All new passenger vehicles to come with DAB digital radio as standard

Aug 2020  RadioWorks Blog

dab digital radio

Today, (21st August 2020) Digital Radio UK announces that all the new passenger vehicles will come fitted with DAB radio as standard from 2021 following new regulations passed through Parliament.

The new legal regulations were approved by Parliament to support the mandating of digital radios in passenger cars in the UK. On 1st September 2020, The Road Vehicles (Approval) Regulations 2020 will come into force and implement the provisions of the EU Directive covering the compulsory fitment of digital radio in passenger cars and buses that come fitted with a radio. The regulation specifies the fitment of digital terrestrial radio broadcasting, rather than IP, and includes a 4-month grace period granting automotive manufacturers until 21 December 2020 to meet the requirement.

As of Q2 2020, 93.9% of new cars registered in the UK were fitted with DAB digital radio as standard, and the new regulation will require the remaining 6% of new cars to be fitted with digital radio. The regulation does not apply to commercial vehicles, which represent 5 million vehicles on the road in the UK. As of Q2 2020, 79% of commercial vehicles were fitted with DAB digital radio as standard, an increase from 62.8% in Q2 2019.

Mike Hawes, CEO, SMMT, said: “Vehicle manufacturers have rapidly increased the provision of DAB radio in new cars in the UK from only 5% standard fitment 10 years ago to nearly 95% today. UK drivers are able to enjoy the wide range of stations available on digital radio and the automotive sector will continue to respond to future consumer demands as in-car listening habits and technologies develop.”

Ford Ennals, CEO, Digital Radio UK, said: “We welcome the Government mandate for digital radio to be fitted in all new cars sold in the UK from the end of 2020. It’s a significant milestone in UK radio’s transition to digital and will ensure that drivers will be able to receive the full range of brilliant digital stations available in their cars. It also reinforces the position of DAB as the primary radio broadcast technology alongside FM and wouldn’t have been possible without the massive support of the SMMT and the automotive manufacturers who have already increased DAB fitment to nearly 95%.”

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