What is an electronic handbrake and how do they work?

Ever come across an electronic handbrake? Not the usual handbrake that you’d find in your car cabin, but seems they're becoming more and more popular in new cars these days.

Find out what they are and how they work here.

What are electronic handbrakes like to live with?

Gone are the days when you would strain yourself pulling up the lever and applying the handbrake in your car. Now, you can just flip a switch and electronics will be the brake for you. Who would have thought it would have ever have been that simple ay?

If you haven’t sat inside a new car for a while, then you might have a bit of a shock if you get into one now and see how much the handbrake has changed. These days you don’t even have to turn a key anymore to turn your car on, you can just push a button. The same goes for your handbrake now too, you can just push a button.

How does an electronic handbrake work?

You might not have realised it but the electronic handbrake has actually been around for years since around 2001 to be precise. It was the first to feature in the BMW 7 Series but it's so much more common these days.

Looking at your traditional handbrake, the lever tensions a cable when it’s pulled up. This cable is what squeezes everything together and holds your car in place. It doesn’t matter what system your car uses, it's still the same principle. You pull your handbrake, the lever locks the rear wheels, and the car won’t move when you don’t want it to, it’s as simple as that.

Now, electronic handbrakes, actually work on the same basis, would you have ever thought it? They work the same, but the only difference is they use electric motors instead. Just press or pull the button and that’s it. You’re sorted.

Normally, when you pull away, your electronic handbrake will disengage. There are some exceptions to this of course like some require you to manually disengage the handbrake when the engine is switched on or when it's in reverse.

Or you could find yourself in a manual with an electronic handbrake, wouldn’t that be a laugh. This might take some getting used to at first, but you’ll get used to it in no time and it will soon become second nature.

Do you need it?

It’s completely down to you whether you think you need one of these sassy electronic handbrakes. Some drivers prefer the traditional lever but others like the idea of an electronic version. One o the great things that an electronic handbrake is good for is those dreaded hill starts.

Those cars that have been fitted with an electronic handbrake will find that they really do benefit from a hill-hold system, which means they don’t tend to roll back if they’re on a hill. Who wouldn’t love that? Imagine pulling away and your hill-hold system on the car kicks in meaning that the car won’t roll back for a couple of seconds. That would be great, wouldn’t it!

Convinced? Saving you more space in the cabin so that you can add any other extra little features, if you fancy getting rid of your current car and its traditional handbrake, why not let us help you with that.

Pop your reg number by here to find out how much your car is worth and watch your offers for your car roll in. We work directly with the best car buyers from within the UK to provide you with the best deal. You'll have your car sold in no time and the cash to show for it.

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