How we test cars Our ratings explained
Best Buy, Worth a Look and Don't Buy, explained.
Look out for our Best Buy icon
The Which? verdict is our overall percentage score for the car, taking into account a variety of factors. This score can only be used to compare cars within the same class, as we rate sports cars differently from MPVs, for example. Primarily, it’s based on:
- Road and lab test 80%
- Safety 15%
- Security 5%
However, cars are penalised if they have poor reliability or owner satisfaction in the Which? Car Survey – this can often mean the difference between a car being a Best Buy or not.
Put simply, these are the best cars you can buy, scoring very highly overall. Our carefully chosen recommendations do well in our road test and lab test, as well as in safety and security assessments – they also receive good feedback from owners in our annual Which? Car Survey. They should be reliable and good to own for many years after leaving the showroom.
Worth A Look
Where you see a car flagged with Worth A Look, we think it’s worth a place on your car shortlist. Although it is a very good options, it falls short in one or two key areas, or sometimes it is simply too new for us to recommend without reservation – if we have no firm reliability information, for example. But if you have specific needs, such as a big boot, a Worth A Look car might suit you better than a Best Buy model.
As the name suggests, we strongly recommend you avoid cars flagged with the Don’t Buy icon. Usually, a Don’t Buy car has scored poorly in our road tests and also falls down badly on safety and reliability – there are several used cars that combine this unhappy ‘perfect storm’. New models tend to be named Don’t Buys only when safety is very poor – we think less than a four-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating isn’t good enough for a modern car.