (12 percent higher frequency) were also notable mentions on the NRMA’s list.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries figures show passenger cars worth more than $60,000 accounted for less than 3 percent of new car sales in Australia, while luxury SUVs upwards of $70,000 accounted for 3.3 percent of sales.

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