Holding Icon What Does Digital Radio Switchover Mean for Cars?

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

What Does Digital Radio Switchover Mean for Cars?

Why do we need a digital switchover for radio?

Digital Radio Switchover

DAB is set to replace analogue radio, or 'FM.' Switching to digital broadcasting will open more space on the airwaves and offer a greater choice of stations to listen to. Most national and regional stations will be making the jump to DAB, although there will be a few that remain on FM.

When is the digital radio switchover date?

Although we know the switchover is aimed for 2015, the government hasn't planned an exact date yet. However, there are three criteria that need to be met before we're given the thumbs up -

  • National digital radio must match FM coverage (currently 98%)
  • Local digital radio must reach 90% of the population and all major roads
  • 50% of radio listening must be on digital radio platforms

When all three of these happen, the switchover will go ahead within 2 years.

What does the digital radio switchover mean for drivers?

Future cars are likely to come with DAB radio as standard. For now, existing cars will still only pick up FM or AM. Halfords stock a range of DAB units that can be fitted into your car, letting you listen to all new stations that become available, as well as FM broadcasts.

What is DAB coverage like on the roads?

DAB, much like FM, varies depending on the area. It is getting better and better though, with the aim of all major roads being covered before the switchover takes place. Picking up an antenna is the only way to get a decent DAB signal - having one on the outside of the car or the inside of the windshield is ideal.

How can I upgrade my car radio to DAB?

Upgrading to DAB can be done in one of three ways. The first is an external device that attaches to the windscreen, letting you play DAB through your system, whilst the second (a hidden adapter) also uses your stereo, except you can navigate stations using your car's built-in controls. A fully-fitted DAB radio is the most comprehensive change, operating as part of your car rather than an add-on; they often come with lots of extra features too.