Embarrassment over car cleanliness affects majority of drivers: study

Jet Sanchez
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A recent study by Scrap Car Comparison has highlighted a surprising issue among car owners in the UK: a significant 60 per cent feel embarrassed about the state of their vehicles due to lack of cleanliness. 

This sentiment is especially strong among younger drivers aged 18 to 24, with 78 per cent admitting to feeling uncomfortable due to the untidy condition of their cars.

Young drivers and Tesla owners most affected

Tesla Model 3

The study shows that young drivers, possibly new to the responsibility of vehicle upkeep, and Tesla owners are particularly conscious about their cars’ appearances. 

Notably, 27 per cent of all drivers have declined to give someone a lift because they were embarrassed by their car's condition. 

Among Tesla owners, this figure jumps to 64 per cent, indicating a high level of concern about vehicle hygiene.

Impact of neglecting vehicle cleanliness

Alfa Romeo 159

Beyond embarrassment, failing to maintain a car's cleanliness can lead to more serious consequences. 

According to David Kottaun, Operations Manager at Scrap Car Comparison, neglect can cause substantial damage to a vehicle. Dirt and bird droppings, if not cleaned off promptly, can degrade paintwork and increase the risk of rust. 

This not only affects the car’s aesthetic but can also diminish its resale value and longevity.

Expert tips for keeping cars clean

Car wash

Dr Jonathan Cox, a Senior Lecturer in Microbiology at Aston University, suggests that both the interior and exterior of a car need regular cleaning to prevent damage and the build-up of harmful bacteria like E. coli. 

He recommends cleaning the vehicle as frequently as one might clean their home, emphasising the use of antibacterial sprays and wipes on high-contact areas such as the steering wheel and gear stick.

The insights from this research, which involved 1000 drivers in the UK, underline the importance of regular vehicle maintenance, not just for aesthetic reasons but also for health and safety. 

It's much of the same for Kiwis, as maintaining a clean car has become more crucial than ever in this post-pandemic era.

Mr Kottaun encapsulates the study's findings, stating: "Though some may joke about the state of their cars, it clearly affects many deeply. Regular cleaning is essential not just for aesthetics but for health and vehicle longevity." 

This study serves as a reminder of the broader impacts of vehicle maintenance, encouraging car owners everywhere to reconsider their cleaning routines.

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