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How Clean Is Your Car?

how clean is your car

New research by reveals how parts of our cars are harbouring disturbing amounts of dirt, with the stereo unveiled as the area containing the most bacteria.

With people spending an average of four years of their life in a car, and being in clean environments more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, swabbed ten key touchpoints in ten different vehicles to discover whether our cars are as clean as we think they are.

Following the testing, can reveal that the five dirtiest areas of cars are as follows:

RankArea of car
2Gear stick
4Steering wheel

To provide a comparison, also swabbed an office toilet seat to determine how the levels of bacteria compared to that of inside cars.

This revealed that car stereos are on average 371% – nearly four times – dirtier than a toilet seat. Gear sticks were also revealed to be over three times, or 331%, dirtier than a toilet seat.

The research also compared parts of a family car to that of a worker’s van. Surprisingly, parts of the family car were shown to be twice as dirty as the work van.

The inside door handle of the family car had 196% more dirt than the van, while the car mirror was 52% dirtier.

Dan Hutson, head of motor insurance at, said: “During the COVID-19- pandemic, it has never been more important to uphold good hygiene standards, such as washing your hands thoroughly and disinfecting surfaces.

As our research shows, it is important that people don’t forget to disinfect their cars, as they can harbour far more bacteria than one might expect. It is good practice to clean the inside of cars with chemical cleaning products, microfibre cloths, and a vacuum cleaner.

Wiping down car surfaces in the same way that you may clean your kitchen or door handles in the home is paramount in order to avoid the spread of germs and bacteria.”

“On top of this, dirty cars aren’t just health issues: they can also lead to accidents. For example, a dirty windscreen or mess on the dashboard can impair vision and make it harder to see upcoming objects on the road. In fact, in extreme cases, a dirty and untidy car could even invalidate your car insurance if you are in an accident.”

To find out more about the research, go to: