New research from CarGurus reveals 80 per cent of drivers impose strict hygiene rules on their passengers

  • Almost a third of Brits (30 per cent) don’t let people eat or drink in their car
  • Just under a quarter of car owners (23 per cent) don’t allow any pets in their car and 63 per cent of drivers won’t tolerate smoking
  • A further 38 per cent of car owners admit they would think less of someone if their car smelt bad
  • Despite this, the average car in Britain only gets cleaned, both inside and out, every 7 months

Be it a faithful family car or first set of wheels, it’s clear Brits are very precious when it comes to their motors. That’s according to new research from the automotive shopping website, CarGurus, which found a whopping 80 per cent of Brits admit to imposing strict rules on their passengers in a bid to keep that ‘new car’ feeling*.

Follow the Rules

The research found that the top regimes imposed by clean-crazy Brits include no eating or drinking in the car (30 per cent), no pets (23 per cent) and a further six per cent don’t allow young kids in their car in case they make a mess. Furthermore, and perhaps unsurprisingly, 63 per cent of Brits won’t tolerate smoking in their car in an attempt to keep their cars feeling, and smelling fresh.

Regionally, drivers in Wales appear to be the hottest on car cleanliness, with just under a half banning food and drink in their vehicle (43 per cent), and over a quarter (27 per cent) not allowing pets in their car. Brits living in London are most relaxed on the food and drink rule (24 per cent) and Scots are the most likely to let their pet pals ride shotgun (17 per cent).

However, despite the obsessive rule keeping, and need to retain the ‘new car’ feeling, it appears that Brits only clean their cars, inside and out, on average every 7 months. The research also revealed that UK drivers only consider their car to feel ‘new’ for just after a year after they purchased it – either used or new (13.1 months).

Keeping up Appearances

When asked what motivates Brits to keep their car in good nick, over half of drivers (52 per cent) said so the car lasts longer. But 18 per cent admit they judge someone by the state of their car and a further 16 per cent say they keep their car in a good state to make a good impression on others. Over a fifth (22 per cent) admit to thinking less of someone if they have a messy car, with a further 18 per cent assuming that if someone has a messy car, they must be a messy person.

Sarah Welch, spokesperson for CarGurus commented: “Our research has shown that Brits really do care about their cars, and for many, a car is seen as a reflection of its owner. Whether the rules the driver impose are considered extreme or not, it’s clear people want to keep their motors in a good state to help keep that ‘new car’ feeling. A car is a huge investment, be it new or used and so it’s important to keep it in the best possible condition to help retain its value for a future sale.”

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Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Pressat Wire, on Wednesday 8 February, 2017. For more information subscribe and follow

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Alison Lancaster
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New research from CarGurus reveals 80 per cent of drivers impose strict hygiene rules on their passengers