Car Aerials, everything you need to know and best buys UK 2024

Which Vehicle antenna is best for my car? Electric telescopic, DAB bee sting and shark fin AM/FM/Cellular, where do you start?

The best car aerials in the UK can be found on our website, but how do you get the right one for you, and how do you get the best radio reception?

A Story of Two-Car Aerials

Two identical car antennae were fitted to two vehicles in different parts of the country.

Buyer one sent us a glowing review on how happy he was with the speed of delivery and quality of his purchase and how satisfied he was with all the new radio stations he can now receive.

 ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

Buyer two complains of poor reception and interference and believes he was sold an inferior aerial for his car. 😥

Identical products, what can be the problem?

Maybe the fitting?

Customer one cleaned the underside of the wing at the aerial hole down to the bare metal. He then used some graphite grease to protect the area from corrosion (waterproof and electrically conductive) on the aerial claw before fitting (making sure not to get any lubricant on the aerial mast)
This simple action ensured the antenna had the best possible ground plane effect and sent the optimum signal to the radio down a properly shielded coax lead.

Maybe the car?

If car one had a metal body, and Car two was a fiberglass sports car. Getting a decent ground plane on a plastic-bodied vehicle is not difficult. Some thin metal plate or tin foil earthed to a good ground point on the chassis will do the trick. You may still have to add more engine and instrument suppression to this installation.

Radio interference can manifest in three ways, Arial born, wiring or radiated. Good Earth and ground plane with a high-quality antenna cures the first one. If you unplug the aerial and the interference goes away, It's aerial born; if it's still there without the aerial, it could be wiring born.

Maybe Geography?

Certain parts of the country have poor reception, and there's nothing you can do about that, but if you follow all the tips above, you will give yourself the best chance.

 Antenna types

Radio antenna types include AM/FM/DAB/GPS/TV, and include Electric Telescopic, Hidden, Roof Aerials, Sharkfin, Windscreen Aerials, Wing Aerials, DAB Splitters, Adapters & Accessories.

Specialist antenna for your vehicle

Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Fiat, Honda, Mazda, Mercedes, Peugeot, Renault, Subaru, Toyota, Vauxhall, VW

Boost radio signal

How to improve radio reception by using only quality car antenna products from Alpine, Calearo, Celsus, CKO, Connects2, Hirschmann, InCarTec, Retrosound.

Does every car have an antenna? Why do some cars have no antenna?

Nearly every car has an aerial, even if you can't see it. Most modern cars will have the antenna hidden in the glass of the windscreen or rear screen, or side windows.

Which antenna is best for my car?

Let's start with the fully automatic universal electric antenna

If you have enough room in a dry part of the car wing or bodywork, then the convenient auto-extending mast in chrome or black finish is an excellent addition to any car.

We have quality aerials in standard or short stumpy (chrome or Black mast) and flexible remote body types for special applications like Jaguar XJ6.


The 12-volt negative earth motor drives a long flexible nylon-toothed rope (Purlon) to push up the multiple mast sections. There is a clutch which clicks for a short time when fully extended.

This friction clutch is why it is so vital to never oil or lubricate the aerial mast.

Clean, warm soapy water is all you should use.

These electric aerials are also simple to connect with only three wires. Black-Earth, Red 12-volt supply and Blue trigger wire go to the corresponding blue wire on the radio.


Motoring up the aerial without first ensuring the top nut is secure will mean the mast and purlon can squirt right out of the aerial. Difficult to get back in and invalidate the warranty. 

More help and information on Electric aerials here...

What is the best dab antenna for car?

So if you already have an FM aerial and want to fit a DAB radio into your vehicle why not use a DAB splitter? The Splitter takes the standard FM aerial and creates two Input leads FM & DAB with the correct aerial plugs for the rear of your radio.

Digital Audio Broadcast Antenna Splitter DAB1

On Glass DAB aerials work well, and body mount Beesting or Shark fin types are also popular. 

Hidden Aerials

Many Classic cars have no visible antenna and the owners want to keep it that way so look to hidden antenna solutions.

These may look like a good idea but in our experience the results can be patchy. If the vehicle is in a good strong signal area and there is no metallic surface covering the aerial module then you might get good reception, however fitting a DAB splitter to a hidden aerial is almost always a fail.

We have a full range of Classic Car aerials in stock ready to go. Bite the bullet and fit a proper aerial to your Classic, you won't regret it.

Adapters and Cables

Modern cars have a myriad of different types of aerial connector and cables. FAKRA Male & Female, BPN, ISO, SMA, GT13, DIN and so on. This chart may help. Table of connectors...

Why do car antennas need a ground plane?

A ground plane is a horizontal conducting surface that is flat or nearly flat and functions as a portion of an antenna to reflect radio waves from other antenna elements. To serve as a radio wave reflecting surface, the plane needs to be attached to the vehicle chassis to operate properly.

Plastic bodies cars suffer poor aerial signal reception and a ground plane can be made from Aluminium Foil Tape around the aerial hole and grounded.

Do's and Don't's of Car Aerials

Do make sure you take time to fit them properly on a clean surface for ground plane effect.

Don't lubricate the mast sections. Only wash with warm soapy water. Dry, clean mast sections will last longer. Oil kills electric Aerials because a friction clutch in the base hates lubricant.

Do try to fit a body mount aerial in preference to glass mount or hidden antenna types.

Don't test an electric aerial off the car without ensuring the top nut is attached. Failure to do so will send the mast and purlon (nylon drive) entirely out of the aerial body.

Do Contact us if you need help or are in doubt before making an aerial purchase.


Car aerials