Cars with electronic parking brakes

Fancy a car with an electronic parking brake to take the strain out of driving? Here are some of the many top value options available to you

James Allen
May 9, 2022

As cars have become more technologically advanced, many features that would have been operated mechanically in the past are now being controlled with electronics. For instance, many new cars feature electric power steering systems instead of the hydraulic pumps that used to be widely used, and a lot of newer cars have got rid of traditional analogue instruments in favour of digital displays.

So rapid has this electrification of car features been, that even the humble manual handbrake lever is on its way to becoming a thing of the past. In its place are electronic parking brake setups, which allow the driver to keep the car stationary at the touch of a button.

For drivers who have never experienced an electronic parking brake before, it can take a bit of getting used to, though there are some perks to having an electronic system over a manual one. Most electronic parking brake systems are programmed to automatically disengage when you’re pulling away from stationary, which makes them a bit more straightforward to use in stop/start traffic or when doing a hill start.

Because they’re no longer wholly mechanical systems, electronic parking brakes can also have a few features that aren’t possible to have on a car with a manual lever. As an example, some electronic braking systems have a hill-hold function - this keeps the car’s brakes engaged for a brief moment when you’re doing a hill start, so you have a bit more time to balance your clutch biting point in manual models and apply enough accelerator force to pull away smoothly on inclines.

Because electronic parking brakes are so commonplace nowadays, a huge variety of new, nearly new and used cars feature them. Below are a few examples of some of the cars you’ll be able to find listed for sale on BuyaCar that come equipped with electronic parking brakes.

Best cars with electronic parking brakes

1. Dacia Sandero Stepway

Our pick Dacia Sandero Stepway 1.0 TCe Comfort
Used deals Limited stock

One of the most appealing attributes of the Dacia Sandero Stepway is that it’s a very affordable car, both as a brand new and as a used buy. Just because it’s at the more budget end of the car spectrum doesn’t mean it’s devoid of more advanced features; as its presence on this list shows, even the value-oriented Dacia can come with an electronic parking brake.

There’s a bit more to this system than just the ability to engage and disengage the parking brake at the press of a button, too. It also comes with a hill start assist function, which holds the car in place when it’s stationary on an incline while you move your foot from the brake to the accelerator pedal. If an electronic parking brake is a must-have feature for you on a Dacia Sandero Stepway, you’ll need to scout out models in the top-tier Comfort trim level - all the other versions of the Sandero Stepway came with a manual handbrake instead.


2. Honda Jazz

Our pick Honda Jazz 1.5 i-MMD Crosstar EX
Used deals Limited stock

Not that long ago, electronic parking brakes were generally the preserve of larger and more expensive cars. However, the technology has become much more widespread since then, to the point where even small hatchbacks like the latest Honda Jazz supermini are now equipped with them.

Being a small car with light controls, good visibility, an automatic gearbox and a tiny footprint on the road, the Honda Jazz was already very easy to drive around town, and the electronic parking brake makes it even easier to operate. The automatic hold function is a particularly handy feature, as it means you don’t need to have your foot on the brake pedal all the time when you’re stuck in a long queue of cars or waiting for the traffic lights to turn green.


3. Mercedes E-Class Estate

Our pick Mercedes E300de AMG Line
Used deals Limited stock

If you’re after a spacious estate car, then you’ll likely find a lot to like about the Mercedes E-Class Estate. Even with all the seats up, there’s an expansive 640 litres of luggage volume on offer, and this increases to a huge 1,820 litres if you fold the rear seatbacks down. Factor in the comfy ride, good refinement and the classy cabin, and the E-Class Estate promises to be a relaxing car to haul heavy loads on longer journeys.

Of course, if you plan on making the most of this Mercedes’ big boot, the E-Class Estate could become quite heavy and a bit trickier to pull away smoothly from a standstill. Handily, the car’s electronic parking brake has a few features to help out here; as well as an automatic brake hold function, which keeps the brake pressure applied after you’ve removed your foot from the pedal, there’s also a hill start assist that holds the car in place for a short amount of time in inclines, which reduces the risk of you rolling backwards when you’re trying to pull away on a hill.


4. Nissan Qashqai

Nissan Qashqai front three quarters view

Our pick Nissan Qashqai 1.3 DiG-T Tekna
Used deals Limited stock

A new version of the Nissan Qashqai family SUV is now available to buy, though it’s still a fairly new sight on UK roads so there aren’t many available on the used market - and the ones that are listed don’t tend to be that much more affordable than a brand new version, as a result. If you’re in the market for a used Nissan Qashqai, then, it may be worth keeping in mind the previous generation model.

While not as advanced as its successor, the outgoing Nissan Qashqai is still nicely equipped and offers good practicality. Plus, as it was a very strong seller when new, there are many examples to choose from. Electronic parking brakes were available on both the manual and automatic versions of the Qashqai, though there are a few differences to their functions depending on which gearbox type is fitted.

For instance, while the parking brake is automatically applied on manual cars when you turn the engine off, you’ll need to press the parking brake button before turning the engine off on automatic models.


5. Renault Captur

Our pick Renault Captur 1.0 TCe SE Limited
Used deals Limited stock

On paper, the latest iteration of the Renault Captur makes a tempting ownership prospect if you’re in the market for a used small SUV. Overall, it’s a pleasantly polished all-rounder that appeals with its striking looks, roomy interior and respectable performance for day-to-day driving.

The Renault Captur is very easy to drive, too; a combination of light controls, a comfortable ride and good visibility - thanks to the raised driving position - helps take the stresses out of driving around town. Pulling away from a standing start is straightforward as all versions of the current Captur come with an electronic parking brake - though you’ll need to go for the SE Limited or RS Line models if you’d prefer to have an auto-hold function that is able to keep the car stationary for you.


6. Seat Alhambra

Our pick Seat Alhambra 2.0 TDI Xcellence
Used deals from £19,690

The Seat Alhambra may be a very large seven-seater car, but it’s a surprisingly straightforward car to drive in built-up areas for something of this size. Yes, the length does mean the turning circle is a bit big, though the light controls and good overall visibility mean it’s not too tricky to accurately place the Alhambra on the road.

It helps, too, that the engines are more than punchy enough to keep up with in-town traffic - especially the diesels, which have enough low-engine-speed muscle to cope easily when all seven seats are in use and the boot’s crammed with luggage.

Making the Seat Alhambra a bit more stress-free around town is the auto-hold functionality of its electronic parking brake mechanism. When the system is engaged, it maintains the pressure applied on the brakes after you take your foot off the brake pedal, and automatically disengages when you start pulling away. This means you don’t need to have your foot on the brake pedal every time you come to a stop, which helps make the Alhambra a bit more straightforward to drive when there’s lots of traffic to deal with.


7. Vauxhall Meriva

Our pick Vauxhall Meriva 1.4T Exclusiv
Used deals Limited stock

One positive point from the switch to electronic parking brakes over manual ones is that it frees up a bit more interior space. With no lever mechanism to fit into the centre console, it means car makers are able to carve out additional storage spots between the driver and front passenger, to further improve upon practicality.

This is the route Vauxhall went down with the Meriva small people carrier; because all versions were equipped with an electronic parking brake, it meant that the void where a manual handbrake would normally be could be replaced with a decent size cubby. Because the Meriva lost value quickly when new, used versions of this Vauxhall people carrier offer an affordable way into a used car with an electronic parking brake.


8. Volkswagen Golf

Our pick Volkswagen Golf 1.5 eTSI Life DSG
Used deals Limited stock

As the Volkswagen Group is made up of a huge array of car companies - including Audi, VW, Seat and Skoda - a lot of technologies and features are shared across models from the multiple brands. As a result, the same electronic parking brake system from the Seat Alhambra mentioned above can also be found in the Volkswagen Golf family hatchback.

This means that when the auto-hold system is engaged, the Volkswagen Golf can keep itself stationary, so you don’t need to keep your foot on the brake pedal while you’re waiting for the traffic queue to move or traffic lights to turn green. Both the current version of the Golf and the previous version are equipped with electronic parking brakes, so you can still have a used Golf with this feature if the newer versions are out of your budget.


*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.


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