An expert, independent judgement of all new cars on the European market.

The Car of the Year is an international award, judged by a panel of senior motoring journalists across Europe. Its object is to acclaim the most outstanding new car to go on sale in the 12 months preceding the date of the title.

The Car of the Year has a new look with the smart new logo seen about. It replaces the 'poppet valve' design that has been used for more than 30 years.

What is recognized worldwide as the Car of the Year award, came about to avoid confusion among 'top car' comparisons run by magazines and newspapers in various countries. In 1963, Fred van der Vlugt, then editor of the Dutch motoring magazine Auto Visie, reasoned that combining resources would produce a more credible result that would attract wider publicity.

Van der Vlugt approached 26 professional car testers, from nine different countries, to form an expert Car of the Year jury. The formula remains the same today, 50 years on, but now involves 59 Jury members representing 22 countries.

The Car of the Year is a non-profit institution, independent of the motor industry. Members receive no payment for serving on the Jury. The expenses of organizing the contest are met by seven publications which promote the award and organize the voting by rotation.

The manufacturer is entitled to use the title and the distinctive Car of the Year logo for the year of the award.