The UK new car market has seen a 184% increase in the standard fitment of digital radio (DAB) in the first nine months of 2011 compared to the same period a year ago.

New data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and the residual value specialist CAP show that the drive to digital in the UK is well under way.   

The British Broadcasting Corp (BBC) has also confirmed that it will build coverage of its national services to 97%, including a focus on improving coverage on motorways and major roads in the country

Speaking at a conference to discuss the switchover to digital, SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt, said: “Significant progress has been made in developing the content and coverage of digital radio, driving consumer demand in the new car market.

“The massive increase we’ve seen this year puts us well on the way towards delivering our commitment to fit all new cars with digital radio by the end of 2013.”

He added:  “In the last 12 months, at least 14 car brands have announced plans to fit digital radio as standard but we must also ensure that plans are in place to support the 25m cars on the road that will need safe, reliable upgrades undertaken by accredited technicians.”