How Often Do You Clean Your Car?

Jack Dreyer | Wednesday 25th October 2023 8:00am

'Wash me' written into the muck on the side of a car.

It’s time we ask you a question - and we’d like it if you answered honestly.

When was the last time you washed your car?

Now, we know it can be a contentious topic. It’s often the way that you either have a rigorous routine of weekend washing, with a 9-step process you follow to a tee, or you’re a ‘once-in-a-blue-moon, has it really been that long?’ kind of person.

And we get it - washing your car can take anywhere from half an hour to half a day, depending on how involved you make the process - and not everyone has the time to spare. Even if by some miracle they do, most of us can think of better ways to spend our time than washing a car.

The facts don’t lie either. A recent survey from Intelligent Car Leasing found that, of the 1490 drivers questioned, 26% claim they clean their car every 2-3 months, closely followed by 22% saying they clean their car every 6 months.

Perhaps most surprising - or concerning - is that 6% of the drivers surveyed state that they’ve never cleaned their car!

So, whose cars are cleaner - men or women?

Back in 2014, out of those who said they never cleaned their car, 57% were male and 43% were female - showing that the male half of the population took the least care when it came to keeping their cars spic and span.

Fortunately, however, it looks like things are improving. In an updated survey, conducted by Intelligent Car Leasing, only 6% of men and 6% of women admitted to never cleaning their car - a drastic improvement. The survey also found that the older generations typically were most on top of their car cleaning schedule, being the least likely age group to rarely or never clean their car.

Whereabouts you live in the country may also have a connection to how clean your car is as well. In the same study, people in the West Midlands were found to have the worst car cleaning habits, with 14% admitting to neglecting their motors for over a year. Londoners came out on top, with 56% of respondents claiming they clean their car at least once a month.

Why is having a clean car important?

While some may think of having a clean car as a bit of a status symbol - a chance to flaunt your shiny new wheels - there are actually a whole host of practical reasons as to why having a clean car is really important.

These reasons include preserving the lifespan of your paintwork, and preventing any rusty or peeling patches from appearing due to things like road grit, rain, and other natural residues degrading the exterior. But a clean car can also be a safer car.

Safe driving requires full, unobstructed visibility - which can be hindered by having a car full of half of your worldly possessions, or windows so dirty you can barely see out of them. Washing your car regularly, and making sure that you’re removing any unnecessary items from the interior, can help to make sure you always have a completely clear view of the road ahead.

Plus, if you want another reason to persuade you into emptying your mobile wardrobe out of the boot of your Fiesta, studies have also found that clean cars are actually more fuel-efficient - averaging a better mpg than their dirty counterparts. This is down to both the additional weight caused by having a car full of unnecessary junk, as well as the fact that passing air can move more freely across the surface of a clean car - encountering less resistance and lower friction, which helps to use less fuel overall.

Time to give your car some TLC

At Kwik Fit, we understand the importance of giving your car some TLC. If giving your car a nice clean has got you thinking about what else it needs, head down to your local Kwik Fit centre for some advice - whether it’s a brake check, an air con recharge, or an Interim or Full Service.

Any facts, figures and prices shown in our blog articles are correct at time of publication.

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