Land Transport New Zealand and the Automobile Association have published an Australian report containing safety concerns about 31 second- hand vehicles.
Almost 350 commercial vans, light and small vehicles were tested.
The findings were calculated by Monash University's accident research centre in Victoria, which analysed over 3.2 million crashes to measure the safety performance of vehicles.
Researchers focused their attention on vehicle crashes on New Zealand and Australian roads from 1986 to 2006.
Land Transport New Zealand spokesperson Andy Knackstedt suggests that people planning on buying a second hand vehicle check its website for guidelines on safer vehicles.
He would not mention which vehicle models were rated poorly, saying there were "too many to name".
Mr Knackstedt says the Holden Vectra model built between 1997 to 2003 is rated as one of the safest cars.