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.
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…