ANCAP raises the benchmark for vehicle safety

Fleet managers looking to add new vehicles to their businesses will soon have an improved way of finding the safest models.

Vehicle safety specialists Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) is raising the standard to which it holds new vehicles in an attempt to improve the clarity and quality of its rating system.

New ANCAP approvals will be annually date stamped - e.g. "Approved 2014" -  to help consumers and fleet services understand the value of the rating system as vehicles become safer year on year.

ANCAP Chairman Lauchlan McIntosh said the change is in response to the number of cars receiving their highest 5 star safety rating.

"Consumers are now well aware of ANCAP and its 1 to 5 star safety rating system and are interested to know how a 5 star rating of earlier years compares with a 5 star rating of today," he said.

"ANCAP prides itself on the provision and presentation of independent and easy to understand ratings to consumers.

"As the ANCAP test program moves in line with the rapid progression of vehicle safety design and technologies, the introduction of date stamping to ANCAP ratings is the next step in clearly communicating the differences in a car rated today compared with a car rated in forthcoming years."

As manufacturers develop new features and technology to make driving safer for both road users and pedestrians, revised ratings will encourage safe designs to keep improving if manufacturers want to attain a constantly harder to reach 5 star rating.

Meanwhile, third party fleet management services will be able to offer professional procurement assistance to ensure companies are provided the safest vehicles for their fleets.

The new rating logo and date stamp will be issued on all tested vehicles from July onwards, and will begin to be published in new car information material over the coming months.