Lower-income motorists 'keep cleaner machines'
Well-off motorists tend to drive dirtier cars, according to an AA/Populus survey.
Only 6 per cent of car owners from professional and managerial backgrounds wash their vehicle once a week, compared with 8.5 per cent for lower-income owners.
The gap widens among those who clean their car twice a week, with 16 per cent of lower-income owners washing their vehicle fortnightly, but only 11.5 per cent of wealthier owners doing so.
A total of 3 per cent of the 18,080 AA members surveyed washed their car once a year or not at all. Among women drivers, this figure doubled to 6 per cent.
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According to the survey, drivers in Scotland and north-east England have the cleanest cars, with 11 per cent of owners in these places washing their cars every week compared with 4 per cent in London and in south-west England.
The survey found that 47 per cent wash their cars every couple of months or every six months.
Across the age bands, half as many younger drivers (22 per cent) than those aged over 55 (44 per cent) washed their car once a fortnight or weekly.
AA president Edmund King says: "Many drivers do take pride in their cars and their Sunday morning car wash has become a ritual.
"Keeping your car clean, particularly windows, lights and number-plates, can keep you on the right side of the law."