Forget Android Auto – parking sensors top the list of most wanted features for young drivers

Posted on 11/11/21 |

When drivers consider the best gadgets to have on their next car, it is great to see safety concerns are at the top of the list for young motorists. Added to the risk of damage to their car, cost of repairs and lack of spaces, maybe it’s no surprise that many motorists go to great lengths to avoid reversing into tight and tricky parking spaces.

But according to research by the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, young drivers are ready to kick parking problems to the kerb once and for all as they look for vehicles fitted with parking sensor technology.

In a survey commissioned by IAM RoadSmart of more than 1,000 drivers aged 17-24, young drivers were asked to rank a number of optional extras from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most important and 1 being the least important, when purchasing a new car. Indeed, parking sensors took top spot on young drivers’ wish lists, with an average score of 7.5 while Android Auto was surprisingly the least important.  

Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, commented: “Having grown up in an age of mobile phones and social media, 17–24-year-olds are a demographic who have embraced how technology can make everyday decisions and activities easier, and clearly this is no different when it comes to keeping it between the lines or squeezing into tight spaces.

“Crucially, parking sensors, also make Britain’s roads a safer place to be, as poorly parked or protruding vehicles can often obstruct the vision or restrict mobility of other road users.”

However, Neil went on to warn young drivers that parking sensors should not be a substitute for practising good driving habits: “Parking sensors don’t always work and still need the back up of looking all around, checking mirrors, signalling and expecting the unexpected.”

The survey also revealed that parking sensors are not the only form of technology that young drivers are looking for when purchasing a car. According to the research, Bluetooth connectivity (7.23), satellite navigation (7.19) and autonomous emergency braking (6.85) rank as the next most important technology features young drivers look for when purchasing a car.

Meanwhile, Android Auto (5.32) and perhaps surprisingly, the once popular sunroof (5.78) was ranked as the least important features by young drivers.

Neil concluded: “Technology will play a vital role in improving road safety in years to come, so it’s great to see that young people are looking for features which either directly or indirectly help with making Britain’s roads safer. Always buy the most modern car you can afford to make sure you reap the benefits of recent safety engineering improvements. We all think we are five-star drivers, but a five-star car could save your life when you make that one critical mistake.”

For more information about IAM RoadSmart, which helps to improve driving and riding skills through courses and coaching, visit  


When purchasing a car, rank the following features on levels of importance.

Parking sensors

7.55 (1st most important)



Satellite Navigation


Autonomous emergency braking


Fast USB Charging point


Heated seats


Lane departure warning


Apple CarPlay




Android Auto



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