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Vehicle safety ratings

The Safe Vehicles Programme, led by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, delivers on the Government’s Road to Zero strategy. The programme aims to raise awareness of vehicle safety ratings and significantly improve the safety performance of New Zealand’s light vehicle fleet.

Road to Zero outlines a strategy to guide improvements in road safety in New Zealand over the next 10 years. It sets out a vision of a New Zealand where no one is killed or seriously injured in a road crash and includes vehicle safety as one of five key priorities.

Road to Zero

The more stars – the safer the car

Safety ratings are the best indication of how your vehicle is likely to perform in a crash. Safety ratings range from 1 to 5-stars, the safest vehicles have 5-star safety ratings while less safe vehicles have a 1-star rating.

Safety ratings can be checked on the Rightcar website(external link)

There are vehicles with high safety ratings available in most vehicle categories and price brackets. If you’re looking to buy a used vehicle, we encourage you to buy the safest, cleanest, most efficient vehicle in your price range.

In New Zealand, a vehicle’s safety rating comes from one of three sources:

  1. ANCAP (Australasian New Car Assessment Program)(external link) assesses new vehicles based on crash tests.
  2. Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR)(external link) assesses used vehicles already in the market, based on real world data.
  3. Vehicle Safety Risk Ratings (VSRR)(external link) assesses most vehicles that don’t have an ANCAP or UCSR rating.

For more information on which safety rating applies to your vehicle, see the safety ratings lifecycle:

Safety ratings lifecycle(external link)

If your vehicle is a used import, ANCAP ratings don’t apply. Find out which ratings apply to used imports:

Used import safety ratings(external link)

Safety ratings are reviewed annually. Visit the Rightcar website to check your safety rating and keep up to date with annual changes:

Rightcar website(external link)

If you import and sell vehicles, the Rightcar website has vehicle safety rating resources:

Access dealer resources for vehicle safety ratings(external link)

Vehicle safety rating labels

Related media releases

For more information on vehicle safety ratings, email safevehicles@nzta.govt.nz