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Digital radio named top accessory in poll

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Digital radio is the must-have item for motorists in their next car, according to a new poll conducted by What Car?

The digital radio option won against a number of other car accessories and options, including a reversing camera and mobile internet.

Digital radios are in fewer than 5% of cars today, but with increases in national DAB digital radio coverage and the launch of new digital-only radio stations, they are becoming increasingly popular.

In March 2012, 23% of new cars were fitted with digital radio as standard, compared with just 10% a year ago.

The automotive industry has been asked by the Government to prepare for a transition to digital radio, and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has said it expects its members to include digital radio as standard in most vehicles by the end of 2013.

New digital radio adapters that enable analogue car radio to be converted to receive digital radio are now widely available and DAB car audio sales increased by 40% in the three months Jan 2012-Mar 2012, compared with the same period the previous year, according to GfK.

Research conducted on behalf of the VW Group of 1,000 VW and Audi owners with digital radio has revealed high satisfaction levels (75%), with four fifths (82%) saying DAB digital radio reception is good or very good.

The research reflects the improving coverage of national digital radio stations and shows that less than 5% of motorists had issues with reception or coverage (this has reduced by two thirds since similar in-car digital radio research conducted one year ago).

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