• CarGurus research reveals just over a third of new cars have traditional handbrake
  • Only two mainstream manufacturers offer manually-operated parking brake on entire model range
  • Premium makers such as Audi, Jaguar and Land Rover have ditched handbrakes in favour of electronic systems

London, UK, 18th September 2018 - The traditional handbrake is reaching the end of the road as car manufacturers ditch it in favour of electronic parking brakes, according to research by CarGurus.

The online automotive marketplace created by TripAdvisor founder, Langley Steinert, found just 37% of new cars on sale in the UK today come with a manually-operated handbrake.

Only two mainstream manufacturers, Dacia and Suzuki, have a standard handbrake on every model in the range with the majority of car makers only offering the part on sportier cars or cheaper superminis.

Many premium car makers have phased out the part completely and replaced it with an electronic parking brake, while some use a foot-operated parking brake.

The CarGurus investigation found that Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes and Porsche no longer have any models on sale fitted with a traditional handbrake.

What does the handbrake do?

Both the traditional manually-operated parking brake and electronic parking brake serve the same purpose of keeping the vehicle stationary.

How the electronic parking brake works

An electronic parking brake is operated via a switch that replaces the traditional mechanical lever. This switch activates a pair of small motors which engage the rear brakes, making a whirring noise as they do so.

The benefits

Considered a luxury feature, the electronic parking brake requires less physical effort, holds the car more securely and doesn't need adjusting like the traditional lever. Most electronic handbrakes disengage automatically when you pull away plus they often offer an automatic hill-hold assist function, which is an additional safety benefit. The switch helps de-clutter cabins by taking up less interior space than a chunky lever on the centre console.

Manually-operated parking brake

The lever-operated handbrake might seem much more basic in comparison to its electronic equivalent, but for some drivers it is precisely this simplicity that is at the core of its appeal. Others meanwhile simply enjoy the mechanical interaction it offers, and at the very least a manual handbrake should evoke memories of learning how to successfully perform a hill start.

Speaking about the research, Chris Knapman, editor at CarGurus UK said: "It's official, the death of the handbrake is coming as manufacturers switch to electronic parking brakes in huge numbers.

"Within the next few years we expect the number of cars on sale with traditional handbrakes to decline further, likely only to be found on a select number of niche models. Of course, the benefits can't be ignored, but as the latest technology trickles through manufacturer line-ups, many new drivers might never experience one of the most familiar of automotive features. The temptation to attempt flamboyant handbrake turns is soon to be a thing of the past too!"

CarGurus has the fastest growing audience among large automotive shopping sites in the UK*.

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For further information, please contact:
James Drake at CarGurus - / 0208 9397779 / +44 07809657178

*Source: comScore Media Metrix, Multi-Platform, UK, percentage change in average unique monthly visitors from Q2 2017 vs Q2 2018, compared against,,, and sites.

About the research

Research findings based on analysis of 32 mass-market car manufacturers:
Alfa Romeo, Audi, BMW, Citroen, Dacia, DS, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault, SEAT, SKODA, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Vauxhall, Volvo, VW

How CarGurus Works:

CarGurus helps car shoppers search local car listings and quickly find great deals from top-rated dealers. Every day, the company analyses millions of data points on hundreds of thousands of UK car listings to calculate each car's Instant Market Value (IMV) or fair retail price. This data is used in combination with dealership ratings from other shoppers to rank and rate available cars results based on the quality of the deal: Great, Good, Fair, High or Overpriced. The site also provides transparency on how long the car has been on the forecourt and if it's had a price drop. Consumers can contact dealers directly.
About CarGurus

Founded in 2006 by Langley Steinert (also a co-founder of TripAdvisor), CarGurus (Nasdaq: CARG) is a global, online automotive marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of cars. The company uses proprietary technology, search algorithms and data analytics to bring trust and transparency to the automotive search experience and help users find great deals from top-rated dealers. CarGurus is the largest automotive shopping site in the U.S. based on monthly unique visitor traffic (source: comScore Media Metrix Multi-Platform, June 2018). CarGurus launched in the UK in 2015 and has the fastest growing audience among large automotive shopping sites in the UK.* In addition to the United Kingdom and the United States, CarGurus operates online marketplaces in Canada, Germany, Spain and Italy.
CarGurus® is a registered trademark of CarGurus, Inc.

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James Drake