ANCAP was established in 1992 — the second new car assessment program (NCAP) in the world. Since then, the ANCAP safety rating program has evolved with progressive changes made to its rating system to enhance the safety of new cars offered to Australia and New Zealand consumers and encourage continuous improvements from vehicle brands.
Over the years, new tests have been introduced and existing ones enhanced. Minimum safety requirements have increased and more sophisticated testing and assessment methods developed.
For example, in 2001 ANCAP introduced minimum performance requirements for its frontal offset and side impact tests to achieve a 5 star rating. In 2004, minimum head protection scores were also added. In 2008, electronic stability control (ESC) became a mandatory requirement — well ahead of regulation.
Annual increases to ANCAP safety rating criteria for all star rating levels have been in place since 2011, with the most significant changes in ANCAP's history occurring from 2018 with the adoption of common test protocols and assessment methods between Australasia and Europe.
From 1 January 2018, the ANCAP safety rating process expands to cover four important areas of assessment:
Learn more about these four key areas of assessment here.
Previously what differentiated the good from the bad was physical crash test performance, or passive safety. Our ratings considered the safety offered based on physical crashworthiness (the ability of a vehicle's structure to protect its occupants), the presence and effectiveness of restraint systems (seat belts and airbags) and safety features such as electronic stability control (ESC).
Today the point of differentiation has expanded to include active safety features and technologies which can help avoid or minimise the effects of a crash.
Learn more about the passive and active safety features of vehicles here.