What are the UCSR star ratings?

What are the UCSR star ratings?

Information on this website is based on two separate safety ratings - the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) ratings and the Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR).

The UCSR and ANCAP research serve as a guide to the crash protection offered by different cars. They tell you how well your car will protect you in a crash and let you compare research and review car safety ratings for your next new or used car purchase.


ANCAP crash tests new vehicles in a laboratory under specific conditions.

UCSR are based on the analysis of real world car crashes and more reliably reflect the car's actual safety performance.


  • In some instances both a UCSR and ANCAP rating will be available for some car models.
  • Occasionally the ratings from these two different assessments can differ for particular cars.

When in doubt…

Choose a car that has the most number of stars.  aim  for a 5 stars car rating

The ANCAP and UCSR systems are not comparable so whichever rating you use, the more stars the better! 

Pretty Pictures

To better explain the differences in rating systems, below are some pretty pictures which also detail the safety rating pathway that cars move through in their lifecycle:

New car is manufactured
ANCAP Rating Cars are selected for crash test analysis based on their anticipated popularity with consumers or as indicated by sales volume. ANCAP buys the best selling Australasian new cars* to test in a controlled environment in order to provide consumers with an independent safety star rating and technical report. An ANCAP rating continues to apply until a Used Car Safety Rating (UCSR) has been calculated or the model is substantially changed. Not Yet Rated - Cars are not selected for crash test
On the road - All cars are on the road and may be involved in a crash.
Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSRs) are calculated by analysing data from millions of cars involved in real world crashes across Australia and New Zealand. There needs to be a large volume of a particular car on the road, for at least two years, and a significant number of crashes involving that car, in order to calculate a UCSR. UCSR provide a more realistic representation of how a car will perform in a crash. Once a UCSR is calculated the ANCAP result is superseded. Not rated. Not enough crashes to provide a rating.

*ANCAP also rates cars based on crash test data from EuroNCAP tested vehicles that are relevant to Australasia. EuroNCAP chooses the best selling cars in Europe to be tested.