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New records for in-car DAB

More cars than ever are being sold with DAB as standard, growing to 92.4% of new cards sold in the last three months.

That's according to data from industry analysts CAP and The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. This is up from 90% in Q1 2018 and 86.8% in Q2 2017, and means that 2.2 million new cars with DAB have been sold in the last 12 months.

The month of May saw a record high of 92.9% of new cars with DAB as standard, driven by model launches around the key registration plate change period of March/April. For example, manufacturer Dacia, who did not fit any models with DAB as standard 2 years ago, launched the new Dacia Duster with DAB as standard, while Hyundai, previously offering 60% of their range with DAB as standard, added DAB as standard to the new Kona model.

Earlier this week, new European rules that would force all new cars to support digital radio passed a further hurdle, and is expected to be given the final green light later this year.

Digital Radio UK says "there has never been a better time for drivers to listen to digital radio in their cars." The industry body anticipates an increased interest in digital radio amongst drivers due to the great live commentary of the World Cup football matches on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, as well as on talkSPORT and talkSPORT2.

According to Rajar Q1 2018 data, 23.7% of all radio listening takes place in car. Vehicle manufacturers made the decision to fit digital radio in new cars in response to the increasing popularity of digital radio, the increase in the number of exclusive digital radio stations, and the expansion of DAB transmitters to cover the major road network.

Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, said:
“It’s great news that the number of new cars with digital radio as standard is now at 92.4% and we are grateful to car manufacturers for their on-going support. Our priority now is to continue to work with broadcasters and the automotive industry to develop the digital in-car radio experience and ensure we preserve radio’s place on the dashboard in the emerging connected and IP- enabled driving environment.”