Buying your car Which of the cars tested is the safest? Are large cars safer than small cars? Can results be compared between groups? Which of the cars tested would you buy? Why are Points published as well as the Star rating? What does a star with a strike-through indicate? Because the car is a new model and had to pass European safety standards does that automatically make it safe? Some vehicle manufacturers say it is more difficult to develop a safe vehicle for sale throughout the whole world instead of just Europe, is this true?
Which of the cars tested is the safest?
From 2009 onwards, a car’s star rating reflects its overall safety: it encompasses adult and child occupant protection, pedestrian protection and additional technologies designed to promote safe driving. Car buyers wanting the highest level of safety should look for cars with a five star rating.
For cars rated under the previous system, Euro NCAP advises that all three ratings (adult, child and pedestrian protection) are taken into consideration. For adult occupant protection a 5 star performance (out of a possible 5) is the most impressive. The safest car for pedestrian protection has achieved the maximum 4 stars (out of a possible 4).
Are large cars safer than small cars?
In frontal impacts between cars, the occupants of the heavier car or the one with higher structures tend to fare better than those travelling in lighter, lower cars. As it is not possible to simulate the influence of mass in a test against a fixed barrier, Euro NCAP recommends comparison only between cars which are of a similar mass (+/- 150kg) and in the same category. Such comparisons allow the relative safety performance of cars to be judged accurately.
Can results be compared between groups?
Accurate comparisons can only be made between cars in the same group. The frontal test mirrors a crash between two cars of similar size. A heavier car or one with a higher structure will tend to have an advantage if it impacts a smaller car. The Euro NCAP results cannot be used to predict the outcome of such crashes.
Which of the cars tested would you buy?
Although safety is an important factor, there are other factors that have to be taken into account when buying a car. In terms of choosing safety, start by deciding on the size and kind of car needed, then look for the best performers in that group. Some buyers may be interested in particular aspects of a car’s performance, such as the protection of child occupants. In the new rating scheme, a car’s score is given for each part of the assessment, as well as the overall star rating. In the old scheme, star ratings are given for each of adult occupant protection, child protection and pedestrian protection.
Why are Points published as well as the Star rating?
The star rating does not show the relative performance between various aspects of a car’s performance in our tests. The points show the areas where a car performed well or poorly.
What does a star with a strike-through indicate?
In the old method of rating, the final star was struck through if there was a serious risk of life threatening injury in at least one vulnerable body region. In frontal impact, the critical regions were the head and the chest; in side impact, they were the head, the chest, the abdomen and the pelvis.
Because the car is a new model and had to pass European safety standards does that automatically make it safe?
Legislation sets minimum standards which cars must meet in order to be sold in Europe. Euro NCAP’s tests are more severe, allowing the differences between cars’ safety to be highlighted. Cars given a five star rating by Euro NCAP far exceed the safety requirements set by legislation.
Some vehicle manufacturers say it is more difficult to develop a safe vehicle for sale throughout the whole world instead of just Europe, is this true?
No. Although test methods and standards vary in different parts of the world, a vehicle that provides good protection in Euro NCAP will do so in other impact scenarios as our tests are designed to be generic representations of the main accident types.