Any new car that’s sold from December 2020 must be fitted with a Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) compatible radio, according to new Parliamentary legislation.

The decision to make DAB radio mandatory on new cars means the UK now falls in line with the European Electronic Communications Code Directive, which was originally introduced by the European Union.

Currently only five percent of all new cars don’t have DAB, meaning for many manufacturers, there shouldn’t be too much impact. However, the new rules will apply to all category M vehicles which include minibuses, coaches, ambulances and motorhomes.

The DAB radio requirements will not apply to cars built or sold before December 21 this year.

Ford Ennals, CEO, Digital Radio UK, told Radio Today: “We welcome the Government mandate for digital radio to be fitted in all new cars sold in the UK from the end of 2020.

“It’s a significant milestone in UK radio’s transition to digital and will ensure that drivers will be able to receive the full range of brilliant digital stations available in their cars.”

Currently the UK has one of the world’s biggest digital radio networks with over 500 transmitters, three national DAB ensembles and 48 local and regional DAB ensembles with over 250 commercial and 34 BBC radio stations.