The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) aims to provide safety ratings for all popular vehicle makes and models, so consumers can make informed decisions before they buy their next car. ANCAP is a not-for-profit organisation that raises funds from its members for testing. Unfortunately the test process is extremely expensive which prevents them from testing all cars. You might find ANCAP rating labels used by manufacturers in their advertisements – especially when they’ve received a five-star rating. However, in Australia, there is no requirement for dealers to display or disclose this information to the consumer.
Road map for the future
In September 2010, ANCAP launched its ratings Roadmap, a timeline outlining changes to crash test protocols over the next five years. In the future, in addition to current testing, ANCAP will introduce testing above and beyond present regulatory requirements. Expect to see:
- Additional tests, such as whiplash protection and roof strength.
- Stricter requirements for safety assist technology.
You can find the protocol papers giving more detail about the Roadmap in ANCAP's media centre.
ANCAP has also received five-year funding from the Federal Government to increase the number of crash tests and level of research into vehicle safety. With policy changes, ANCAP will be able to make better use out of car ratings in some categories; a result for a three-door car, for example, could potentially be applied to a five-door, allowing ANCAP to make ratings for more vehicles available to consumers.
For more car articles take a look at CHOICE's car section.
Video: ANCAP test footage
Car crash test footage courtesy of ANCAP (www.ancap.com.au)