More EuroNCAP stars – in a reasonably priced car

28 June 2005 #SMMT News

Latest EuroNCAP crash tests show huge improvements in new car safety, in just five years. Independent tests revealed better scores on occupant and pedestrian protection measures, despite the introduction of more stringent tests in 2002. Improved safety has not come at a price though, as the average new car is now around 10 per cent cheaper than it was in 1998*.

EuroNCAP scores –

1999/2000 crash test scores

2004/2005 crash test scores

No of models tested



5-star occupant rating


(19 models 4-star rated)


(12 models 4-star rated)

3-star pedestrian rating



As well as limiting the effect of an impact on occupants and pedestrians, manufacturers are increasingly investing in accident prevention technologies. For example, from July 2004 all new volume production cars have been fitted with ABS as standard, a voluntary move by car makers.

More new models also come with the latest electronic stability and traction control systems. Figures from Bosch, supplier of ESP, suggest that 29 per cent of new cars sold in the UK are now fitted with its system, up from 20 per cent in 2003.

SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan commented, ‘Better crash test scores demonstrate our commitment to safety and should give new car buyers greater peace of mind. However, it is in accident avoidance technology – sometimes called active safety systems – where the industry is moving forward quietly but with determined resolve to drive down deaths and injuries on UK roads.’

On greater consumer awareness of active safety systems, director of road safety charity, RoadSafe, Adrian Walsh said, ‘Those involved in road safety recognise the significant benefits of active safety in reducing road casualties, so we welcome moves by EuroNCAP to raise awareness of these crash avoidance technologies. It is a simple fact that, whether investment is made in better roads, driver education or vehicle design, an accident prevented is the best form of protection for all road users.’

He added, ‘Given that up to a quarter of all crashes involve someone at work, RoadSafe calls on company directors to take a lead and ensure they supply modern cars fitted with active safety systems for their employees.’


* On 22 June 2005 What Car? revealed that, on average, new car prices have fallen by 10 per cent in seven years, based on the What Car? Price Index. The magazine suggested that ‘sharp competition and keen discounts have slashed the cost of a typical new car by a 10th – despite inflation rising by 17.5 per cent between June 1998 and June 2005′.

1. RoadSafe is a road safety partnership of leading companies in the motor and transport industries in Britain, government and road safety professionals. It aims to reduce deaths and injuries caused by road accidents and promote safer driving.

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