Why do I need "Handsfree" ?
During 2001 it became illegal in the UK to hold a mobile phone whilst driving and attracted a fixed fine of £ 30.00.
From March 2017 the law was changed to increase the fine to £ 200.00 and add 6 penalty points.
The legislation also prohibits the reading and sending of text messages & emails whilst in charge of a vehicle (even when stationary in traffic).
The use of a handsfree car kit is permitted as long as the phone is not held or touched, except when in a holder.
Which handsfree is best for me ?
Use this page to select which type of handsfree kit suits your needs.
There are 5 main choices:
Fully installed handsfree kit with Charging Phone Holder
Available from manufacturers, such as, Nokia, SonyEricsson, THB and Motorola. These handsfree car kits have a holder which also charges the phone when it is in the holder. Some kits also have the option to connect an external antenna for improved reception.
Optionally, the handsfree speech can also be heard through the front vehicle speakers and also mute the stereo during calls.
Fully installed Bluetooth Handsfree Car Kit
A more universal solution ideally suited to customers who change phones regularly. As the connection to the handsfree car kit uses a Bluetooth (low power radio) connection, different phones can be used with the same car kit. Automatic connection when the vehicle is started (and disconnection when stopped).
Most Bluetooth kits will permit at least 3 phones to be paired (and possibly up to 8) - this means that different people can use the same vehicle and enjoy the benefits of handsfree conversation.
Optionally, the handsfree speech can also be heard through the front vehicle speakers and also mute the stereo during calls - some kits have this feature as standard (subject to vehicle type).
Transferrable handsfree car kit
A handsfree car kit that can easily be transferred between vehicles and are ideally suited to uses where you do not have a dedicated vehicle.
Typically, the kits can be plugged into the cigarette lighter socket and can either be phone specific or use a Bluetooth connection. Sun visor mounted temporary kits are also available, as are those for use on the desk at the office or home. Limitations include lower volume level and built-in microphone which is not located in the ideal position.
Available from many manufacturers. These are generally worn around the ear and have an internal re-chargeable battery. Can be used in the car as well as the office (or just about anywhere). Simple operation but can be uncomfortable to wear for extended periods. Batteries will need to be re-charged. Can be prone to accidental damage when dropped
The simplest handsfree solution - a simple wired earpiece. Useful where the phone does not have Bluetooth. Disadvantages include uncomfortable earpieces, the need to either wear for extended periods or to find and plug in when on a call. The wire is also prone to wrapping itself around the steering wheel / gearstick. Ideal where the budget is limited.