Help & Advice

Back to results

What Does Digital Radio Switchover Mean for Cars?

Image for What Does Digital Radio Switchover Mean for Cars? article

The switchover is coming, so we've got the lowdown on what that means for motorists.

What Does Digital Radio Switchover Mean for Cars?

As the main form of entertainment for motorists, it's important to stay in the loop when it comes to DAB radio. Luckily, Halfords have got you covered!

Why do we need a digital switchover for radio?

DAB is set to replace analogue radio, or FM, at some point in the future. Similar to the TV switchover in 2012, switching to digital broadcasting will open up more space on the airwaves and offer a greater choice of stations to listen to. It's proposed that all national stations make the jump to DAB, although there will be a few local stations that will remain on FM. AM services will either move to FM or digital.

Why should I get a digital radio in my car?

DAB radio gives you your existing stations plus many more. As well as extra stations, you'll get improved functionality, clearer reception and easier tuning. Take a look at our guide to DAB radio to find out more.

When is the switchover happening?

Although originally planned to take place around 2015, there is now no set date for the digital radio switchover to happen. Instead, the government have set certain criteria that need to be met before the switchover can be planned. Those criteria are:

  • 50% of all radio listening must be digital
  • National DAB coverage matches FM coverage
  • Local DAB reaches 90% of the population

If current rates continue we're projected to hit these criteria towards the end of the decade, meaning the earliest a switchover could take place would be 2020.

How can I get digital radio in my car?

All cars can be converted to receive digital radio if they don't already. One way to do this is with a DAB adaptor - a device that attaches to the dashboard, letting you play DAB through your system. Another way is to fit a new radio that can receive DAB. They often come with lots of extra features too, such as aux-in and Bluetooth. Don't forget that you might need a DAB antenna if the adaptor or radio you have doesn't come with one.

Remember, we can fit your radio for you - just get in touch with your local store and ask!

What does the digital radio tick mark mean?

A radio with the digital radio tick mark tells you that the radio you're buying is an approved product which is future-ready. Radios with this mark can receive FM, DAB, and DAB+, which is a technology standard being adopted across Europe.

So there you have it! Now you're in the know, take a look at our range of DAB car radios and join a new world of stations!

View all DAB car radios