Out with the old

The traditional handbrake is reaching the end of the road as car manufacturers ditch it in favour of electronic parking brakes, according to research by CarGurus.

The online automotive marketplace created by TripAdvisor founder, Langley Steinert, found just 37% of new cars on sale in the UK today come with a manually-operated handbrake.

Only two mainstream manufacturers, Dacia and Suzuki, have a standard handbrake on every model in the range with the majority of car makers only offering the part on sportier cars or cheaper superminis.

Many premium car makers have phased out the part completely and replaced it with an electronic parking brake, while some use a foot-operated parking brake.

The CarGurus investigation found that Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes and Porsche no longer have any models on sale fitted with a traditional handbrake.

Considered a luxury feature, the electronic parking brake requires less physical effort, holds the car more securely and doesn’t need adjusting like the traditional lever. Most electronic handbrakes disengage automatically when you pull away plus they often offer an automatic hill-hold assist function, which is an additional safety benefit.

The lever-operated handbrake might seem much more basic in comparison to its electronic equivalent, but for some drivers it is precisely this simplicity that is at the core of its appeal. Others meanwhile simply enjoy the mechanical interaction it offers, and at the very least a manual handbrake should evoke memories of learning how to successfully perform a hill start.