Safety standards are an important part of any vehicle purchase. But there are a few things to take into account. Buying New Zealand new means the vehicle has been designed for New Zealand conditions, and will have been accessed using the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) rating system.

Our standards

ANCAP provides Australian and New Zealand consumers with independent vehicle safety information through the publication of ANCAP safety ratings. ANCAP safety ratings take into account the level of occupant and pedestrian protection provided by new cars through the conduct of physical crash tests and the assessment of collision avoidance technologies.

The more stars, the better the vehicle performed in ANCAP tests. To achieve the maximum 5 star ANCAP safety rating, a vehicle must achieve the highest standards in all tests and feature advanced safety assist technologies.

It’s likely you will have seen advertising about considering vehicle safety when purchasing your next vehicle. This is part of the Government’s drive to raise the standards of New Zealand’s aging vehicle fleet.

New Zealand New

At Brendan Foot Supersite, we support efforts to improve vehicle safety, and our advice is that the best way to stay safe is to buy New Zealand new.

Buying New Zealand new means the vehicle has been designed for New Zealand conditions, and that they are accessed using the ANCAP rating system.

Non-New Zealand new vehicles, in other words used imports, have a different safety rating system. These vehicles also have a different specification and often a lower level of safety. For example, imported Suzuki Swifts have inferior safety to New Zealand new Swifts which since 2011 have had a 5 star ANCAP rating. Rest assured, we only sell New Zealand new Suzukis.

Final word about ratings

It’s important to note that over time the standards for ANCAP increase, so a 2012 model with a 5 Star rating, will be inferior in safety to a 2017 5 Star-rated model.

If the ANCAP rating for the car you’re looking at isn’t what you’d like, ask about what features that model lacked to get the top rating. Then make your choice from there.

In summary, look for New Zealand new when buying, and don’t be confused by overseas ratings. When it comes to vehicle safety, the bar is continually being raised, which is great news for everyone.

For more information about vehicle safety go to