Woman fastening a safety belt in her automobile | Featured image for the Car Safety Ratings blog from eCarz.

Australian Car Safety Ratings Explained

Even if you do not consider yourself a car aficionado, you have no doubt heard mention of countless car safety ratings. Whether it is a commercial on television or a print advertisement, manufacturers are always looking to flaunt the ratings of their new cars. You may view these vehicle safety ratings as a guide for your next purchase, or you may ignore them entirely as you consider them nothing more than buzzwords. No matter how you feel about these ratings, it is important to know how they are calculated and how they can benefit you.


If you are searching for a car broker dedicated to helping find the perfect vehicle for you, give us a call on 1300 378 387 or send an email to info@ecarz.com.au.

How Many Car Safety Ratings Systems Exist?

In Australia, there are two key safety ratings to follow. The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) and the Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR) assess new and used cars respectively, providing Australians with a purchasing guide. These organisations calculate these ratings based on several factors, which includes simulated crashes and assessment of onboard safety features. Once a conclusion has been reached, the vehicle is awarded a rating out of five, with a higher score representing a better safety rating.


How Are Vehicle Safety Ratings Calculated

When cars are subjected to ANCAP’s range of assessments, they are tested against four key areas:


Adult Occupant Protection

The level of protection offered to adult occupants seated within the car when subjected to the most common injuries caused by crashes.


Child Occupant Protection

The level of protection offered to child occupants seated within the car when subjected to the most common injuries caused by crashes. This assessment also considers the car’s ability to properly accommodate common child restraints.


Vulnerable Road User Protection

This determines the car’s risk factor to pedestrians that are struck by the vehicle and examines the technology it contains to avoid or reduce these collisions.


Safety Assist

The level of technology featured within the car to assist the driver in the avoidance or reduction of crashes.


Each of these categories has their own system for calculation based on factors such as impact, whiplash, and speed assistance. Once each area has been examined and graded, these scores are compiled together to determine the overall star rating. ANCAP makes their test harder every three years to ensure that manufacturers are creating safer vehicles with each new iteration they release.


How Can Vehicle Safety Ratings Help Me?

ANCAP and USCR present their ratings to ensure that Australians can purchase vehicles that provide them and their families with maximum safety. Before buying any car, it is important to research its safety rating and compare it to similar makes and models. If something more expensive offers greater safety, it may be wise to upgrade for the additional peace of mind. The star system makes car safety ratings simple to understand, as a car with a higher star rating when compared to another vehicle is clearly safer. It is recommended to avoid cars that possess a safety rating below four stars, as they are deemed to fall short in at least one key assessment area.


Which Cars Possess the Highest Ratings?

While ANCAP has yet to release their findings for 2023, the 2022 results reveal that the Tesla Model Y was the highest rated vehicle of the year when it comes to safety. Along with being the safest car overall, it also received the highest rating in the Adult Occupation Protection and Safety Assist assessment areas. The Ford Ranger, Ford Everest, Nissan Qashqai, and Nissan Pathfinder all shared first place for Child Occupant Protection, making them the best choice for those with young children. When it comes to protecting pedestrians with Vulnerable Road User Protection, the Toyota Corolla Cross came out on top.

Need Help Finding the Perfect Car?

At eCarz, we provide car brokerage service designed to get you into the car of your dreams as soon as possible. Buying a car can be daunting, especially when factoring in safety ratings to ensure you are receiving the highest level of protection. That’s why we handle the research and price negotiating for you, allowing you to focus on finding the right car for keeping you and your family safe. Send us an email at info@ecarz.com.au or give us a call on 1300 378 387 so we can pair you with an expert broker today!

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