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Ratings Explained

What are the rating systems?

howsafeisyourcar.com.au displays two types of ratings. Learn more below.

Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) safety ratings are published for a range of new vehicles entering the Australian and New Zealand markets

Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR’s) help you to identify safer second hand cars.

Who is behind the ratings?

Since 1993, ANCAP has published independent safety ratings for thousands of new vehicle makes, models and variants. These independent safety ratings are used to compare the relative safety between vehicles of similar size, and have become critical in car selection for private and fleet buyers.

Monash University Accident Research Centre estimate and develop the UCSR.

How are the ratings determined?

Each have slightly different criteria

ANCAP safety ratings are determined based on a series of internationally recognised, independent crash tests and safety assessments – involving a range of physical crash tests, an assessment of on board safety features and equipment, and performance testing of active collision avoidance technologies.

UCSR’s are based on real-world crash statistics and are determined through the analysis of police-reported crashes where someone was killed or injured.

Evaluation Criteria

ANCAP test protocols have evolved over the years and from January 2018, all vehicles rated are evaluated against four key areas:

  • Adult Occupant Protection
  • Child Occupant Protection
  • Vulnerable Road User Protection
  • Safety Assist

Vehicles are required to meet minimum score thresholds for each star rating level. Requirements are updated every two years to encourage the latest safety be available in new cars entering the Australian and New Zealand markets

The ratings focus on used vehicles and are determined through the independent analysis of the latest real-world crash statistics.

The overall safety star rating applied to each vehicle rated considers three components of vehicle safety performance.

They are:

  • How well the vehicle protects its driver from being killed or seriously injured (Driver Protection Rating)
  • How well the vehicle protects other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists from being killed or seriously injured in a crash (Protection for Other Road Users Rating)
  • The reduction in likelihood of being involved in a crash through key crash avoidance technologies being available in the vehicle (Crash Avoidance Rating)

Things you should know

ANCAP ratings include a “year tested” – the rating ‘year tested’ is the easiest way to tell how current an ANCAP safety rating is. Look for a vehicle which holds the maximum 5 star ANCAP safety rating with the latest ‘year tested’.

ANCAP Logo 2023

If you're wanting to maximise your safety and the safety of others, look for a vehicle with a 5-star overall safety rating and a 'SAFER PICK' marker.

Used Car Safety Rating Safer Pick
Used Car Safety Rating Safer Pick

These vehicles:

  • Provide good protection for the driver
  • Are less likely to kill or seriously injure other driver, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcylists
  • Have a lower risk of being involved in a crash through having key crash avoidance technologies available.
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Used Car Safety Rating Brochure 2023

View the annual brochure here.