Bumper bar systems are important automotive structures to help protect passengers during frontal and rear collisions. This paper presents the outcomes of a numerical modelling study of a simple rectangular cross section bumper bar system using the explicit finite element code LS Dyna for a low velocity (16 km/h) centre pole frontal impact. The study utilises and compares a dual-phase steel (DP600) and two aluminium alloys (A16061T6 and A17108T6). A simple material model using isotropic elastic plastic material behaviour is utilised together with a failure criterion. When the bumper system weight is held constant by reducing the wall thickness of the steel bumper system, both aluminium alloy bumpers outperform the high-strength dual-phase steel.