Clean car puts real shine on our mood

A survey showed 74% of drivers saying a shiny car was a quick way to make them happier.

A survey showed 74% of drivers saying a shiny car was a quick way to make them happier. - Credit: PA

A clean car makes us feel happier and three out of four drivers say a spotless car makes them feel better about themselves.

In a survey by car wash specialists IMO, 74% of drivers reported a shiny car was a quick way to make them happier, while only a minority said they would 'rather boil their head' than get their car washed.

Young drivers are the most likely to improve their mood with a car wash, with 85% saying that a shiny car gives them a boost.

The survey also found that drivers in Scotland are the most fastidious about cleaning their cars because 80% said they liked their car more when it's spick and span.

Wealth is no measure of how clean a car is kept as the survey found drivers with high incomes were also the most likely to have a dirty car.


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Dr Sandra Wheatley shed some light on the psychology behind the survey result.

'Our cars are very personal spaces. The make or model we choose to drive is generally accepted to imply our personality and vocation. The value of them is very often assumed to reflect our status in society. By having a clean car, are we telling the world how conscientious and/or reliable we are – a clean car reflecting a well-ordered mind?

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'Younger drivers, or those without financial security, may want to use every tool available to tell the world that they are worthwhile and worth getting to know. It follows that those financially comfortable, including retired drivers, don't feel the need to wash and polish their cars in order to feel proud.'

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