RAC Cars News


Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness

By raccars Published

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Unless you are one of the super fastidious individuals from TV series 'Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners,' the chances are your car is right now a teeming hive of nasty bugs and bacteria. That's according to research by scientists at the University of Nottingham's department of microbiology, which was commissioned by car finance firm, Carfused.com, to investigate the state of the nation's cars.

The microbiologists swabbed car seats, steering wheels and foot wells, the results of which were analysed in a laboratory, to show the presence of a number of potentially dangerous bacterial inhabitants. Among the nasties lurking in the cars were Staphylococcus and E. coli, which are famous for causing food poisoning and skin infections. The examination also showed the presence of mould in a number of the cars, which can provoke respiratory infections and aggravate respiratory conditions like asthma.

The invisible bugs can be found even in cars which look on the surface to be clean and tidy, as well as those which look like mobile rubbish tips. However, most car owners claim their children, friends or pets cause most of the dirt in their vehicles.

Of 300 motorists surveyed, about a quarter claim they clean their cars every few months or less, which would explain how the vehicles have become potential biological weapons. A fifth of parents claim they've stopped bothering to clean their car because they know their children will soon return it to its previous messy state. Almost 10% of British drivers confess that they use their cars as rubbish bins, dropping rubbish in them and not bothering to pick it up later. Food and drink spilled in cars needs to be cleaned up quickly before it sets and becomes impossible to remove.

More than half of car owners say they are not ashamed or worried about the mess in their cars and regularly eat while driving, which accounts for the 5% of drivers who have admitted finding rotting food items in their vehicles.

Keeping your car clean is not simply a matter of pride or health, it can prove a financial advantage when it comes to resale time. A tenth of used car buyers claim they would not buy a car which appeared to be dirty and 20% claim they would not pay as much money for a dirty car.

Don't wait for the car to become a tip, tackle the causes of dirt as it happens. Keep a plastic bag in the car as a makeshift bin, plus a packet of anti-bacterial wipes.

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