RIP Handbrake Turns

Mon 22nd Nov 2021

Manual handbrakes on cars are fast being phased out according to a new report, with very few manufacturers putting a traditional manual handbrake in their new models.

Research published this week reveals that 83 per cent of new models in showrooms have electronic parking brakes, up from 76 per cent in 2020.

While an electronic handbrake may seem like a good thing, a simple development of new technology across new vehicles, the cost of repairing the new style handbrakes is far higher than a traditional one.

Data provided by MotorEasy suggests that the average cost of repairing a faulty electronic handbrake is £831, compared to just £149 to repair a manual handbrake - a huge difference of £682.

Big brands such as Volvo, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz no longer sell any cars with a manual handbrake, while only one car brand, Abarth have all manual handbrakes - but they only have two models.

And with the Premium car brands most likely to employ the highest spec technology it will come as no surprise that they also cost the most to repair. An electronic handbrake in a ten-year-old Range Rover could set you back an eye-watering £2,005, the priciest repair of all. But it’s not all about the high-end brands, even Dacia, who claim they won’t employ unnecessary technology, have included an electronic handbrake in their latest Sandero supermini.

“Last year we forecasted the existence of the manual handbrake on new cars only has a few years left, and our latest data causes us no reason to believe otherwise with there being an even greater decline in 2021 than there was between 2020 and 2019,” said Chris Knapman editor of the Manual Handbrake Report.

“The rapid shift towards electric vehicles will only speed up the demise of the manual handbrake, leaving many traditionalists who are looking for the tactile feel and mechanical simplicity of a manual handbrake scratching their heads.

“Nonetheless, for drivers looking to enjoy this feature, there are still certain models of new cars available with manual handbrakes across a range of classes.”