Global NCAP Safety Ratings for Informed Car Buying in India

Global NCAP Safety Ratings for Informed Car Buying in India

Global NCAP Safety Ratings

In recent times, the term G-NCAP has gained immense prominence, aligning with the growing concern for safety among prospective car buyers. As the safety landscape continues to evolve, the Global NCAP safety rating has emerged as a focal point for automakers striving to demonstrate the safety prowess of their vehicles.

Household brands like Skoda, Volkswagen, and Mahindra are prominently featuring these ratings in their car advertisements, underscoring the paramount importance of safety. Yet, when you’re in the market for a new car and encounter a G-NCAP safety rating, it’s natural to seek clarity on its significance. 

In this blog, we will help you understand the intricacies of this safety rating by looking into its implications and providing you with the tools to decipher it effectively. Armed with this knowledge, you can confidently navigate your car-buying journey. Let’s get started!

What is Global NCAP?

What exactly is the Global NCAP? Well, the Global New Car Assessment Programme, fondly known as G-NCAP, is an initiative backed by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). Its core mission revolves around meticulously assessing the crashworthiness of automobiles through a series of crash tests, carefully designed with a range of critical parameters in mind.

The inception of the New Car Assessment Programme traces back to 1978 when the need to scrutinise and divulge the outcomes of crash tests and the overall safety of newly designed cars became apparent. Following this lead, various other regions like Japan, Europe, and Latin America started establishing similar crash tests tailored to their respective markets, giving birth to the concept of regional NCAPs.

In the year 2011, a significant stride was taken with the establishment of the Global NCAP. Its purpose was twofold: to foster collaboration among the regional NCAP tests and to initiate the widespread adoption of vehicle crash testing and reporting, especially within emerging markets. 

In India, the Global NCAP has been steadily evaluating the frontal crash performance of passenger cars since 2014. As of February 2022, their efforts have resulted in the testing of more than 50 cars. This initiative assures a safer driving future for Indian roads and resonates with the newer generation of safety-conscious drivers.

How does Global NCAP Test Cars?

Global NCAP employs standardised tests that rigorously evaluate vehicle performance across crash scenarios, including frontal and side impacts, as well as pedestrian protection. These tests replicate real-world collisions, assessing a vehicle’s safety systems and structure in safeguarding occupants and pedestrians.

The core of the Global NCAP safety test is the front offset crash test, simulating a collision between two equally weighted vehicles at 50 km/h. A car crashes into a deformable barrier at 64 km/h, focusing on the front offset where 40% of the vehicle meets the barrier.

Crash test dummies play a central role, representing passengers. These dummies mimic two adults in the front and two children in the rear, mirroring a typical car’s occupants. Prominent safety ratings derive from adult and child occupant protection scores recorded by these dummies. Scores reflect dummy readings, with additional credit for specific safety features.

Through meticulous evaluations, Global NCAP offers consumers insights into vehicle safety, aiding informed choices and prioritising passenger and pedestrian safety.

Decoding Global NCAP Safety Ratings

The Global NCAP safety ratings are a valuable tool for consumers to use when choosing a car. By looking at the safety ratings, you can be sure that you are buying a car that will protect you and your family in the event of a crash. The ratings are displayed in terms of stars, with a higher star rating indicating better safety performance.

The Global NCAP safety ratings are based on the following criteria:

  • Adult occupant protection
  • This measures the protection offered to adult occupants in a frontal crash
  • Child occupant protection
  • This measures the protection offered to child occupants in a frontal crash
  • Pedestrian protection
  • This measures the protection offered to pedestrians in a collision with the vehicle
  • Safety assist technologies
  • This measures the presence of safety features such as airbags, ABS, and ESC

Adult Occupant Protection Score

Evaluating a vehicle’s capability to safeguard adult occupants during a collision is what the adult occupant protection score is all about. This score covers several vital aspects, encompassing the effectiveness of seatbelts and airbags, alongside the structural soundness of the vehicle’s interior. 

Here’s how it works: crash test dummies, engineered to mimic the human body’s response to impact, are employed. The vehicles are then subjected to a series of crash tests, in a controlled setting. These dummies help the experts identify a spectrum of potential injuries to the adult occupants in a similar crash or accident in real life. 

Breaking down the scoring mechanism, it’s divided into 16 key points on the adult dummies. These points concentrate on critical body regions like the head, neck, chest, knee, femur, pelvis, leg, and foot. Furthermore, an extra point is granted if the vehicle is equipped with safety features like seat belt reminders, ABS, and side impact protection as standard features.

Child Occupant Protection Score

Child safety within vehicles is of paramount concern, particularly for families in India. The Child Occupant Protection Score, a pivotal facet of the Global NCAP safety assessment, focuses on the security of young passengers. Rigorous evaluations are conducted, employing specialised crash test dummies that emulate the dimensions and mass of children. This entails testing diverse child restraint systems to gauge their effectiveness.

To comprehensively assess child safety, two child dummies—representing an 18-month-old infant and a 3-year-old child—are employed. These dummies are strategically positioned in ISOFIX child seats, and securely fastened onto the ISOFIX mounts. The evaluation takes into account various factors, including proper seat installation and the capacity of the seats to provide substantial protection in collision scenarios.

Scores are assigned based on a 49-point scale, which includes similar injury indicators as those used for adults. Additionally, the rating factors in the degree of protection offered by the child restraint seats. It is recommended for families with young children to look into the details of this rating, as it offers invaluable insights into a vehicle’s capability to safeguard the younger occupants.

The Importance Of Safety Ratings

Safety rating is one of the most important factors for consumers when choosing a car. They provide an objective assessment of a car’s safety performance, based on the results of crash tests. By making safety ratings more widely available, we can help make the roads safer for everyone.

Here are some of the reasons why safety ratings are important:

  • They help consumers make informed decisions when purchasing a car
  • They incentivise manufacturers to invest in advanced safety technologies and design features
  • They can help reduce the number of road accidents and fatalities
  • They can help improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists
  • Higher safety ratings can attract more customers who are concerned about safety
  • They can improve the brand image of the manufacturer and help them comply with government regulations

Here are some additional tips for choosing a safe car in India:

  • Read the car’s safety features carefully before you buy it and make sure that you understand how the features work and how to use them
  • Choose a car that has been awarded a high safety rating by Global NCAP or another independent safety organisation
  • Look for a car that with essential safety features like airbags, ABS, and ESC, as these can help prevent accidents and save lives
  • Please choose a car that has a good safety rating for child occupants, the young ones would thank you for it! 

How To Check A Car’s Safety Rating

It is important to note that safety ratings are not the only factor to consider when choosing a car. Other factors, such as fuel efficiency, comfort, and features, may also be important to you. However, safety ratings are an important consideration, and you should make sure to check the safety rating of any car you are considering buying.

To check a car’s safety rating in India, you can follow these steps:

  • Find the car’s make and model
  • Go to the website of an independent safety organisation, such as Global NCAP, the Indian Institute of Road Traffic Education (IIRTE), or the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI)
  • Search for the car’s make and model on the website
  • The website will show you the car’s safety rating (if available), based on the results of crash tests

The Bottom Line 

In a world where safety is paramount, the Global NCAP safety ratings stand as a token of assurance for car buyers in India. These ratings, spanning adult and child protection, usher in a new era of informed decision-making. By looking into the intricacies of crash tests and deciphering star-studded safety scores, you’re empowered to choose vehicles that safeguard your loved ones.

Remember, a 5-star rating isn’t just a number; it’s a testament to a car’s commitment to your safety. So, as you start your car-buying journey, let these ratings guide you towards a future where every drive is a secure and confident one. Remember, when you prioritise safety, you help make the roads safer for everyone.


Q. What is a good NCAP rating?

A good Global NCAP rating is generally represented by a higher number of stars. A 5-star rating indicates that the vehicle has performed exceptionally well in crash tests and offers a high level of protection for occupants and pedestrians.

Q. What is the difference between Bharat NCAP and Global NCAP?

Bharat NCAP is India’s national car assessment program, modelled after the Global NCAP. While both programs share the goal of improving vehicle safety, Bharat NCAP may have specific testing procedures and criteria tailored to the Indian market’s requirements.

Q. Is Euro NCAP better than Global NCAP?

Both Euro NCAP and Global NCAP are reputable organisations that prioritise vehicle safety. Comparing the two is not about superiority; rather, it’s about recognising that they serve different regions with unique road safety challenges. Both organisations contribute significantly to enhancing vehicle safety on a global scale.

Q. Which variant of the car is used in the crash test of Global NCAP?

Global NCAP typically selects the base variant of a car model for crash testing. This choice ensures that the tested vehicle represents the safety performance of the entire range, providing consumers with a comprehensive understanding of the vehicle’s safety features and capabilities.