Material characterization is essential for finite element analysis (FEA) as the accuracy of the outputs of the simulation depends on the quality of the input material data. Conventional tests such as the uniaxial tensile test and uniaxial compression test have some drawbacks and limitations in characterizing tubular materials. In this paper, an improved methodology to determine the material properties of a tube based on lateral compression testis reported. Mechanical properties such as yield strength and elastic modulus were obtained from lateral compression experimental data. The material work hardening coefficient and work hardening exponent were obtained by inverse finite element analysis (IFEA). The proposed methodology was used to determine the material properties of an aluminium 6060T5 tube, and results were compared with those reported from uniaxial tensile tests. Comparison showed that the proposed methodology could be used to easily and accurately predict the tube material properties based on the lateral compression test.