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Due to public health requirements and associated lockdowns, ANCAP testing has been affected. Unfortunately there are delays to the conduct of testing and publication of ANCAP safety ratings for a number of vehicle models. Safety is our priority. Please stay safe.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions.

Safety Ratings

I can’t find an ANCAP safety rating for my car. Has it been crash-tested?

Vehicles tested through the ANCAP safety rating program include new passenger, SUV and light commercial vehicles entering the Australian and New Zealand markets. These vehicles are selected for testing based on a variety of factors including the volume of vehicles sold. Over 90% of all new vehicles sold are covered by an ANCAP safety rating.

New ANCAP safety ratings are published regularly and ANCAP endeavours to have ratings available as close as possible to a vehicle's launch onto the market. In some cases, ratings may not be available for some time after market launch. A small percentage of new vehicle models are not able to be rated and are classified as ‘unrated’.

If you can’t find an ANCAP safety rating for your car and would like to check if there is one available, contact us.

How long does it take for ANCAP to test and rate a vehicle?

The ANCAP testing process is extensive and many assessment factors are examined. The time required to test and publish ANCAP safety ratings can differ in relation to each model. Where possible, ANCAP endeavours to have a rating available at, or around the time, a model launches locally.

How long does an ANCAP safety rating last?

Vehicle models rated by ANCAP are issued with a datestamp that is valid for six years.

The “TESTED” year datestamp appears alongside each rating. The datestamp refers to the requirements against which the vehicle was tested and allows consumers to compare between vehicle models.

When a new, or significantly updated, model is introduced to the market it becomes eligible for re-assessment to the latest rating criteria. Generally, most models will be replaced by a new generation model, or updates will be made to the existing model, before the six year period of validity expires.

If a model is not replaced or re-assessed to ANCAP’s latest rating criteria within the six year rating validity period, the rating for that model expires and the rating status of newly-built units changes to ‘unrated’. Vehicles built during the six year rating validity period retain their ANCAP rating.

ANCAP encourages vehicle manufacturers to update the safety features and technologies fitted to their vehicles throughout their model life – particularly if they are to remain in the market for six years or longer – to ensure they continue to provide the best levels of safety for new car buyers.

ANCAP recommends consumers look for a vehicle with a 5 star ANCAP safety rating and the latest "TESTED" datestamp they can afford.

Are ANCAP safety ratings for vehicle models ever updated?

In general, ANCAP does not re-test facelifted models within the same model series unless significant structural and specification changes that would improve the rating are introduced. Similarly, if safety features are removed, ANCAP may re-assess the vehicle and issue a revised rating.

Can ANCAP safety ratings be compared across vehicle categories (e.g. SUV vs. hatchback)?

ANCAP results can be used to compare the protection offered to occupants, pedestrians and cyclists across a range of the most common crash types for vehicles of similar size and weight (i.e. within the same vehicle category). Care must be taken when comparing results for different vehicles across different categories as only those vehicles of similar size and mass can be compared.

From 2020, ANCAP’s crash tests include a frontal crash with a moving trolley (MPDB test) which better represents the relative risk to smaller and larger vehicles, and also allows ANCAP to assess ’Vehicle Compatibility’ - the risk that the tested vehicle poses to other vehicles when struck.

To view the ANCAP safety ratings of over 800 vehicle models, and work out which car is safest for you, click here.

Will ANCAP safety ratings increase beyond 5 stars (i.e. 6 stars, 7 stars and so on), or will 5 stars remain the highest ANCAP safety rating?

No. Rather than increase the number of stars awarded to a vehicle, ANCAP will maintain its 0-5 star rating scale, with 5 stars remaining the maximum safety rating possible. ANCAP is however making it more challenging for vehicle manufacturers to achieve 5 stars by regularly updating its test requirements to promote continuous improvements in vehicle safety.

Of all the vehicles rated by ANCAP, which is the safest?

ANCAP evaluates the likelihood of serious injury or death to vehicle occupants (adults and children), occupants of a ‘collision partner’ vehicle, pedestrians and cyclists across a range of common crash scenarios, as well as a vehicle’s ability to avoid or minimise the severity of a crash through active collision avoidance technologies fitted to a vehicle.

The test results published by ANCAP provide consumers with comparable vehicle safety information across four key areas of assessment, with 5 star rated vehicles providing a high and balanced level of safety performance. The combination of a sound structure, good restraint systems and active safety assist technologies provide the best chance of survival in a crash.

ANCAP recommends you choose a vehicle with the highest safety rating possible, with a “TESTED” datestamp of no older than six years.

To view the ANCAP safety ratings of over 800 vehicle models, and work out which car is best for you, click here.

What is the difference between ANCAP safety ratings and the Used Car Safety Ratings?

ANCAP safety ratings are published for a range of new passenger, sports utility (SUV) and light commercial vehicles (LCV) entering the Australian and New Zealand markets, using a rating system of 0 to 5 stars. ANCAP star ratings indicate the level of safety a vehicle provides for occupants and pedestrians in the event of a crash, as well as its ability — through technology — to avoid or minimise the severity of a crash.

Focussing on second hand cars, the Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR) research is compiled by the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC).

The difference between the ANCAP (new) ratings and UCSRs (used) lies in the way in which the ratings are determined. ANCAP safety ratings are determined based on data obtained through the simulation of common crash and crash prevention scenarios undertaken in controlled laboratories and test tracks, whereas UCSRs are determined through the analysis of crash statistics (police reports, etc.) ANCAP safety ratings demonstrate a vehicle's level of occupant and pedestrian protection whereas UCSRs provide a crash rating for the driver only (with a secondary indication of vehicles that provide a higher level of protection for other road users).

UCSRs are available for a select number of vehicles, generally models that are at least six years old. ANCAP safety ratings apply to new vehicles, and with ANCAP safety ratings having been published since 1993, a significant number of vehicles tested by ANCAP form part of Australia and New Zealand's used car market. Both ANCAP and UCSR provide ratings for a similar range of vehicle categories.

ANCAP recommends you choose a vehicle with the highest safety rating possible, with an ANCAP “TESTED” datestamp of no older than six years.

Safety Requirements

Is ANCAP testing mandatory?

No. ANCAP is an independent, non-regulatory consumer information organisation which exists to enhance the safety of the Australian and New Zealand vehicle fleets by encouraging the highest levels of vehicle safety. ANCAP works to complement the regulatory Australian Design Rules (ADRs) as set by the Australian Government.

What are the Australian Design Rules (ADRs)?

The Australian Design Rules (ADRs) are the legislated standards for new vehicles as set by the Australian Government. The ADRs set the minimum safety, emission and anti-theft standards for all new vehicles entering the Australian market, from cars and motorcycles through to buses and prime movers.

The ADRs are different for each vehicle type. For example, the ADRs for passenger cars, SUVs and light commercial vehicles (LCVs) are different to those for buses and heavy goods vehicles.

Who is responsible for the Australian Design Rules (ADRs)?

The Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development & Communications (DITRDC) has responsibility for maintaining the Australian Design Rules (ADRs).

A full list of ADRs is available from www.infrastructure.gov.au.

Are the Australian Design Rules (ADRs) unique to Australia?

The Australian Design Rules (ADRs) for passenger cars, SUVs and light commercial vehicles (LCVs) are almost fully harmonised with the international United Nations Regulations, with the exception of:

ADR 34 – Child restraint anchorages

ADR 69 – Full frontal crash test (UN R137 test results accepted)

ADR 81 – Fuel consumption label (tests are to UN Regulations)

How does ANCAP relate to the Australian Design Rules (ADRs)?

ANCAP’s role is complementary to regulation. It encourages vehicle manufacturers to include the latest vehicle safety technology beyond the minimum regulatory standards, promoting quicker introduction of new technology.

Why do we need ANCAP (non-regulatory) as well as the Australian Design Rules (regulatory)?

One of the main benefits of ANCAP is its flexibility to encourage the swift adoption of important vehicle safety features and technologies ahead of the development of a regulation. ANCAP is able to use early research to identify and encourage safety features and technologies that are potentially beneficial without the constraints required for regulatory action.

As a result, Australasian consumers have access to a wide range of vehicles that significantly exceed the minimum regulatory standards. For example:

ELECTRONIC STABILITY CONTROL (ESC): ANCAP began encouraging the fitting of ESC well ahead of regulation, making ESC a mandatory requirement to be eligible for a 5 star ANCAP safety rating. This encouragement resulted in high rates of fitment (more than 90%) by the time the UN Regulation was finalised and the Australian Design Rule (ADR) introduced in 2012.

AUTONOMOUS EMERGENCY BRAKING (AEB): ANCAP has encouraged fitting of AEB and these efforts have resulted in the availability of AEB increasing very quickly (from approximately 35% in 2015 to more than 85% of the Australian new car market in 2021) with more than 76% of vehicles now having AEB fitted as standard. AEB will become a mandatory requirement in Australia for passenger cars, SUVs and LCVs under ADR 98/00 from 1 March 2023.

Shouldn't the Government regulate to require all vehicles to meet ANCAP standards?

It is important that ANCAP's non-regulatory function exists parallel to regulation, as promoting and educating consumers to influence consumer choice will encourage the market supply and uptake of advanced safety features and technologies more quickly than the regulatory process.

Accessories & Modifications

Does ANCAP test bullbars?

ANCAP tests are undertaken on standard vehicles, without bullbars or other accessories fitted.

Does the fitting of bullbars to a vehicle affect its ANCAP safety rating?

ANCAP does not test vehicles with bullbars fitted.

ANCAP recognises there are some circumstances where consumers choose to fit a bullbar (for example, operational requirements), however with advancements in vehicle design and the introduction of driver assistance technologies such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB), consumers need to ensure the fitting of a bullbar or other accessory/modification does not affect the safety performance of the vehicle.

The fitting of incompatible bullbars can have an adverse effect on the crash performance (occupant protection) provided by a vehicle, as well as interfere with the safe and effective operation of collision avoidance systems and sensors.

As part of the ANCAP rating, a vehicle must provide protection to pedestrians and other vulnerable road users that may be struck by the vehicle. ANCAP’s testing protocols for pedestrian impacts are not designed to assess impacts with bullbars or other frontal protection devices. The fitting of a bullbar may degrade of performance in the case of a collision with a pedestrian, cyclist or motorcyclist.

Some bullbar manufacturers offer products (rated prior to the introduction of more stringent ANCAP assessment protocols from 2018) which have been shown not to affect the ANCAP safety rating of a specific vehicle model.

What if I want to modify my vehicle?

ANCAP crash tests new, un-modified vehicles available to Australian and New Zealand consumers. In general, ANCAP does not set requirements for, or assess, aftermarket products or vehicle modifications, including repairs.

If vehicles are deemed to require modifications outside the scope of ANCAP assessment, ANCAP recommends purchasing vehicles that have been awarded a 5 star ANCAP safety rating when originally supplied. Operators should ensure the modification does not interfere with the safe and effective operation of safety features and collision avoidance technologies, and continues to meet regulatory requirements for registration and use.

Does the installation of an internal rollbar/rollcage affect a vehicles ANCAP safety rating?

ANCAP does not test vehicles with rollover protection systems (ROPS) fitted but research tests have shown that ROPS can increase the propensity for a vehicle to roll by raising the centre of gravity. ROPS can also prevent the deployment of airbags - greatly increasing the risk of serious head injuries - and may not eliminate roof crush in vehicle rollovers.

Internal ROPS may also prevent rearward displacement of the driver seat in a strike from the rear. Modern seats are designed to respond in a controlled manner to reduce the risk of whiplash injury. This can be adversely affected by an internal ROPS. There may also be a risk of head injury from contact with the ROPS during a crash. This applies to rear seat occupants as well as the driver and front passenger.

Vehicle Purchasing

What should I look for when buying a fleet or business vehicle?

For many people their vehicle is their workplace. Providing safe vehicles is an important work health and safety consideration for organisations and employers.

ANCAP recommends fleets and commercial buyers purchase and use vehicles which hold the maximum 5 star ANCAP safety rating. In addition, look for the Rating Year "datestamp" which identifies the year requirements against which a model was tested. Fleets and commercial buyers should look to purchase a 5 star vehicle with a datestamp no more than three years old.

For example, when buying a vehicle in 2022, look for a model which has either a 2022, 2021 or 2020 datestamp. This will ensure the vehicle has the latest safety attributes available in the market.

It is recommended that vehicles (company-owned or private vehicles) used for work purposes should have a 5 star ANCAP safety rating with a datestamp of no more than six years old.

View our Fleet Purchasing Guide

My business / organisation runs a fleet of larger commercial vans but the bigger vans don’t seem to be covered by an ANCAP safety rating. What safety criteria should we look for?

ANCAP’s traditional safety (star) rating program covers new light vehicles including passenger cars, SUVs and light commercial vehicles with a GVM up to 3.5 tonnes in the Australian Design Rule (ADR) regulatory categories of MA, MB, MC and NA.

Larger, or NB category, vehicles (medium goods vehicles) do not currently fall within ANCAP’s star rating scope. Instead, ANCAP tests and publishes results for a range of NA and NB category commercial vans through its Commercial Van Safety Comparison, which focuses on active collision avoidance.

The specifications and performance of these vans are scored using a category ranking of PLATINUM, GOLD, SILVER, BRONZE and NOT RECOMMENDED. Where a traditional ANCAP safety (star) rating is not available, ANCAP encourages the purchase of vans with either a PLATINUM or GOLD performance ranking.

See www.ancap.com.au/vans for further details.

Testing & Assessment

In what year did Australia adopt the European crash testing standards?

ANCAP was established in 1992 with our first crash test results published in 1993. Euro NCAP was established in 1997 and ANCAP began testing and assessing vehicles in accordance with the Euro NCAP protocols from 1999. This was when the star rating system was introduced. Prior to this, ANCAP did not use a star rating system, rather, colour-coded body regions indicating high, medium or low injury risk were used followed by the allocation of 'Good', 'Acceptable', 'Marginal' and 'Poor' scores.

Since 2018 ANCAP has shared common test and assessment protocols and policies with its European counterparts, Euro NCAP.

Does ANCAP test for rear-end collisions?

Severe rear collisions are relatively rare and usually involve being struck by a much larger vehicle. Frontal crashes and severe side impacts account for most car occupant fatalities which is one reason why ANCAP concentrates on these crash types.

Destructive rear-end crash tests are not conducted, however whiplash protection testing forms an integral part of the ANCAP test and rating process. Our Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) tests also assess a vehicle’s ability to avoid rear-end crashes with stationary, braking or slower-moving vehicles.

Does ANCAP testing consider child occupants?

Yes. From 2018, all vehicles rated by ANCAP include an assessment of Child Occupant Protection (COP). This evaluates the level of protection offered by the vehicle to child occupants seated in appropriate child restraints in the rear seats. An assessment of the vehicle’s ability to effectively accommodate a range of child restraints is also included.

Child dummies (a 6 year and a 10 year) are included in the frontal offset and side impact crash tests.

Selecting an appropriate child restraint for child occupants is also important. Separate to ANCAP, the Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP) provides an independent assessment on the safety of Australasian child restraints - see www.childcarseats.com.au.

Does ANCAP re-test vehicles?

In general, ANCAP does not re-test vehicle models within the same model series unless changes that would affect the rating are introduced, or the rating expires.

In these cases, vehicles may either undergo new physical tests and performance assessments or ANCAP may use technical evidence to determine a revised rating.

What does the "TESTED" year mean in the ANCAP safety rating logo?

The "TESTED" year (datestamp) listed alongside each ANCAP star rating denotes the rating year requirements a vehicle was assessed against. This is an important element given ANCAP’s test and rating criteria increases in stringency every two years.

Checking the “TESTED” datestamp ensures you are comparing vehicles rated to similar test criteria. ANCAP recommends that you choose a vehicle with the highest safety rating possible, with a datestamp of no older than six years.

Safety Features & Technologies

Do ANCAP safety ratings take into account active safety systems?

Early ANCAP safety ratings assessed the ability of a vehicle to protect vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users (pedestrians) from injury in the event of a crash. From 2011 onwards, the scope of the ANCAP ratings process has extended to include a focus on active safety including advanced driver assistance (collision avoidance) technologies such as Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane Support Systems (LSS) and Speed Assistance Systems (SAS).

Look at the ‘Safety Assist’ scores that feature as part of each vehicle rating ANCAP publishes.

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