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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.’

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