The application of Statistical Energy Analysis techniques to work on vehicle noise and vibration is increasing. SEA is now used as a design tool for many commercial vehicles. In this work structural vibration transmission in the body of a motor car is studied. There is very little published work either on structural vibration transmission through the whole of a motor vehicle or on the best methods of defining subsystems or modelling sound transmission at the various joints in a motor vehicle. In this work sound transmission at joints in a vehicle body is investigated and measured, and predicted results for transmission over the whole vehicle body are given. The important properties or rubber strips round windows and of door hinges are also studied. The vehicle body is modelled as a collection of connected flat plates for predictive purposes. The effects of curved plates and the transmission of in-plane waves are not included. Good agreement is found at frequencies above 400 Hz. At lower frequencies predicted vibration transmission is stronger than measured. © 1996 Academic Press Limited.