Women are worse than men when it comes to caring for their cars. Well over half (56%) of women leave their car unwashed for six months or more, as opposed to 44% of men. Women are also more likely to get someone else to clean their car than men: 7% pay for car cleaning as opposed to 4% of male drivers.

Dirty women

In a survey of over 1 000 motorists, 34% said they only washed their car inside and out once every six months. More than one in ten (13%) only clean the car thoroughly once a year, while 4% admit to never cleaning their car at all.

“Letting your car get dirty is a bad idea,” said Autoquake’s CEO, Dermot Halpin. “It doesn’t just look shabby: nasty deposits like birdlime can damage a car’s paintwork, while salted roads in winter can corrode alloy wheels. This kind of cosmetic damage can hurt the value of your car when you come to sell it on.

There are wide differences between the regions, too. Nearly 71% of drivers in East Anglia fail to clean their car properly for at least six months at a time. In the South West, 65% of drivers wait half a year or more before cleaning their car inside and out. Almost six out of ten (59%) are just as lazy in Yorkshire and Humber.

Drivers in the North East do most to keep their cars clean. More than one in five (22%) wash their car at least once a fortnight. Welsh drivers also like to keep their cars spick and span, with 21% getting the chammy out at least every two weeks. In London, the figure is 17%.

“We’re surprised that so few owners take pride in their cars,” commented Halpin. “Cleaning a car properly doesn’t take long, and when condition is so crucial to a used car’s value, it’s time well spent.”

Note from ed: How often do you wash your car? Send in your comments below.

(This research was done by Autoquake, the UK’s largest online car retailer.)