RAC

What do drivers most want in their next car?

What people would like to have in their next car is not as obvious as it would first seem and there is a link between what people are familiar with and what they want.

Motorists when given a choice will choose convenience and comfort over safety. The 2008 survey showed that motorists are very receptive to having the latest in-car technology - and do not want to return to former low level technologies such as non-electric windows (4%) and individual door locking (4%).

But the most desired safety features are those motorists are most familiar with, more airbags - all round: front (93%), side (89%) and rear (82%) and ABS (88%). Newer technologies are seen as less desirable, even if they provide the same or greater safety benefits. For example over a third of motorists could either do without ESP or don't know enough about it to be able to make a decision. Motorists also rated CD player (89%) and SatNav (63%) as more desirable than collision warning (55%) and lane departure warning (41%).

High mileage drivers are better informed about what technology can do and how to use it. But they also want the things that make driving easier, more comfortable or efficient and therefore the number who want SatNav, climate control, Bluetooth, voice command controls and CD players is high.

Desirable technology

Safety items:

  • Airbags:
    • Driver and front passenger 93%
    • Front side impact 89%
    • Rear 82%
  • ABS 88%
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system 74%
  • Brake assist 73%
  • Whiplash protection 73%
  • Parking sensors 71%
  • Seatbelts with sound and warning system 69%
  • Intelligent protection system 68%
  • Blind spot sensors 68%
  • Electronic stability control/ESP 64%
  • Hazard warning lights - automatic 61%
  • Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) 60%
  • Adaptive front lighting 59%
  • Collision warning 55%
  • LED rear lights 52%
  • Adaptive cruise control 52%
  • Intelligent speed adaption 45%
  • Lane departure warning 41%

Comfort/convenience:

  • In-car entertainment

An overview of external advances

Motorists' understanding of technology in their cars