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Words ByWill Nightingale

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You can't pick up DAB with any old car radio - you'll need a digital tuner.

If your car hasn't got one already (and the chances are it won't), you'll have to get an aftermarket unit fitted.

Aftermarket units
One example is the Pure Highway DAB Radio. It suckers to your windscreen, collects the digital signal and transmits it to your existing car stereo through either an auxiliary input or with an FM signal.

However, using the FM signal means you'll be back to bog-standard analogue quality. This isn't such a problem if you've got an average car stereo and just want a few extra stations to listen to, but it will be if improved sound is part of the reason you want to go to DAB.

Fit a DAB aerial
A better, but more costly, set-up can be had by swapping your car's standard stereo and installing a digital aerial. This is best left to the professionals, so budget for fitting costs, too.

Depending on the design of your car's stereo, it'll either take up a single 'DIN' (two inches high) or double 'DIN' (four inches) space in your dashboard.

Prices start at about 120 for the smaller unit and 250 for the larger one.

A DAB aerial will cost you around 40 and, unless you're a dab hand [ahem] with wiring, budget around 60 for installation, although some retailers (including Halfords) offer free fitting.

Fitting an aftermarket unit will work out cheaper than any factory-fit option, but you may no want to mess with the factory-fresh look of your car.

New car DAB options
Most manufacturers offer DAB options in at least some of their cars (see next page). You can specify it on the Vauxhall Astra, Vectra or Zafira for 450, for example. BMW will charge you 280 on most models. For a list of DAB options in new cars, click here.

If you're buying a new car and there's no DAB radio option in the brochure, you can still ask your dealer if they will fit one.

You may have to pay a bit more than at your local audio fitter, but it will save potentially voiding part of your new car's warranty.

Apart from the benefits of tons more stations and crystal-clear sound quality, your car will also be more desirable when you come to sell it.