How you can choose a safe car

If you’re looking to buy a ne, car, safety should be your top priority. If you’re unsure how to choose a safe car to help protect yourself and your family on the road, we’ll give you the run down!

What is ANCAP?

Since 1993, Australia has used a rating system, called ANCAP (the Australasian New Car Assessment Program). It independently tests and assesses three main areas to determine a safe car by the likely injury levels and survival outcomes of occupants in the vehicle in the event of a crash, as well as the vehicle’s ability to avoid or minimise the effects of a crash. It then provides this information to consumers.

The three main areas tested include;

  • Safety Features; these include airbags, seatbelt structure, anti-lock braking systems (ABS), electronic stability control, and any other design features intended to protect occupants in the event of an accident.
  • Structural Integrity; This test assesses how well the shell of the vehicle withstands the force of a crash, its durability, and how areas such as the crumple zone work.
  • Safety Assist Technologies; The safety systems of the car include autonomous emergency braking systems, blind spot monitors, fatigue monitoring systems and other features that reduce the odds of an accident occurring.

Other factors to consider:

  • ANCAP doesn’t test every make and model, but it does focus on popular models that represent the majority of those on Australian roads.
  • Testing includes assessing each safety feature, testing the impact of crashes using crash test dummies, and analysing car performance. Once these areas have been tested and reviewed, the vehicle is given an ANCAP safety rating from one to five stars.
  • ANCAP recommends only purchasing cars with a five-star rating. Newer cars generally come with a four- or five-star rating, while one- and two-star ratings are considered dangerous. However, the gap between the ratings is significant, so a five-star rating is considerably safer than a four-star rating.
  • When using the ANCAP ratings, compare cars within the same category. For example, compare an SUV against other SUVs, as it is inadvisable to compare a SUV to a small car. Generally, a heavier, larger vehicle will be safer than a smaller two-door car for example, although this is not always the case. ‘Bigger’ is not necessarily ‘better’.
  • Statistics show that people who drive cars with a one-star ANCAP safety rating are six times more likely to die in a car crash than someone driving a vehicle with a five-star ANCAP rating.
  • You are twice as likely to die or be seriously injured in a three-star ANCAP safety rated vehicle than in a five-star vehicle.

ANCAP has nine different vehicle categories. Each category is defined by general size, weight and shape. These categories include;

* Standard Cars; with sub-categories of Small Cars, Medium Cars, and Large Cars.
* SUVs; including sub-categories of Compact SUVs, Mid-size SUVs and Large SUVs.
* Sports cars
* People movers
* Utes and vans
When purchasing a new, safe car, other factors to consider include size, practicality, purpose- (how you’ll use your car), fuel economy, price and comfort. Once you have chosen a category, compare vehicles within that category, and go with the highest star rating.   Want more great tips, information and specials? Head over & like our Facebook page today. Related Tag: Car Service Burleigh