Eight out of 10 new cars now fitted with digital radio

DAB radio was fitted in 84% of new cars sold last year. Picture: Volkswagen

DAB radio was fitted in 84% of new cars sold last year. Picture: Volkswagen - Credit: Volkswagen

The new car market is going through a digital radio revolution with DAB in 84% of models registered last year.

More than eight out of 10 new cars registered in 2016 featured the latest digital radios.

Last year, 2.28 million cars hit the roads with the kit fitted as standard – the first time the two million milestone has been reached, according to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Over the past five years, the number of newly-registered cars factory-fitted with digital radio has increased more than four-fold, thanks to major investment by manufacturers.

In 2012, 539,849 new cars – 26.4 of the total new car market featured the systems as standard.


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The figures for the following years rose annually:

2013 – 887,667 (39.2%).

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2014 – 1,374,402 (55.5%).

2015 – 1,878,973 (71.4%).

2016 – 2,276,211 (84.5%)

Motorists who opt for a car with DAB can now enjoy more than 400 digital radio stations.

The government has committed to switching off the UK's analogue radio signal when DAB coverage reaches 50% of radio listeners, but no date has been set yet.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: 'With increasing numbers of DAB-enabled vehicle models on the market, and new car registrations at record levels, more car owners than ever before are now able to tune into digital radio as they drive.'

Last year saw another record with 2,692,786 new car registrations – up 2.3% on 2015.

'While vehicle manufacturers have already shown they are committed to the digital revolution, the setting of a confirmed switch to digital date by government would considerably accelerate conversion of existing vehicles in use. This remains a sizeable job and, consequently, a significant opportunity for the aftermarket,' he added.

Are you reaping the rewards of digital radio in your car? Email motoring@archant.co.uk

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