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Where can you find the UK's cleanest cars?

calendar Published on: Thursday, 11th October 2018 | female icon Author: Rebecca Taylor

When you rack up the miles behind the wheel, it doesnít take long for dust and dirt to build up on your car. So, whatís your approach to vehicle cleanliness? Perhaps you have a laissez-faire attitude - or maybe you canít stand even a smidgen of muck on your motor.

Digging down into motorists' car cleaning habits, Compare the Market conducted a survey to see how vehicle washing routines differ across the UK. Keep reading to discover what the company found, and to get some top tips to help you clean your car like a pro.

Drivers who aren't put off by a little dirt

Based on the survey results, Compare the Market calculated that a staggering two million motorists across the country have never washed their cars, while 4.7 million drivers have neglected this chore for at least the last year.

More than a quarter of those polled said they prefer to do the gardening and even the household bills admin than get stuck into spongeing down their cars, while nearly one in five revealed they would rather wash the dog than reach for a chamois to shine their motor.

There were big differences in habits across the country. Drivers in Oxford were the least likely to give their vehicles a once over on a regular basis. One in 20 respondents in the city admitted they only clean their cars once every 20 years. Now thatíll take some scrubbing! Fellow university town Cambridge took the second dirtiest spot. Just over seven per cent of people there said they have never thoroughly hosed down their motors.

Also featuring in the top 10 least clean areas were Norwich, Leicester, Bristol, Edinburgh, Swansea, Sheffield, Worcester and Southampton.

While many drivers didnít like the idea of cleaning their cars themselves, a considerable number were also reluctant to delegate this task to others. In Swansea, more than half of those polled said they wouldnít pay someone else to wash their vehicles.

While many drivers didnít like the idea of cleaning their cars themselves, a considerable number were also reluctant to delegate this task to others. In Swansea, more than half of those polled said they wouldnít pay someone else to wash their vehicles.

Sparkly motors on show

At the other end of the spectrum, Aberystwyth took the top spot for most frequently cleaned cars. More than a quarter of drivers polled in the Welsh market town said they had scrubbed their motors within the last week. Car pride was also on display in Gloucester and Birmingham, which took the second and third spots. In Gloucester, nearly two in five drivers said they did this chore every three months, with the majority of motorists hosing their vehicles down a minimum of once every six months.

Coventry came in at number four. Levels of car cleanliness in the city must be high - with less than a fifth of respondents there admitting to ever having drawn pictures or written messages on another car because it was dirty enough to do so. Drivers in Liverpool also showed dedication to keeping their cars spotless, with nearly half of drivers polled in the city saying they spend a minimum of half an hour to an hour attending to their vehicles in this way.

Glasgow, Aberdeen, Belfast, Manchester and York also made the top 10 in terms of car cleanliness.

How to scrub your car like a pro

No matter where you live, there are lots of reasons to keep your car spotless, both inside and out. For example, as well as making it look great, caring for your vehicle in this way can help to preserve its value. It might even protect you from illness. In a recent blog post, we explored how cars can be riddled with viruses, bacteria and mould. Research carried out by a team at the University of Birmingham revealed that vehicles can carry more germs than toilet seats.

Of course, if you want to make your motor sparkle, the easiest option is to head to your local car wash, and if youíre prepared to splash some extra cash, you could arrange to have the inside of your vehicle valeted. But if you prefer the satisfaction of getting your hands dirty and doing this task yourself, the following tips should help.

Stock up on supplies

Firstly, make sure youíve got the right gear. It helps to have a bucket of warm water mixed with some car shampoo, a hosepipe or pressure washer, cleaning cloths designed for cars, a sponge, chamois leather, car brush, buffer, polish and wax. Other useful supplies include a windscreen cleaner, dash and trim cleaner, wheel cleaner and car vacuum.

Get the exterior squeaky clean

To clean the outside of your car, start by hosing off any loose grit or dirt and then wash your vehicle with the sponge and some soapy water - starting at the top and working down to the bottom. Once youíve done this, hose your car down. You can then get to work on the wheels using your wheel cleaner. Use a brush to clear any dirt and then hose down.

The best way to dry your car and achieve a streak-free finish is to use a chamois leather. Once itís dry, you can apply some polish using a buffer pad, and then add some wax to get it truly sparkling.

Don't forget the interior

When it comes to the interior, itís best to start by getting rid of any rubbish and removing and shaking out your car mats. You can then vacuum the seats and floors, making sure to get into all the cracks.

After this, go over the interior of your windows with a windscreen cleaner and then wipe down the steering wheel, dashboard, window trims, gear stick, handbrake, door handles and cup holders with a trim cleaner. For a professionally valeted look and feel, you could go a step further and give your seats a once over with an upholstery cleaner.

Whether you take your motor to a car wash or you get stuck into this task yourself, itís well worth the effort if you want to enjoy a shiny, clean ride.


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