This Staple Of Old School Driving Is Almost Dead

Tue 29th Nov 2022

While electric vehicle sales have significantly impacted manual gearboxes in vehicles, another staple of the older driving generation has suffered something of a quieter death.

New analysis has revealed that just  13 per cent of new cars feature a manual handbrake, and its use is continuing to fall.

According to the CarGurus research, 87 per cent of new cars are supplied with an automatic handbrake, up from 63 percent in 2018 and 83 per cent in 2021.

The Citroen C1, Nissan Micra, and Peugeot 108 have all been dropped in the last year, contributing to the decline. BMW recently dropped its X1, 2 Series, and M4 Convertible vehicles, all of which had a manual handbrake. As a result, BMW's entire line now uses an electronic parking brake rather than a manual one.

Many other brands such as Volvo, Peugeot, and Mercedes, no longer provide a manual handbrake on their vehicles. While Audi’s A1 is the only model in their range that does not feature an electronic one.

Abarth is the only manufacturer that provides a manual handbrake on all its models—and even that will be altered later in the year when an electric 500 is released.

“The fifth instalment of our Manual Handbrake Report shows the number of new models featuring a traditional handbrake has continued to fall,” CarGurus UK editor Chris Knapman said

“Since 2018, we have seen a 24 percentage point fall in the number of new cars being fitted with a manual handbrake.

“It was always likely that the expected 2030 ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars would spell the end of the manual handbrake – the question now is whether it can even last until then.”