How safe is your car?

Euro NCAP marks a major milestone this year as it celebrates its 20th anniversary

If you are thinking of buying a car be sure to find out about the car’s Euro NCAP rating writes Geraldine Herbert

So what is Euro NCAP?

Euro NCAP  is the independent body in Europe behind new car crash safety. The European New Car Assessment Programme gives consumers  information on the level of occupant protection provided by vehicles in a range of  front and side crashes. New cars are assessed in four areas;  Adult protection (for the driver and passenger); Child protection; Pedestrian protection and Safety Assist technologies.

How are cars tested?

There are several tests conducted on each car and they are designed to reflect real-world accidents as much as possible.

  • Frontal impact
  • Car-to-car-side impact
  • Pole side impact
  • Pedestrian protection
  • Child protection systems
  • Whiplash
  • Speed assistance systems and seatbelt reminders
  • Autonomous emergency braking
  • Electronic Stability Control

The overall score is then translated into a star rating of between 1 to 5 stars indicating the level of safety they provide in the event of a crash.



What is the new dual rating system?

From last year a new dual rating system was introduced. One rating is based on a car fitted only with safety equipment which is standard on every variant in the model range and a second rating is based on a car with an additional ‘safety pack’, that may be offered as an add-on option to consumers


Watch the video below of the Euro NCAP crash testing an old Rover 100 and a recent Honda Jazz  (


All  safety ratings and crash test results are online.

So how safe is your car? Check out more at


Geraldine Herbert

29th March, 2017

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Motoring Editor and Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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