posted 10 years ago

New Car but no New Radio

FM radios will be obsolete at the big switchover

When you buy a new car you maybe faced with a costly technical upgrade because the radios will soon be obsolete. Most new cars are still fitted with the traditional FM radios which will become useless when the Government turns off the analogue signal and switches over to digital in under five years time.

It was announced at the beginning of June by Ministers that FM signals would be switched off by the end of 2015 when digital radio will become standard format in the UK. Motor manufacturers continue to fit cars with analogue because a final date for switchover has not been announced.

Top-selling models such as the Ford Focus and Mondeo, Fiat Punto, Volkswagen Polo, Peugeot 207, Vauxhall Astra and Renault Clio remain in the analogue age, though some manufacturers offer digital radio as an option for £200-£300 extra. Only some more luxurious models, such as the Audi A8, BMW M5 and M6, Jaguar XJ Sovereign and Land Rover Freelander come with digital radios as standard.

Installing a DAB digital system could cost approximately £300 as standard car radios are built into the vehicles electrical system and are difficult to replace. An obsolete radio won’t be a good selling point in five years time. Julie Sinclair, of Auto Express magazine, said: ‘Motorists wanting to sell their cars will have to upgrade their radios whether they like it or not. It’s going to cost them money.’


Consultation documents are just that... The reason car manufacturers do not fit DAB is down to cost and a lack of customer demand. The quality of DAB is like jumping from a record player (FM) to CD(DAB). The original FM radio stayed in my car for all of 2 days and was repalced with a DAB unit. Coverage can be patchy, but would never go back to FM or even Antique Modulation (AM).

this really useful to know!!!

If miss information is the best you can come up with, I would suggest you review your future.

Can't say I am very impressed with DAB as a car radio. Poor signal, interference and the sound is inferior to FM.

Typical alarmist journalism from someone who evidently does not have any technical understanding nor has she, if indeed she actually exists, any grasp of the current situation. The report referred to in the article contains a recommendation that FM services are switched off in 2015, not a definite decision. There is a considerable furore against this recommendation currently and with the poor state of current digital transmission equipment, which will require a lot of investment to put right, there is a fair chance that FM services will not be turned off in 2015.

I only bothered reading this to confirm my suspicions that it would be rubbish, and indeed it was. To whoever wrote this "other careers beckon", as the later Carroll Smith would have said.

I heard that there are no plans to tun off analogue radio broadcast. This is just scaremongering by digital radio andcar manufacturers to make us buy new models. The only reason TV analogue is being switched off to to reuse the bandwidth. Radio takes up very little bandwidth compared to TV so the saving in bandwidth are minimal so not worth bothering about.

This is poor, badly researched journalism.

It will be at least six years at the earliest before analogue stations move to DAB. Meanwhile there is already a low cost adaptor available to turn your existing analogue radio into a DAB receiver. "Top selling models such as the Ford Focus and Mondeo....remain in the analogue age." Not true. 50% of all Ford Mondeos, Galaxys and S-Max come with DAB as standard, and 25% of Focus also have DAB fitted. Upgrades on other Ford models start at £100. Some models of Insigna and Vectra also have DAB as standard. DAB is available as an upgrade from other manufacturers starting at £55.