What is GNCAP & Should you Buy Car with High Safety Ratings?
What is GNCAP and NCAP Safety Rating for New Cars?
Over the last few days a lot has been written and talked about regarding safety and the GNCAP ratings. A few crash test results were released by them with the Maruti S-Presso and Kia Seltos plus Hyundai Nios being chosen. Since the below expectation results came out, there has been a lot of talk regarding car safety, and if you are confused regarding what is GNCAP and what are the scoring systems used, then we tell you all in this article.
Global NCAP Crash Test
New Car Assessment Program is the full form of NCAP and is basically part of the Towards Zero Foundation- a UK registered charity. In its own words, it is a platform for co-operation between various NCAPs all over the world and also to increase awareness for motor vehicle safety in developing markets. It is currently focusing on the African market and Indian market- with an aim of spreading awareness regarding vehicle safety.
While India does not have its own NCAP, all other major countries or regions have one. The first NCAP was started in 1979 in the US and then later it moved to the Euro NCAP, Korean NCAP, ASEAN NCAP, and Japan NCAP. There has been a talk about a Bharat NCAP.
NCAP Vehicle Safety Rating
NCAP gives a rating to every car it tests and it is between 0-5 stars with 5 stars being the highest. The stars are given on front offset crash tests done by GNCAP. The tests vary for regions and some have stricter tests like Euro NCAP having also front, side-impact, front offset, and more. Scores are given how the car performs in tests and a safer structure is given better marks and if a car structure handles the crash well- marks are given on that. Plus driver airbag and dual airbags plus more safety equipment bring more stars. The base model is being picked and bought for tests but sometimes car-makers send their own cars for testing.
How can a Car with 0 Star Safety Rating be Sold in India?
Well, that is the first thing we need to explain. GNCAP has stricter standards for tests and the Indian government safety norms are less strict. But the Indian government norms dictate that for a car to be sold here it must meet front offset and side crash tests at 56kph whereas the GNCAP is done at a higher speed of 64kph. So a zero star car can be sold here and can also meet the norms.
Is a Car with 5-Star Safety Rating Safer?
Yes, a 5-star car is safer but currently, GNCAP has only tested a few cars and does not have the resources to test all which means it is very unclear which cars can be 5-star or not. Plus car-makers also say that they qualify for the basic safety standards and the GNCAP being an independent body has less relevance since for India speeds are lower.
How to Know the Safety Rating of my Shortlisted New Car?
It is currently tricky to find out the safety rating of your desired new car in the crash tests unless an India-specific GNCAP is done. We list down the safety rating based on the India-specific GNCAP crash test done between 2014 and 2020 of cars sold in India.
Does India have Cars with 4 or 5 Star Safety Rating?
Yes, it has and amongst the few tested by GNCAP, the Tata Altroz and Nexon have been tested by GNCAP and have been awarded full 5 stars. The Mahindra XUV300 has also been awarded full 5 stars. 4 stars is also a very good score, and actually some Indian-made cars have achieved it with a stronger structure such as the Maruti Vitara Brezza, Tata Tiago, Volkswagen Polo, Mahindra Marazzo.
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