Less than a quarter of new cars have a traditional manual handbrake

The traditional manual handbrake is dying out as research shows that 76 per cent of new cars come with an electronic parking brake instead.

Mechanical handbrakes, which are usually operated by the driver pulling a lever in the centre of the cabin, have been replaced by electronic versions that use a small switch or button.

Online marketplace CarGurus found just 24 per cent of new cars had a manually operated handbrake, which is down from 30 per cent last year.

Dacia Duster
Dacia Duster

Dacia is the only mainstream manufacturer to offer one on all cars in its range, with most others only offering traditional handbrakes on small superminis or sporty models such as the Mazda MX-5 and BMW M2.

On the flip side, Alfa Romeo, DS, Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes, Porsche and Volvo have completely removed them from their ranges. Popular models such as the BMW 1 Series and 3 Series, Peugeot 208 and Nissan Juke have all recently ditched manual handbrakes.

Chris Knapman, editor at CarGurus UK commented on the research, saying: “It looks like the manual handbrake only has a few years left, as it continues its steady decline in the new car market, with nearly two dozen models removing it as an option over the last 12 months.

“We expect the number of cars on sale with traditional handbrakes to decline even further over the coming years, as it continues to be relegated to a feature across a select few sporty and small-volume models. Though the manual handbrake may soon be a thing of the past in brand-new cars, its demise might see some buyers dip into the used car market for some nostalgia.”