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The car features drivers say their next motor must have

by Press room

Motorists have had their say on which features they must have in the next cars they own – and it suggests Britons are finding it difficult to get in and out of parking spaces.

A poll of 13,000 drivers found that parking sensors are top of the wish list, while rear-view and all-round cameras also made it into the list of the top ten most desired pieces of equipment.

Three in five motorists said their next vehicle must have sensors them to help them get in and out of bays, parallel park and negotiate three-point turns.

We reveal the rest of the top 10 ‘must have’ features drivers want in their next cars… 

The one car feature most drivers see as a 'must have' for the next vehicle they buy is parking sensors. Three in five say their next motor needs to have them

The one car feature most drivers see as a ‘must have’ for the next vehicle they buy is parking sensors. Three in five say their next motor needs to have them

The second most important feature drivers want in their next cars is a built-in sat nav, which is a non-negotiable for 57 per cent of Britons surveyed by AA Cars. 

Meanwhile, nearly half of drivers say a heated windscreen – which makes defrosting on ice-cold days a breeze – is a crucial feature for their next motor.

While the popularity of the practical features come as little surprise, the percentage of drivers wanting one item of ‘out-of-date’ tech came as a massive shock. 

The second most important feature drivers want in their next cars is a built-in sat nav, which is a non-negotiable for 57% of Britons surveyed by AA Cars

The second most important feature drivers want in their next cars is a built-in sat nav, which is a non-negotiable for 57% of Britons surveyed by AA Cars

Just over half of drivers say a heated windscreen - which makes defrosting on ice-cold days a breeze - is a crucial feature for their next motor

Just over half of drivers say a heated windscreen – which makes defrosting on ice-cold days a breeze – is a crucial feature for their next motor

Despite the popularity of music streaming and the availability of syncing songs, albums and full playlists from a user’s phone to their vehicle via systems such as Apple Car Play and Android Auto, almost a quarter of drivers surveyed still want a CD player.

Considering by many as having fallen out of fashion, 24 per cent of motorists polled said a CD player is a ‘must have’ for their next vehicle.

However, there is a clear split in demand based on the age of motorists. 

Surprisingly, almost a quarter of the 13,000 drivers polled said their next car needs to have a CD player, despite the advances in streaming music via apps and bluetooth in vehicles

Surprisingly, almost a quarter of the 13,000 drivers polled said their next car needs to have a CD player, despite the advances in streaming music via apps and bluetooth in vehicles

CD players are most popular among older drivers, with 26 per cent of those aged 55 and over regarding them as non-negotiable in their next car purchase. 

By contrast, just 13 per cent of 18-to-34 year olds feel the need to play CDs in their next car.

Instead, the youngest age group regards Bluetooth connectivity — which enables music to be streamed from a mobile phone — as their most desired feature, with 66 per cent of drivers in this demographic listing it as a ‘must have’.

The AA Cars survey highlights how vital drivers regard technology to be, with 41 per cent of drivers wanting a rear-view camera in their next car while a similar percentage (38 per cent) want all-round parking cameras.

It's clear that Britons want more help with parking, with sensors, cameras and reversing screens high-up on drivers' wishlists

It’s clear that Britons want more help with parking, with sensors, cameras and reversing screens high-up on drivers’ wishlists

Other in-demand features include smartphone and device charging, with almost half (48%) of those polled saying their next car needs to have a USB port

Other in-demand features include smartphone and device charging, with almost half (48%) of those polled saying their next car needs to have a USB port

Other in-demand features include USB charging (48 per cent), cruise control (33 per cent), heated seats (28 per cent) and the simple – but effective – cup holder (25 per cent).

Mark Oakley, director at the AA’s car sales website, says many of the in-demand features listed as ‘must haves’ by drivers were previously premium-priced options that are now commonly standard fit across many recent models.

‘Parking sensors, which emerged as the number one ‘must have’ among UK drivers, are widely available in cars manufactured by the country’s favourite brands, including Ford and Volkswagen,’ Mark explains. 

‘As more nearly-new vehicles make their way onto the second-hand market, formerly top-of-the-range tech like parking cameras is becoming increasingly accessible.’

However, Mark warns that drivers shouldn’t be ‘dazzled by gadgets’ when shopping for their next car on the second-hand market.

Instead, the priority should be the history of the vehicle and ensuring it has been well maintained and not missed service intervals.

‘Skipping your due diligence when buying a car increases the risk you will miss a serious problem that ends up costing you money down the road,’ he warned. 

‘If you’re not a mechanical expert, it is always worth booking a professional, impartial vehicle inspection to check the car thoroughly and ensure everything is working as it should.’

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