From parking sensors to CD players, what drivers demand in their next vehicles

Closeup power socket and adapter charging phone battery on the center console in private care

It appears that Britons are finding it tough to enter and exit spaces based on the features drivers claim they must have in the next cars they own.

Parking sensors were ranked first in a survey of 13,000 drivers, while rear-view and all-round cameras were also in the top ten most requested items of equipment.

To help them in and out of bays, parallel park, and complete three-point turns, three out of five drivers indicated their next car must include sensors.

The Mail Online reveal the rest of the top 10 ‘must have’ features drivers want in their next cars:

  1. Parking sensors (60%)
  2. Sat-nav (57%)
  3. Heated windscreen (53%)
  4. USB charging (48%)
  5. Bluetooth connectivity (47%)
  6. Rear-view camera (41%)
  7. Parking cameras (38%)
  8. Cruise control (33%)
  9. Heated seats (28%)
  10. Cup holders (25%)

A built-in navigation system is the second most important feature drivers desire in their next vehicles and is a must-have for 57% of Britons polled by AA Cars.

A heated windscreen, which makes defrosting on icy days a breeze, is cited by nearly half of drivers as a key feature for their next vehicle.

While the popularity of the useful features is not particularly surprising, the number of drivers who wanted one piece of ‘out-of-date’ technology came as a huge shock.

Nearly a quarter of drivers questioned still desire a CD player, despite the prevalence of music streaming and the possibility of transferring entire playlists, albums, and songs from a user’s phone to their vehicle using systems like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

In spite of being widely seen as being out of favour, 24% of drivers surveyed stated a CD player is a “must have” for their upcoming car.

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

The majority of CD players are used by older drivers, with 26% of those 55 and over saying they will not compromise on getting one in their future vehicle.

In comparison, only 13% of those between the ages of 18 and 34 feel that their future vehicle must play CDs.

The most sought feature, according to the youngest age group, is Bluetooth connectivity, which allows music to be streamed from a mobile device. 66% of drivers in this group identify it as a “must have.”

According to the AA Cars poll, 41% of drivers want a rear-view camera in their next car, while 38% want all-round parking cameras. This shows how important drivers believe technology to be.

Other popular features include heated seats (28%), cruise control (33%), USB charging (48%) and the straightforward yet useful cup holder (25%).

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.”

When looking for their next car on the used market, Mark cautions drivers not to be ‘dazzled by gadgets’.

The history of the car and making sure it has been properly maintained and has not missed service intervals should take precedence.

“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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