AA – give us back temperature gauges, ditch electronic parking brakes

An AA survey of 21,000 members suggests drivers want better basic features, not more electronics.The two things people most wanted were temperature gauges and twin reversing lights. We totally agree about temperature gauges: on a hot summer’s day in a traffic jam, it is useful to know if an engine is starting to get hot, rather than a warning light telling you it’s too late and you have to stop.

The things they would happily ditch include an electric parking brake (70%), electric seats (66%), and rain-sensing wipers (56%), but only 9% would give up electric windows. The only thing that surprises us about those numbers is that apparently 30% of people like electronic parking brakes (more popular with women according to the survey). Everyone who has contacted us seems to hate the things – we know of one buyer who traded in his car for a lower-specification model just to get a mechanical parking brake.

Andy Smith, AA patrol of the year, said:

“Our members tell us it’s gone too far on some models and they want practical over frills. Having two reversing lights makes it easier to reverse down a dim narrow lane, for example, and a temperature gauge can help indicate when the engine is struggling, say when towing or crawling up a hill in heavy traffic.”

Men most want to keep heated seats, air conditioning and parking sensors, while women want to keep heated windscreens, electronic parking brakes and rain sensing wipers. Women are more tech focused and men want their comfort? That may come as a surprise.