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It’s official – we’re a nation of car slobs! That’s according to research released today that shows 9 million1 British motorists treat their cars like a rubbish skip. From smelly sports kits to half-eaten sandwiches, 35% of drivers say they are happy to let the mess build up and only clear it out twice a year.

But the dirt doesn’t put drivers off from letting other people into their car. A staggering 93% of car owners say the state of their car wouldn’t stop them from giving a lift to a friend, taking the kids to school or parking in a posh area.

The survey, commissioned by Kia Motors , explores the filthy habits of the nation’s car owners and uncovers the clutter that collects in their boots and back seats. And the findings couldn’t come at a better time, as this week is National Spring Cleaning Week.

Top of the rubbish pile are clothes and shoes, with four out of ten owners (38%) using their car like a laundry bin, leaving anything from spare jumpers to dirty boots on the back seat.

Messy motorists are obviously not too worried about hygiene when they’re on the go – a third throw their leftover food and wrappers on the car floor (31%) and one in ten let their car ashtrays overflow with cigarette butts (9%).

And if you’re wondering what that smell is, then watch out for festering sports bags. Fourteen per cent confess to leaving their used kit in the car in between trips to the gym.
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Despite taking their work home, a third of drivers can’t manage to get it through the front door, leaving their paperwork, bills and receipts out on display creating clutter…and a potential security risk.

When it comes to cleaning the outside, car owners scrub up a bit better! Nearly half those questioned wash their car once a month (46%) and a super-clean fifth of motorists clean it once a week (18%). Yet there are still those who don’t mind a bit of dirt build up – 5% said they’d only clean it once a year and 1% said they’d never washed their car!

Other statistics
· A massive 82% of motorists are careless with their music collection, leaving loose CDs and cassettes littering the floor

· One in ten drivers tidy up their car just once a year (8%) and 1% said they’d only clean out their car when they came to sell
· Women are more likely to leave empty food packaging in their car then men – 36% compared to 25%

· Men clean out their car more often than women, with 44% tidying up once a month compared to 38% of the female respondents

· Nearly a quarter of men wash their car once a week (24%) compared to only 14% of women

· Women would be more embarrassed to give someone a lift in a messy car – 7% said they would refuse to do it if their car was untidy

Paul Williams, Managing Director of Kia Motors (UK) Limited said motorists should be ashamed at the findings. “As a nation, we’re known for being ‘house proud’ but we’re obviously not very ‘car proud’. It seems that our motors are showing up the messier side to the great British public! What better time to clear up the clutter than during National Spring Cleaning Week.”

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To get motorists to smarten up their act, Kia has put together some top tips to a tidier car…

1. Don’t let the rubbish build up – tidying little and often will keep your car clutter-free so keep some handy bags in the car to empty out rubbish

2. Dust down the dashboard and door panel with a damp towel - it makes the job easier and lifts off those sticky food and drink stains

3. Use a cotton bud to remove dust that builds up in the A/C fans. For the cracks in between the controls, use a toothpick and some tissue paper

4. Baking soda in the ashtray will keep down the odour of cigarettes and extinguish the butts quickly

5. A clean, dry paper towel and white vinegar will remove any dirty build up on the windows. When the glass is dry, polish it with crumpled newspaper as, unlike paper towels, newsprint doesn’t leave lint behind and the ink acts as a polish

6. Avoid washing your car with a hosepipe to save water – use a bucket and sponge instead. A product like Superguard, which is available from Kia dealers, repels dirt and means you don’t have to wash it as often

7. Sticky tape will pick up most crumbs from your carpet and upholstery and save you having to lug the vacuum cleaner outside!

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For further information, images or a case study please contact:

Jon Temerlies, Andrew Potter or Helen Lawson
icas PR
Tel: 020 7632 2400

Notes to editors:

1. There are 25,708,091 private cars in the UK and, of these, 35% only clean out their car twice a year which equates to 8,997,832 motorists (Source: Mosaic UK)

2. The research was carried out by Experian’s consumer research service Canvasse Opinion and used a quantitative online methodology. The fieldwork took place between 9th and 15th March 2006 with 1,536 respondents

3. Kia Motors Corporation ( -- the fastest growing automaker in the world -- was founded in 1944 and is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia aims to become one of the world’s premier automotive brands. Kia’s 16 manufacturing and assembly operations in 13 countries produce more than 1.1 million vehicles a year that are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 190 countries. Kia today has 30,000 employees and annual revenues of $14 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and an official worldwide sponsor of the Davis Cup

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