May 23, 2010 19:00 ET

It's Official-Women Are 'Rubbish' Drivers

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - May 23, 2010) - An astonishing 20% of female drivers - one in five - have never bothered to clean the inside of their car, according to Swinton.

The UK's leading high street car insurance retailer polled 3,000 female customers and discovered a whopping 78% of women are embarrassed about the state of the inside of their car with 18% claiming that they leave it to the professionals for a proper valet or to their partners, dads or any other willing party.

The most common rubbish left to accumulate inside vehicles includes empty food wrappers, empty bottles and cans, spare change, old car park tickets, magazines and newspapers and empty cigarette packets.

Even MOTs and services didn't prompt 30% of female drivers to give their car a spring clean. Forty eight percent said they would clean up their motor if they had to give a client a lift but wouldn't bother for a colleague, friend or family member. Yet, if it came to selling their car, 98% said they would ensure their car was thoroughly cleaned both inside and out.

Cleaning the interior of a car also came out bottom in a list of preferred chores which included ironing, hoovering, dusting, doing the weekly shop, defrosting the fridge and cleaning windows.

While some women are happy to drive around in cluttered cars, figures show they expect more from their male counterparts. 82% of women said they would be put off a potential fella if he turned up to pick them up in a messy car on their first date.

Steve Chelton, Insurer Development Manager at Swinton said: "We would always recommend people try and keep their cars as tidy as possible as any personal items on display can attract thieves. Evidence shows that thieves are more likely to target a messy car as they believe the owner may have left valuables lying around in the glove box or elsewhere in the vehicle. Not only that, but from a safety perspective rubbish such as empty bottles can easily roll under the pedals impeding driving and possibly cause an accident."

Swinton's top five tips for keeping your car clean:

1. Try and empty your car of rubbish every day or at least once a week. Don't let it build up and keep a few carrier bags in your glove compartment to put your rubbish in.

2. Use a damp towel to clean interior door panels, the steering wheel and the dashboard as this is where germs collect. Using a glass cleaning product and damp cloth go over the windows inside and out in a circular motion. Use a proper car glass cleaner not household glass cleaner to avoid smears.

3. Use an old soft paint brush or old toothbrush to remove dirt and crumbs in cracks and vents.

4. To get rid of the smell of cigarettes, spray an enzyme based, odour-counteracting spray throughout your vehicle.

5. Vacuum the interior of your car once a month as dirt and grit can build up and break down your carpet fibres.

About Swinton

  • With 580 branches nationwide Swinton is the UK's largest high street insurance retailer
  • Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and part of the community
  • Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of its clients, offering home, car, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike and even classic car insurance
  • With a dedicated team of advisors on hand at every branch to search a panel of insurers to offer quality cover at competitive rates

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