DAB Radio explained

  • Find out why you need to start thinking about digital radio
  • Benefits include more stations and pause/rewind functions
  • Not all car manufacturers offer the technology as standard

When you are considering optional extras to include on your next company car, digital radio, or DAB radio as it is also known, should be one of the key features to look out for.


Digital listening is growing fast and now makes up 36.1 percent of all radio listening hours while digital listening in cars is at its highest ever level (10.9 percent of digital listening), up 38 percent year on year.

Around £10 million is being spent on a consumer communications campaign to help accelerate the take up of digital radio.

Digital listening needs to account for at least 50 percent overall radio listening hours before the Government will announce dates for a full digital switchover which, considering the rate of growth, shouldn’t be too far away.

What is DAB Radio?

DAB is similar to analogue but provides in most cases clearer sound quality, more radio stations and no frequencies, making it easier to tune to stations.

Listeners in most major towns and cities in the UK can receive between 30 and 50 radio stations with digital radio. In many cases that's more than double what's available on analogue.

Digital Radio benefits

  • Ease of tuning
  • On-screen information, so you can find out what’s playing and who the DJ is, unlike most FM tuners 
  • More choice
  • The end of confusing frequencies - a DAB digital radio displays the stations by name
  • Pause and rewind functions available
  • Some tuners allow you to record your favorite programmes or even plan your listening up to seven days in advance

Making sure the car you pick includes digital radio is important because if the switchover is confirmed soon it may leave you without radio until it’s time to order your next company car.

Quite a selection of manufacturers already offer the technology as standard including BMW, Audi and Volvo while others offer the technology as an optional extra.

With the possibility of a digital switchover happening soon we believe more and more car manufacturers will offer DAB radio as standard and that it is worth considering, especially if you travel for long journeys.