Nearly seven in 10 motorists would be ashamed to give a lift to a first date because of their messy cars, a study has found.
Research by car cleaning firm Simoniz found drivers are adapting vehicles to suit their busy lifestyles – but it is having a knock-on effect on cleanliness.
In a survey of 2,000 Britons, some 82% said they regularly eat and drink on the road while 77% revealed they had slept in their cars.
More than four-fifths (81%) of those questioned said they used their cars as a work space and almost a third (31%) admitted to getting changed in their cars, while another 28% said they use them for personal grooming.
Nearly half of those surveyed said they use their cars as a storage facility, with 44% admitting to keeping things stashed in their cars for more than six months.
More than half (58%) admitted their cars often get filled with rubbish and clutter, with the most common items being drink containers, food wrappers, newspapers, magazines and children’s toys.
Some drivers are so ashamed of their filthy cars they refuse to car share with colleagues (19%), get embarrassed in front of friends (21%) or would be reluctant to give a lift to a first date (69%).
Just 7% of those surveyed admitted they cleaned their cars themselves.
Simoniz brand manager Louise Seddon said: “These results really show how integral the car is to many people’s lives.
“Hectic lifestyles mean more and more Britons use their cars for much more than just travel. The car is now a place to eat lunch, catch up on urgent work or even grab a sneaky nap.
“But it seems many motorists simply don’t have time to declutter and clean. Drivers should really put aside a little more time each week to give their car some much needed TLC.”