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New 'economy' cars will have additional safety features as standard. volvo
This is why new EU safety rules will make many new cars in Spain more expensive as of July
Motoring

This is why new EU safety rules will make many new cars in Spain more expensive as of July

These are the various vehicle types that must now leave the factory with eight mandatory safety systems

Jordi Martínez

Madrid

Friday, 26 April 2024, 14:03

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As of July the purchase of 'economy' cars in the European Union will be affected by the implementation of new safety regulations. Small and medium-sized vehicles with combustion engines of between 70 and 90 horsepower will experience a price increase. This is due to the mandatory inclusion of eight advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) in all new cars, as per the measure stated in EU Safety Regulation 2019/2144.

This regulation came into force on 6 July 2022 for vehicles to be kitted out in this way. Car manufacturers were given a two-year period of grace to change their production processes, so only now is this having an impact on the final cost of such cars. Manufacturers claim that the increase will be "not very significant" for most models, since 85% of models sold in Spain already include as standard involuntary lane change alert, 80% with AEB (autonomous emergency braking), and 62% have intelligent speed assistance (ISA), all of which are part of the new mandatory safety requirements.

Despite the retro-fitting of these systems, dealers expect price increases to be moderate, estimating increases of between 100 and 400 euros. The European Union estimates that these new ADAS will help to save lives, preventing more than 25,000 road fatalities by 2038.

New mandatory systems

From July, all new cars will have to be fitted with advanced safety equipment that includes several key technologies. These include Driver Drowsiness Detection (DDD), which alerts the driver when the sensors detect a loss of concentration due to tiredness, falling asleep at the wheel; Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), which ensures driver compliance with speed limits; and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), which monitors traffic when reversing.

Other systems added include a Lane Departure Warning (LDW), which warns drivers if they deviate from their lane without signalling, Automated Emergency Braking (AEB), which detect possible collisions with the vehicle in front. Next is the Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) that checks if the driver is over the limit, locking the ignition. The final two are seatbelt alerts for all seats and a black box, similar to those used in aircraft, placed on the vehicle chassis.

Vehicle prices in Spain on the rise

In the last year, the average price of new vehicles in Spain has risen significantly, from 21,829 euros in 2022 to 23,666 euros in 2023, according to data from the tax authorities. This 8.17% increase reflects the trend of continuous growth seen over the last four years, exacerbated by both the microchip crisis and the declining availability of vehicles, not to mention rising inflation.

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