- Only 8% of drivers believe their cars are potential germ-carriers
- But a study has shown that car interiors are 55% dirtier than keyboards
- Tests around the handbrake area found that there was an average of 200 living bacteria per square inch – including germs such as MRSA
For many people, those tiny crumbs of food buried around the car are a harmless hazard of eating on the move.
But new research might make people think twice about leaving their car in its current state.
The study has revealed that the inside of our cars are more than 50 per cent dirtier than our bacteria-infested computer keyboards.
Despite this, drivers still think cars are one of the cleanest possessions we own and only eight per cent are able to identify vehicles as potential germ-carriers.
The research reveals how motorists wrongly believe their car is clean and always forget to clean it.
The study, by online vehicle purchasing firm, SellCar.co.uk, found vehicles are 55 per cent dirtier than computer keyboards in our offices and at home.
It also found our cars are 2,144 per cent filthier than our smartphones.
Dr Joe Latimer, a lecturer in antimicrobial resistance at the University of Salford, Greater Manchester, carried out the study by swabbing parts of 20 cars including the handbrakes, gearsticks and various nooks and crannies.
Tests around the handbrake area also found that there was an average of 200 living bacteria per square inch – including germs such as MRSA.
The research revealed many of us let the dirt in our cars pile up by neglecting them and failing to clean them regularly
Some 54 per cent confess they clean it less than once a month and 61 per cent are oblivious to the germs that linger in their vehicle.
‘The Hygiene Doctor’, Dr Lisa Ackerley, said drivers are consistently unhygienic in the cars.
She said: ‘When you think of all the unhygienic things you see people doing whilst driving – picking their noses, coughing all over the steering wheel and eating food – we really ought to be cleaning the insides our cars more, particularly the hand contact surfaces.
‘People may be amazed that germs can be passed from human to human via everyday surfaces.
Dr Joe Latimer, a lecturer in antimicrobial resistance at the University of Salford, Greater Manchester, carried out the study by swabbing parts of 20 cars including the handbrakes, gearsticks and various nooks and crannies
‘All sorts of bacteria and viruses can get into cars which can linger on the steering wheel, gear stick, seats and other surfaces allowing them to be passed on to passengers and other drivers of the car.’
Mark Rogers, managing director of SellCar.co.uk, said: ‘Cars that are not taken care of will depreciate at a record rate in comparison to those that are regularly looked after.
‘It may start with a few germs and not clearing out the rubbish, but this can easily lead to odour lingering in the car that cannot be dispelled or rust accumulating on edges that will put off any prospective buyer and ultimately cause a car to devalue.’