22 Nov 2023

Australasia’s trusted voice on vehicle safety marks 30 years

Established in the early 1990s as just the second New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) in the world after the United States, ANCAP SAFETY and its star ratings have become synonymous among Australian and New Zealand new car buyers, vehicle manufacturers and fleet operators as the independent and trusted voice on vehicle safety.

Working tirelessly over the past three decades to enhance the safety of new vehicles sold across Australia and New Zealand, this year marks ANCAP’s 30th Anniversary.

“When ANCAP began, its ultimate aim was to make safety as important to new car buyers as engine size, styling and comfort,” said ANCAP Chair, Andy Cornish.

“Today, consumers and fleet purchasers expect the highest levels of safety, and vehicle manufacturers work hard to not only satisfy the market, but lead the development of new safety features and technologies.”

“I am extremely proud to be just a small part of such a committed organisation, and as we mark this 30 year milestone, it is important we recognise all who have contributed to its success in driving safety improvements, and acknowledge the lives saved and serious injuries avoided through their contributions,” Mr Cornish concluded.

ANCAP began as a two-year campaign to shine a light on the comparable levels of safety offered by Australia’s most popular selling models. It has now grown to become the priority measure used to determine the safety of new vehicles.

“Until ANCAP’s establishment in the early 1990s, there was no way for car buyers to see how well, or not, their vehicle performed in a crash, nor any incentive for manufacturers to fast-track safety improvements in their models. Today, ANCAP safety ratings are a valuable consumer tool and one of the most sought-after aspects when purchasing a new vehicle,” said ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, Carla Hoorweg.

The first vehicles tested by ANCAP in 1993 underwent just one crash test – the full width frontal test conducted at 56km/h - and were fitted with minimal safety features. In stark contrast, vehicles rated by ANCAP today are subject to seven destructive crash tests covering a range of crash scenarios, as well as a suite of collision avoidance performance tests comprising hundreds of varying daytime and night-time scenarios involving other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

“In ANCAP’s 30 years, countless new tests and assessments have been introduced, and existing ones enhanced. Minimum safety requirements have increased across all star rating levels, and more sophisticated testing, assessment and rating methods developed.”

“As we drive around our suburban streets, cities, highways and regional roads, a quick glance at today’s vehicle fleet reveals the vast improvements realised as a result of ANCAP’s influence. And the benefactors… All Australian and New Zealand road users,” Ms Hoorweg said.

Take a look back through the years to see how ANCAP safety ratings have progressed here.

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