Drivers warned: dirty cars ‘a breeding ground for bacteria’

Cars can be a breeding ground for bacteria
Cars can be a breeding ground for bacteria

Drivers across the country are being warned to regularly clean their vehicles after shock research showed how cars could become a breeding ground for nasty bugs and bacteria.

A new campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance car hygiene following the results of tests done on the inside of 15 cars which were found to be contaminated with environmental bacteria as well as yeasts, moulds and potential E.coli.

The interiors were swabbed by staff at who sent the tests to The University of Nottingham’s Microbiology Investigation Centre for analysis with some shocking results.

Amid the shards of fingernails, pet hairs and crisp packets, the cars of students, parents, office workers and van drivers were all found to be contaminated by an array of micro-organisms.

Furthermore, a poll, commissioned by, showed: a quarter of motorists (25 per cent) admitted to only cleaning their car interior once every three months, with a further eight per cent saying they never bother to at all.

While 10 per cent of people say they have vomited inside their motor, seven per cent own up to having had a pet go to the toilet inside the car.

Yet 60 per cent of people still eat food in their car, and six per cent say they have found long-forgotten rotting food hidden away in a corner.

The campaign has enlisted the help of Kim Woodburn, one half of the duo behind TV’s How Clean is Your House. She said: “I was absolutely horrified to find some of the gunk that was hidden under some drivers’ seats.

“The most worrying aspect is that most drivers seemed happily unaware –or just do not seem to care whatsoever – about the crawling presence of bacteria in their vehicles. I cannot stress how important it is to follow basic hygiene rules behind the wheel.”

The research revealed that nearly half of the people surveyed (49 per cent) candidly state they’re responsible for the poor state of their car – citing the foot wells (32 per cent) and boot (22 per cent) as the dirtiest parts. However, others accuse their children (36 per cent) and grubby friends (10 per cent). Almost one in 10 ( nine per cent) say they’re reluctant to clean their cars regularly, especially since their kids will mess it up again. While one in five (20 per cent) would pay less for a car if it appeared unclean.