Despite increased importance on general hygiene, new research reveals that drivers clean their cars less than five times a year on average. 

A recent study by Cazoo, the UK’s leading online used car retailer, which makes buying a used car as simple and seamless as buying any other product online, surveyed 2,000 UK car owners to investigate the nation’s car cleaning habits. The findings show that car owners only clean their entire vehicle once every 11 weeks. 

More than two in five (41%) claim they would like to clean their cars more often but just don’t have the time, which could be why many are also opting for quick fixes to get their motors clean. Almost half say they hang an air freshener (46%) and over a third (34%) admit to spraying their seats with an odour-eliminating spray to keep their cars clean.

Almost one in five of those surveyed (19%) admit they only give their vehicle a clean if someone else is getting into it, while nearly a quarter say they don’t care what their car looks like to others (22%). Shockingly, a quarter of respondents (25%) admit to sneezing on their steering wheel and not cleaning it up afterwards while 20% confess to spilling a drink and leaving it. 

Residents in Gloucester have been revealed as the dirtiest car owners, admitting they only clean their entire car every 22 weeks. This is followed closely by Coventry and Oxford residents who clean their vehicles every 17 weeks. 


Cities where drivers clean their car least often:


City Average time in weeks
Gloucester 22
Coventry 17
Oxford 17
Brighton & Hove 16
Wrexham 16

However, it’s not all bad – Scots are the cleanest drivers in the UK, with both Aberdeen and Glasgow cleaning their cars on average once every seven weeks – the most frequent across the UK. There are also some parts of the country which are home to self-proclaimed ‘clean-freaks’. Drivers in Wrexham (48%) and York (41%) are most likely to admit to being a clean freak when it comes to keeping their cars spotless.


Cities where drivers clean their car most often:


City Average time in weeks
Aberdeen 7
Glasgow 7
London 9
Manchester 9
Liverpool 10


While most opt to clean their cars themselves, some also choose to have it done professionally. Those under the age of 24 are more likely to pay someone else to do the work for them, spending £25 per month on average – or £300 per year. In comparison, those over the age of 55 only spend £8 per month on average. 

Cazoo swab tested one driver’s vehicle to find out how much bacteria could be found inside a typical car, with pretty shocking results. The lab that tested the swabs found organisms commonly found in the gut of animals and humans on the steering wheel, gear stick, glovebox, floor mats and seats of the car2. Environmental-type organisms such as mould were also found on the backseat.

For tips and tricks on how to keep your car clean, click here:



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