ANCAP Safety Ratings Explained

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.

Rating System of ANCAP

Our vision is:
Safe vehicles for all.

Our 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 effects of a crash. These independent safety ratings are used to compare the relative safety between vehicles of similar mass.

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

From 1 January 2018, vehicles will be evaluated against four key areas:


  • Adult Occupant Protection (AOP)


  • Child Occupant Protection (COP)


  • Vulnerable Road User Protection (VRU)


  • Safety Assist (SA)

A range of tests and assessments are conducted within each area, with vehicles required to meet minimum score thresholds for each star rating level. The overall star rating of a vehicle is limited by its lowest performing area of assessment.

When Buying a Car, What Should You Look For?

To encourage continuous improvement by vehicle brands and ensure consumers are provided with the safest cars possible, ANCAP’s test criteria has increased incrementally over its 25-year history. See our evolution timeline opposite.

In 2018, the ANCAP safety rating system experiences its greatest change to date – implementing new test and assessment protocols and scoring methods that are common across Australasia (Australia & New Zealand) and Europe.

While ANCAP’s rating criteria broaden, the message remains simple.

Look for a vehicle which holds the maximum 5-star ANCAP safety rating with the latest ‘datestamp’.

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