In order to satisfy the various international safety standards which currently exist, it is necessary that nearly all new vehicles be subject to a number of destructive tests before being made available to the public on the open market. Development programmes involving a series of such tests are very expensive and there is a growing need that reliable and economical design/analysis methods be made available.This paper attempts to present such a method. Using a relatively simple finite element computer program which has been adapted to the particular needs of the motor industry, the analysis of a new prestige limousine is described. A background to the analytical method is presented, but the emphasis of the paper is on the engineering aspects of using the method. Reference is made to practical design considerations in several instances. The results of calculations predicting the performance of the structure when subject to FMVSS 214 and 216 are presented.