Brake news!

19 November 2021 | David Young

More than eight in ten new cars on sale in the UK today come without a manual handbrake as the decline of the fabled car feature continues

Brake news!

According to the third annual instalment of the CarGurus Manual Handbrake Report, manufacturers are continuing the switch to electronic handbrakes apace, with the proportion of new cars offering a manual handbrake falling to 17% in 2021, compared to 24% in 2020 and 30% in 2019.

Popular models including the Vauxhall Corsa, Seat Leon and BMW 4 Series have all dropped traditional manual handbrakes over the last year.

The manual handbrake study by CarGurus found that household names including Volvo, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz no longer have any new models on sale in the UK fitted with a traditional manual handbrake.

The departure of Mitsubishi from the UK car market and the increasing prevalence of EVs, which tend to use electronic parking brakes, are two of the main factors contributing to the latest drop of manual handbrakes.

Compared to last year, 2021 has so far seen an 86 per cent increase in Battery Electric Vehicles registered in the UK. Meanwhile, registrations of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles have increased by 90 per cent to 95,422, compared to 50,277 YTD in 2020**.

Abarth is the only manufacturer in the UK market to offer a manual handbrake across its product range.

Meanwhile, only 1 per cent of Audi's range has the option of a manual handbrake – the Audi A1 Sportback – while just 6 per cent of Peugeot's range offer the more customary braking system.

Chris Knapman, editor at CarGurus UK, said: "Last year we forecasted the existence of the manual handbrake on new cars only has a few years left, and our latest data causes us no reason to believe otherwise with there being an even greater decline in 2021 than there was between 2020 and 2019.

"The rapid shift towards electric vehicles will only speed up the demise of the manual handbrake, leaving many traditionalists who are looking for the tactile feel and mechanical simplicity of a manual handbrake scratching their heads.

"Nonetheless, for drivers looking to enjoy this feature, there are still certain models of new cars available with manual handbrakes across a range of classes."

Ten cars available today with manual handbrakes, recommended by CarGurus (one car recommended per car class)

  1. Coupe: Ford Mustang
  2. Sports Car: Mazda MX-5
  3. City Car: VW Up
  4. Supermini: Seat Ibiza
  5. Hot Hatch: Toyota GR Yaris
  6. Small SUV: Seat Arona
  7. Family SUV: Dacia Duster
  8. Large SUV: Toyota Land Cruiser
  9. MPV: Fiat 500L
  10. Electric: Nissan e-NV200 Combi

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