Why you should stop buying cars made in the 20th century - AA

The Automobile Association (AA) is warning Kiwis to stop buying vehicles built in the 20th century.

The advice comes in response to vehicle testing that's highlighted just how poorly older vehicles perform in collisions compared to newer cars.

More than half of all fatal car crashes on New Zealand roads involve vehicles built before the year 2000.

Judging by a confronting video released by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program, it's easy to see why.

The video shows a test crash where they smash a 1998 Toyota Corolla into a 2015 model - both travelling at 64km/h.

The newer car had some frontal damage from the head-on collision, but the older one was a complete write-off.

Most of that damage was caused by the engine being pushed through the car.

AA Motoring Services general manager Stella Stocks says if it was a real crash, the driver would have suffered serious leg, head and chest injuries, if they'd survived at all.

The AA hopes the video will prompt people into thinking twice when next upgrading their wheels.

"It's a myth that old cars are stronger and they'll protect you more," Ms Stocks says.

Data shows older vehicles are significantly over-represented in fatal crashes in New Zealand.

Seventeen percent of the cars on New Zealand roads were built between 2010 and 2015, but they are involved in just 10 percent of all fatalities.