09 May 2024

Commonwealth accelerates safety improvements across its vehicle fleet

As Australia marks National Road Safety Week, the Australian Government has shown leadership in further prioritising the safety of its employees by implementing an enhancement to its Commonwealth Fleet Vehicle Selection Policy.

The policy, which establishes procurement criteria for Commonwealth Government fleet vehicles, requires vehicles to hold a five-star ANCAP safety rating and a datestamp within three years.

The policy in place prior to this update was already strong, requiring five-star vehicles with a datestamp of no older than six years, with this latest update strengthening the Government’s focus on safety for its employees and the broader Australian community.

“This is a notable and extremely positive move,” said ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, Carla Hoorweg.

“The test and rating criteria applied by ANCAP to new vehicles sold in Australia increases in breadth and stringency every three years. We do this to encourage vehicle safety improvements so that consumers have access to the safest cars with the latest safety features and technologies.”

“The significance of this update to the Commonwealth’s fleet purchasing policy is that provides a clear incentive for vehicle manufacturers to strive for five stars with new model designs, and with model facelifts.”

“Australia is a relatively small market on the global stage, yet we punch well above our weight in terms of pushing to receive the safest vehicles. While it can be frustrating for some vehicle brands to push for the highest level of safety in vehicles supplied to Australia, policies such as this can see them rewarded for their decisions.”

In addition to the Australian Government’s policy, each of the state and territory governments, as well as a broad range of large and small businesses, have five-star fleet vehicle purchasing policies in place.

“This best-practice update to the Commonwealth’s fleet purchasing policy shows clear leadership through action and we encourage other fleets and private consumers to consider adopting the same approach when it comes to shortlisting new vehicles for purchase,” Ms Hoorweg said.

The Australian Government fleet consists of more than 10,000 passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. Nationally, government buyers across jurisdictions inject a total of 34,500 new vehicles into the Australian car parc every year.

58 new vehicle models currently on sale hold a five-star ANCAP safety rating within three years - either a 2024, 2023 or 2022 datestamp. 40 of these are Low Emission Vehicles (LEVs) which are also prioritised under the Australian Government fleet policy.

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