Which Bit of your Car is Filthier than a Toilet Seat?

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

There are plenty of car components we think of as being 'dirty'. The engine's oily for a start, then there are the grubby wheel arches, the sticky fingerprints on windows and door handles, not to mention the exhaust fumes. But you might be surprised to learn about the other areas that are even more hazardous to your health.

The University Study

According to scientists at the University of Birmingham, children's car seats are home to 100 different types of germ per square centimetre. To put that into perspective, there are typically 50 different types found in the same surface area of a toilet seat. Worse still, stomach-churning bugs like E. coli and salmonella were found amongst the microscopic beasties.

With all the biscuit crumbs and spilt milk they leave in their wake, we're not totally surprised that our kids’ safety seats are a bit grubby. But sadly, the report says that the rest of the average car doesn’t fare much better. In fact, the footwell harbours thousands of germs per centimetre, making it the filthiest area of the interior, with the steering wheel not far behind.

The Survey

Overall, the university's sample found that cars contain more dangerous germs and fungal spores than you're likely to find anywhere in your home. So, does this show that we have a lax attitude to car cleanliness? That's what a supporting survey commissioned by Continental Tyres found.

Of 2,000 drivers questioned, 50% said that they regularly drive in a cluttered car and, worryingly, 10% admitted the mess had been a distraction while driving. Here at Swiftcover, there are no plans to start swabbing cars just yet, but we would advise giving yours a regular clean inside and out to avoid unnecessary car insurance claims.

Nearly two-thirds of motorists aren't aware that dirty cars pose a health risk, and 75% confessed to not cleaning the interior of their cars more than once a year. As Continental’s safety expert Mark Griffiths warns, “Many people are driving around in vehicles which resemble a rubbish tip without realising the hazards.”

So, if the clutter in your car is driving you to distraction, it’s prime time for a spring cleaning. Oh, and don’t forget to give the car seat cover a wash.



News Home

Swiftcover and swiftcover.com are both trading names of AXA Insurance UK plc, which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority