Published 03/08/2016 00:00:00 in Press Releases

Since 1997 when the ENCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) Test was introduced, it has been assumed that new cars on the road are as safe as they can be. But is this really the case?

ENCAP is a voluntary vehicle safety rating system, which originated in the UK and backed by the European Commission, European governments, as well as motoring and consumer organisations in every EU country. Over 90% of manufacturers participate in the programme. These tests measure the safety of the car and its features, and the result is a rating out of five – something which manufacturers use to show consumers how safe the car is. Channel 4 has recently broadcast a documentary, ‘How Safe is Your Car?’, which looks at ENCAP safety ratings, and has uncovered some worrying findings.

Although some cars may have an ENCAP safety rating of five – the highest and therefore safest that it can be – in reality, the safety of the car in a crash may not reflect this. In the documentary, Channel 4 discovered that, when testing the stability and safety of a cars structure in a crash, the ‘injuries’ sustained by the crash test dummies were less significant than those that would be sustained by a real person in a real crash.

Investigating further, the documentary spoke to insurance analyst firm Folksam, who have been studying real car accidents for 35 years. Folksam verified what Channel 4 found – that the ENCAP rating does not necessarily match the true safety features of the car, and that the vehicle can have a lower safety rating than is stated.

RMI Bodyshops Executive Director Jason Moseley comments, “Whilst ENCAP sought to make the publishing of car safety much more transparent, there is always an opportunity to improve processes – for example, by adding in more ‘real world’ aspects, which would improve confidence for consumers.

“We are pleased that findings have been produced by Folksam, one of the largest insurance companies in Sweden, which show statistics on cars performances in crashes. However, we believe that there is an even greater safety issue at play for consumers: the performance of a vehicle in a crash, post body repair.”

Moseley continues, “The UK repair sector invests heavily in ensuring cars are repaired in a way that reinstates crash integrity. We would be delighted to see more research on that aspect of consumer safety awareness.  All of this serves to highlight that no corners can be cut in repairing vehicles, and stringent standards need to be upheld.”





Rupal Rawal, Press Officer
Tel: 020 7307 3412
Mob: 07528 977 157
Press Office direct line: 020 7307 3422
Press Office fax: 020 7307 3406

Web:  Email:

The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.

Back to Articles
Back to Articles


This site uses cookies. Some cookies are essential to ensure our website works for you in the best possible way. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but parts of the site may not work. To find out more about cookies on this website and how to delete cookies, click here to see our cookie statement.