ACCORDING to new research by rental company Flexed.co.uk, the worst offenders are men under 30 who spend long periods behind the wheel and virtually live in a rubbish bin, with discarded food, wrappers and tins in their vehicle.
They were given the low down on the worst offenders by garages, valet companies and washing businesses.
Single men and women are Britain’s messiest drivers, while taxi drivers and chauffeurs are the group that keep their vehicles in the best condition.
These professional drivers are far more likely to care for their cars and vans, while people who consider themselves “time poor” let their foot wells fill ankle deep with rubbish.
Garage mechanics, valets and car washers alike helped compile a top five and list of shame when it came to in-car rubbish and also praised the best.
“It’s clear that some people love their cars,” said Flexed spokesperson Mark Hall, “but for others it’s just a rubbish tip with a wheel on each corner.
“One mechanic told us he once threatened to fail a car on its MOT because there was so much rubbish he couldn’t get to the spare wheel. The owner was a young chap in a sharp suit, but his car was a mess.”
According to a phone and face-to-face poll with 1,250 people in the motor and valeting trade the least “car proud” drivers on Britain’s roads are:
• Single men and women under 30
• “White van” drivers
• Travelling salesmen
• Mums with young family
Young, single people were far and away the messiest drivers, with garage workers saying vehicles brimming with fast food wrappers, dirty clothes and muddy shoes are virtually a daily sight.
The type of mess also varies from group to group and ‘White Van Man’ will fill his vehicle with the leftover debris from a lunch on the move.
“At the risk of analysing an entire social group, it appears that some people’s chaotic, carefree lives lead to a lack of care for their cars,” said Mark Hall, “Their foot wells might as well just be litter bins. You can almost understand white van man and salesmen having messy vehicles, as they virtually live on the road, but for younger people, the argument that they’re ‘time poor’ just doesn’t wash. It’s just laziness.”
On the other hand, the following groups are more likely to turn up for a car servicing or a car wash with their vehicle already sparkling:
2. Taxi drivers
3. Over 55s
4. Young married couples
5. Classic car enthusiasts
Professional drivers tend to show a pride in their own cars as well as the ones they use for work. “It’s a respect for their surroundings, because their livelihood depends on it. You always remember a messy cab, and you never use them again.”
Filthy vehicles lose value,” says Hall, adding,”Laziness is hitting these drivers in the wallet.”