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Manual vs Electric Handbrakes

Manual vs Electric Handbrakes


New research shows that more cars than ever are employing space-saving devices

Manual handbrakes fall out of favour as manufacturers favour electronic systems

Fewer than four in 10 new cars are fitted with a manual parking brake, according to new research.

Only two manufacturers – Dacia and Suzuki – feature a ‘standard’ handbrake on every model in their ranges.

Research found that Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes and Porsche no longer offer any models fitted with a traditional manual handbrake.

Requiring less effort while offering a more secure hold over a car, an electronic handbrake also doesn’t need adjusting when a vehicle is serviced.

The removal of a traditional manual handbrake mechanism has also allowed manufacturers to free up more room inside the vehicles they manufacture.

An added feature of a typical electronic system is the inclusion of a ‘hill hold assist’ function, activating the handbrake when stationary on a gradient.

This makes for more straightforward and easier-to-execute hill starts.

Whereas a traditional handbrake uses a cable to draw in the brake shoes at the rear wheels, electronic ones use a switch to activate a pair of motors which then engage the rear brakes.

The findings, conducted by car-buying website CarGurus, analysed 32 mass-market car manufacturers, and their vehicles currently on sale.

Just 37 per cent of new cars have manual handbrakes, researchers found.


Which do you prefer - manual or electric?  Let us know in the comments below.