DAB radio in the car

Most new cars are fitted with DAB radios. However, if you are replacing your old car radio with a DAB receiver, you will need to check whether the existing car aerial is suitable for DAB. If not, you will need to install a DAB one.

Like all radio services, DAB reception can be affected by the area in which you are travelling. Unlike FM and AM radio, whose audio quality tends to degrade when there is a low or poor signal, DAB can suddenly drop out and the station you are listening to suddenly disappear.


To listen to DAB in your car you will need to ensure your aerial is able to receive a DAB signal. You may need to contact your car manufacturer to check. However, helically wound FM aerials are able to receive DAB.

The best place to put a DAB aerial is on the roof of the car and as far from the engine as possible, to avoid any interference.


If your car radio is showing no signal or no service for a station you usually receive, this could be down to one of the following things:

DAB Transmitter Fault

If you know your location, you can use our transmitter checker to see whether there is a problem. If not, then check the radio and the aerial to confirm they are working correctly.


Poor DAB reception can also be caused by equipment used in the vehicle. For example, phone chargers or dash cams sometimes cause interference and affect your radio signal. Try unplugging the items to see if one of them is causing any interference.

Retuning & DAB Pre-set Stations

If you have bought a new car, the DAB radio may be tuned to DAB stations in a different location. Delete the presets and re-tune to the services in your area.


When travelling in the car, your signal can be affected by natural features of the land, for example, hills, valleys, rivers, etc. The signal should return once you move away from these features.