Why hasn’t my car been rated?

Why can’t I compare cars in different categories, such as a medium car and a small car?

What are model variants and why don’t safety ratings apply to all variants?

Why do UCSR supersede ANCAP ratings?

What does EuroNCAP test result mean?


Why hasn’t my car been rated?

There are two rating systems available: Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) and Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR’s).

The ANCAP has a limited budget to conduct crash tests. The program aims to test the most popular vehicles and the most popular model of that vehicle (usually the base model).

UCSR are based on analysis of real world crashes. To receive a UCSR car models must be at least 2 years old, and have been involved in enough crashes to provide a statistically reliable rating. Low volume selling cars are unlikely to be rated.

The site covers about 80% of the cars being driven on Australian roads, but it represents just over 30% of models available in the Australian market. Many models, particularly sports and imported cars, are not covered as the number of people that would benefit from the assessment on these vehicles would be extremely limited. Crash tests that are undertaken by ANCAP or by EuroNCAP that are applicable for Australia will be added to the site as soon as possible. UCSR are updated annually.

If a car has not been rated, general principles can be followed to increase the likelihood of getting a safe car. Later models are generally safer, larger vehicles are safer on average in real crashes and safety features such as curtain airbags, electronic stability control, seat belt pretensioners, seat belt reminders and ABS brakes should make the car safer if they are available.

Why can’t I compare cars in different categories, such as a medium car and a small car?

When heavier cars and lighter cars crash, drivers and passengers in heavier cars tend to fare better than those in lighter cars. As a result, ANCAP crash test results should not be compared across categories where large weight differences can exist. In many single car crashes, weight offers no safety advantage.

Results for UCSR may be compared across different categories as they are derived from reports of actual on-road crashes. A full list of UCSR ratings are also available in the annual brochure.

The comparison function on this site limits the comparison between categories because both safety ratings systems are provided.

What are model variants and why don’t safety ratings apply to all variants?

Generally there are a number of models available within a range of cars, they can vary on the basis of a number of elements including the type of engine, number of doors and of course safety features. These variations could have an impact on the structural integrity of the car and its relative safety. As a result, the ANCAP and used car safety ratings only apply to specific model variants, generally the base model or those models that have specific safety features.

ANCAP has announced (October 2010) the adoption of a variant policy that extends current ratings to more vehicles in a model’s range subject to stringent conditions. This policy amendment will increase the number of star ratings for popular makes models and variants of vehicles.

This may allow for example, a petrol engine car result to be applied to a diesel variant, a 3-door result to a 5-door variant, a 2WD result to a 4WD variant, a 4-cylinder result to a 6-cylinder variant, a sedan result to a hatch variant, and the like.

Not all variants can have ratings applied under this policy. In these cases, ANCAP will conduct a crash test on the variant as part of the regular crash test program.

Why do UCSR supersede ANCAP ratings?

The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) rates the relative occupant protection performance of cars through crash test procedures in a controlled laboratory environment. The crashworthiness rating component of the Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR) also rates the relative occupant protection performance provided by various cars when involved in a crash.

In some instances both a UCSR and ANCAP rating will be available for some car models. Occasionally the ratings from these two different assessments can differ for particular cars. Since the UCSR reflects the relative safety performance of a car in a wider range of crash scenarios and involving a wider range of occupant types than reflected in the ANCAP tests, the UCSR should be the preferred source of information on relative car safety.

Any car rating system can only provide an indication of the relative levels of protection between cars that you can expect in the event of a crash. You should buy the safest car that you can afford.

What does EuroNCAP test result mean?

European NCAP (Euro NCAP) testing procedures are substantially the same as ANCAP testing procedures. However the Euro NCAP results are to be used as a guide only, as the structure and equipment of the European specification model may differ materially from that of the Australian or New Zealand car of the same name. Also, if different safety equipment is fitted, the Australian or New Zealand car of the same name is likely to provide different levels of protection to those noted.

Ask your dealer to be sure that you are getting the same safety features as the car tested.

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