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Pet Car Travel Safety Worries in Australia

New survey reveals concerning pet travel safety worries in Australia

·      A new survey by Compare the Market finds that 21.2% of Australian pet owners don’t secure their animals when taking them for a drive
·      An extra 4.8% say a passenger holds the animal but they aren’t kept secure
·      Almost half pet owners surveyed say they use a collar to seat belt attachment, but these can be dangerous in an accident

A new survey by Compare the Market AU has found some concerning trends in how people transport their pets in the car.

Just over 80% of Australian pet owners take their pets in the car, but of these, more than one-in-five don’t do anything to secure their pets while travelling. An additional 4.8% have the animal sit in a passenger’s lap, but without properly securing them.

Animal Welfare Victoria notes that your dog should be adequately restrained with an appropriate seatbelt or restraining device,1 and drivers who don’t secure pets within the car could risk fines and penalties.

In 2022, the RSPCA Queensland reported that up to 500 dogs are injured or killed every year in Australia from falling from a moving vehicle, and failing to secure your dog could lead to thousands of dollars in fines. 

 When your pet is travelling in the car, how are they typically secured?

Almost 50% of pet owners who transport their pets in the car use a collar to seat belt attachment to keep them secure. However, according to tests done by The Center For Pet Safety,2 many pet seatbelt attachments are unsafe and can lead to severe injuries in an accident. They recommended a harness that goes around the pet’s body or a specialised pet car crate.

According to Compare the Market’s data, just over 20% of pet owners use the recommended style of enclosed car crate when transporting their pet.

The insurance experts also explored where pets sit while in the vehicle

Where do pets sit in the car in Australia?
As it turns out, the majority of furry friends sit in the back middle seat (20.8%) or the back passenger seat (20.5%), with 18.4% sitting in the front passenger seat next to the driver.

A prior Compare the Market study found that the most comfortable place for a dog to sit in the car was the back seat on the passenger side, where they could view their owner as they drive the car. The front passenger seat was relatively comfortable for dogs, but not as much as the back seat.4

Regardless of whether the pet is kept secure or not, Compare the Market’s Executive General Manager of General Insurance, Adrian Taylor, explains pet insurance could help pay for veterinary treatment if they are injured in the car during an accident.

“Most pet insurance companies here in Australia will cover injuries from car accidents to insured pets, regardless of whether they are secured or unsecured in the car. It’s important to read through the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to check any exclusions,” Taylor said.

“Despite this, it’s always best to make sure our pets are kept safe in the car so we don’t need to take them to the vet for severe injuries. Importantly, keep them secure in accordance with your local state guidelines as you could risk infringements and fines if you don’t.”

For more information and comparisons to survey results from the US and Canada, visit:


Compare the Market commissioned PureProfile to survey 1,006 Australian, 1,012 Canadian 1,003 American adults in September 2023.
1 Travelling with dogs. Animal Welfare Victoria, Agriculture Victoria, Victorian Government. 2020.
2 Extension Tether Advisory. Center for Pet Safety. 2020.
4 Pooch Perfect Pets. Compare the Market. 2021.

About Compare the Market

Compare the Market is a comparison service that takes the hard work out of shopping around. We make it Simples for Australians to quickly and easily compare and buy insurance, energy, and home loans products from a range of providers. Our easy-to-use comparison tool helps you look for a range of products that may suit your needs and benefit your back pocket.

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