Matt Robinson profile picture Matt Robinson a year ago 57
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Most New Cars Have Ditched Manual Handbrakes For Electric

A study has found that only 37 per cent of new cars sold in the UK have a manual handbrake fitted

Remind me later
Will the manual handbrake soon be a thing of the past?
Will the manual handbrake soon be a thing of the past?

With more and more new cars switching to electric parking brakes, you can’t help but wonder just how many vehicles are left on sale with a traditional manual handbrake.

Thanks to a study from CarGurus, we now know - in the UK, it’s a dismal 37 per cent of new models, and it seems likely that proportion will fall further. Dacia and Suzuki are the only mainstream manufacturers to have the old-fashioned arrangement on each of its models, while Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes and Porsche now only sell cars with either electronic or foot-operated parking brakes.

Like many of its rivals, Audi now only sells cars with electronic handbrakes
Like many of its rivals, Audi now only sells cars with electronic handbrakes

It’s not hard to see why: in a lot of ways, electronic brakes are superior. There’s less chance of making a mistake with one, as a kick-off - it’s either on or off. Engaging/disengaging takes minimal effort, and most systems will release automatically if you pull away without turning them off. Finally, there are packaging benefits - a little switch is much easier to accommodate, after all.

That’s all well and good, but those benefits will seem like a weak consolation prize the next time you fancy a cheeky handbrake turn in an empty gravel car park…