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We’re all in favour of a fancy media system for our car, but would we really forfeit life-saving safety features in return for sound entertainment?
New research from Whatcar.com reveals that motorists are actually four times more like to spec their car out with connectivity and media upgrades than safety features when specifying their vehicle.
In the survey, it was revealed that drivers were in favour of choosing ‘style over substance’ with six out of ten people failing to spend anything extra on safety features.
Despite the nation’s apparent preoccupation with road safety, drivers are currently forking out more for items such as sat nav, digital radio and Bluetooth rather than safety systems such as lane-keeping assistance and blindspot monitoring. Automated emergency braking (AEB) is the most popular safety system selected, but less than 20 per cent of drivers choose it as an option.
In contrast, 64 per cent of buyers will spend extra money on setting up sat-nav and half of all drivers upgrade to get a DAB radio – at a cost similar to the £200 estimated to install AEB. Comfort and styling features like heated seats and alloy wheels are also being prioritised in more specifications.
Jim Holder, editorial director of Whatcar.com, said: “When it comes to talking about what’s important in a car, most people are vociferous about how vital safety is. However, it seems to be a different matter when new car buyers are sat in front of the salesman.
“It’s beneficial to have creature comforts in your car, especially if you spend a lot of time driving. But it’s quite shocking to think that features which could save peoples’ lives are taking a back seat to having the right sound quality on the radio, especially when those items often cost around the same as the safety options.”