Small vehicle repair costs

The results of this low-speed crash test show there are vast differences in repair costs across the range of top selling small vehicles.
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01.Low-Speed Crash Testing


The NRMA Insurance's Research Centre put the spotlight on nine top selling small vehicles in Australia to see how their bumpers performed when involved in a collision.

Collision repair costs are rarely taken into account when purchasing a new car, however, results of low-speed crash testing conducted at the NRMA Insurance Research Centre in Sydney show there are vast differences in repair costs across the range of top selling small vehicles.

The NRMA Insurance Low-Speed Crash Test Program was designed to urge car manufacturers to make improvements to bumper bar design to help keep the cost of collision repairs affordable. Lower repair costs may save you hundreds of dollars each year in insurance premiums.

Vehicle repair costs*
Vehicle Frontal test repair costs Repair cost (%) of RRP(Frontal) Rear test repair cost Repair cost (%) of RRP(Rear) Total repair cost Repair cost (%) of RRP(Overall) Purchase price
Holden Barina $1,405 7.8% $1,168 6.5% $2,574 14.3% $17,990
Nissan Micra $3,311 19.5% $2,745 16.2% $6,056 35.6% $16,990
Ford Fiesta $4,784 22.8% $4,066 19.4% $8,850 42.4% $20,990
Suzuki Swift $4,198 22.8% $4,730 25.7% $8,929 48.6% $18,390
VW Polo $6,658 31.0% $4,379 20.4% $11,037 51.4% $21,490
Hyundai i20 $5,750 33.8% $3,281 19.3% $9,031 53.2% $16,990
Mazda Mazda2 $6,641 34.3% $4,679 24.2% $11,320 58.5% $19,340
Honda Jazz $6,098 30.8% $7,655 38.7% $13,754 69.5% $19,790
Toyota Yaris $6,584 34.7% $6,855 36.1% $13,440 70.8% $18,990

*Information provided by the NRMA Insurance Research Centre

Testing process

Front and rear bumpers of each vehicle were tested by simulating a low speed collision which are the most common type of accident on our roads. Even travelling at 10km/h many of the cars tested had poor performing bumper design which resulted in high collision repair costs.

The bumper tests are conducted using a new international standard bumper test from the Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR). The test uses a standardised bumper beam that is 100mm tall with a flexible, energy absorbing cover that replicates a real vehicle bumper system. A backplate which is 200mm tall is fitted to the top surface of the bumper barrier; 25mm behind the front face. This represents the rear structure above the bumper of the vehicle being crashed into.

The crash apparatus uses a 'roller coaster' type device to simulate a 10 km/h collision which replicates impact with another car, allowing accurate comparison of the costs of repairs. The frontal bumper test is conducted with the bumper barrier height set to 455mm from the ground and the rear bumper test to 405mm from the ground. This is to allow for front end dive that occurs during braking.

The NRMA Insurance Low-Speed Crash Test Program is a collision repair cost test and is not an indicator of vehicle safety features. All of these cars, except the Nissan Micra, have been awarded five stars in ANCAP safety rating.

Want more information?

For more information, go to the NRMA Insurance website. You can also take a look at our Car safety and advice section.


NRMA Insurance is a provider of car insurancegreen slip insurancemotorcycle insurance, home insurancehome and content insurancebusiness insurancetravel insuranceboat insurancebicycle insurance, landlord insurancecaravan insuranceincome protection insurance and life insurance in NSW, QLD, ACT & TAS.



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