Don't be a Crash Test Dummy - Safety First on Your Next Car Purchase

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As safety is now one of the key factors in choosing a new or used motor, shows you how to find which cars made the biggest impact with those car safety critics who are forever at the sharp end - the crash test dummies.

The modern UK driving test may be rigorous but it has the worthy aim of making our roads safer for drivers and pedestrians. New cars too are tested for safety, but there is a belief that the minimum safety requirements - as set out in Europe-wide laws - could also be tougher.

Since 1997, the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) has been encouraging carmakers to exceed these basic requirements. The independent body tests popular cars and then allocates star ratings depending on their safety performance. Results are then published to encourage car makers to continually improve car safety, with the ultimate five-star Euro NCAP rating bringing kudos and increased saleability to the deserving recipient.

Cars are awarded stars for their test performance in three areas: adult occupant protection, child occupant protection, and pedestrian safety.

Euro NCAP Winners & Losers

  •     1997 - Volvo S40 becomes the first ever recipient of 4 stars
  •     1997 - Rover 100 awarded the worst ever result for adult occupant protection
  •     2001 - Renault Laguna becomes the first ever 5-star car
  •     2004 - Toyota Prius achieves the best ever result for child protection
  •     2005 - Citroen C6 gets the best ever result for pedestrian protection
  •     2007 - Nissan Qashqai awarded the best ever result for adult occupation protection

But What About the Poor Crash Test Dummies?

These rubber-skinned, steel-skeleton surrogate humans are packed with sensing equipment and cost over £100,000 each. But despite their high value, they're certainly not precious, being regularly subjected to the following:

  •     Frontal crash tests performed at 40 mph into an offset deformable barrier
  •     Side impact crash tests performed at 31 mph
  •     Side impact pole crash test performed at 18 mph
  •     Pedestrian crash tests performed at 25 mph

However, crash test dummy hardship is for the greater good as injury data can be used by manufacturers to improve vehicle safety and by prospective buyers looking for a safer car.

So when you come to buy your next set of wheels, before getting car insurance, breakdown cover or engine warranty protection, visit Euro NCAP to see how well the car will protect you or your passengers in the event of an accident.

Notes to editors
For further information please contact:

Caroline Spindlove                                                           
02920 434 393

Gug Kyriacou/ Joanna Harte                            
Polhill Communications            
020 7655 0550

About is one of the UK's biggest and most popular price comparison services. Launched in 2002, it dominates the car insurance aggregator market and generates over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include home insurance, travel insurance, pet insurance, van insurance, motorbike insurance, breakdown cover and energy, as well as financial services products including credit cards, loans, mortgages and life insurance. is not a supplier, insurance company or broker. It provides its customers with a free, wholly objective comparison service to help with their decision making. Using cutting-edge technology, has developed a series of intelligent web-based solutions that evaluate a number of risk factors to help customers search, buy and apply for whichever product or policy best matches their individual needs. Prices quoted on are the same, or cheaper, than going to the insurer direct.'s service is based on the most up to date information provided by UK suppliers and industry regulators. is regulated by the FSA.


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Caroline Spindlove
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