How Clean is Your Car?

Written by: Nicola Taylor Content Coordinator, Asda Money 08 Feb 2021

Whether yours is the apple of your eye or just a way of getting from A to B, we all love a clean car. Both a sparkling exterior and a fresh interior make our driving experience that much better, so it’s no surprise that most of us like to spend time getting our cars cleaned.

To get a better idea of who keeps the cleanest cars and who doesn’t, we carried out a comprehensive survey of the UK’s car owners. In response, we got some interesting statistics back that paint a compelling picture of our nation’s car cleaning habits...

A clean car is a happy car


Cleaning a car can be a chore – but nearly half of the UK love making a thorough job of it. 67% of us clean our cars ourselves rather than pay a professional to do it for us – and 46% of those spend nearly an hour getting everything spick and span!

Out of everyone else, just 26% of the population pay a professional car cleaner to get down to the nitty gritty.

How dirty is too dirty?


We all have our own standards and our own idea of clean and dirty, but how bad do we let our cars get before we break out the sponge, hose and vacuum cleaner?

Over half of us – that is to say 53% of the UK – consider dirt and stones on the car carpet to be enough for us to reach for the cleaning products. 40% consider food wrappers and drinks bottles piling up to be their breaking point while a dedicated 29% would get things cleaned up if they spotted just a little bit of dust.

If you’re wondering who gets most of the blame for all this uncleanliness, children are high up on that list with 18% of car owners blaming their kids for bringing in the dirt, beating out pets who were only blamed 10% of the time.

Setting standards


So, we mostly keep things clean, but at what point do we actually get down to business?

Well, 37% of us will clean our car whenever we have the time, while 26% are more likely to wait until things get seriously mucky before getting their vehicle cleaned. Nearly one in five (19%) need to have their car clean and tidy at all times, while nearly 10% don’t care at all how dirty their car is!

To narrow that down geographically, Manchester is the best at keeping things tidy with 24% cleaning their cars every single week. At the other end of the scale, nearly 14% of Liverpudlians aren’t concerned about the state of their car.

The cleanest cars on the road


We all know about the stereotypes that come with each car brand. So how does that work when it comes to cleanliness and dirtiness? Which car brand owners are the cleanest?

Mini drivers love the idea of a clean car, with a third of them dedicating time very single week to cleaning their car inside and out. Similarly, 70% of Smart Car drivers put the most time in keeping things clean, spending up to an hour each session, while 40% of Land Rover owners choose to get their cars cleaned by professionals when things need freshening up.

Flip it to the other side of the scale, and we see that almost a fifth of SEAT owners aren’t concerned about how dirty their car gets, while nearly one in ten BMW owners don’t clean the insides of their vehicles.

The COVID Impact


COVID-19 has impacted our lives in so many ways – and that includes how we clean our cars.

With many people having more time on their hands, and perhaps a stronger awareness of germs and infection, nearly 44% of us are cleaning our cars more thoroughly in the pandemic. Young people in particular (66%) are putting in extra effort to keep everything germ-free and disinfected.

The move for cleaner cars during the COVID period is a smart move. With a shared airflow and numerous opportunities to spread germs with handles, steering wheels and other areas, keeping safe by cleaning your car after each journey you share with someone else can help protect you and your vehicle from potential COVID infection.

For more guides and articles about cars and car insurance,  take a look at our blog, and if you’re looking to compare car insurance with over 60 of the UK’s best car insurance providers, get a quote here.