An average of £129 worth of personal items are being left in the cars of female motorists on a daily basis – not surprising when you consider that over half (60 per cent) of women view their car as an extension of their home, with 85 per cent admitting to regularly leaving personal items in their car that belong in a wardrobe rather than a foot-well.
The research conducted by Sheilas’ Wheels, that offers car insurance for women, discovered that 38 per cent of women leave at least four personal items in their car on a regular basis, with a further 18% admitting to leaving seven or more!
The growing ‘after work’ culture amongst office workers means that more than a quarter (27 per cent) of women regularly keep a change of clothes in their car and one fifth hoard make up in their vehicle. Since we have almost doubled the number of leisure activities that we undertake in the last fifteen years, cars are often cluttered with hobby-related items too. The top five personal items most likely to be left in a car by a female motorist – many relating to potential trips to the gym - are:
Shoes may come second on the list, but it’s not just one pair of shoes we’re talking about…over two thirds (67 per cent) of UK female motorists have up to four pairs of shoes in their car at any one time – whether they be trainers for the more sporty female, stilettos for that after work drink, or even a sensible driving shoe, they all contribute to the clutter in our cars!
Not only are the personal items left in cars a big attraction for thieves, but they are also putting the lives of drivers, and their passengers, at risk. A staggering ten per cent of female motorists have had an accident or experienced a ‘near miss’ as a result of stray personal items rolling beneath their pedals. The top five items that slip under car pedals while driving are:
Furthermore, personal items in cars can be hazardous in a collision. More than 189,000 women (1 per cent) have been injured in a crash as a result of being hit by a loose object.
Mothers are most at risk – with 11 per cent of parents stockpiling more than 10 personal items in the car, many to provide children with in-car entertainment. According to the survey, almost half (48 per cent) of mums regularly keep children’s toys in their car.
Jacky Brown at Sheilas’ Wheels, comments:
“Any personal belongings, whatever their value, that are left unattended in a car can be easy pickings for opportunistic thieves. To avoid a smashed window or a broken lock, we want to encourage all women to avoid using their car as a wardrobe on wheels and leaving anything strewn over the back seat, on display.
“But there isn’t just a risk of theft, female motorists seem unaware of the dangers of having personal items loose in the car whilst on the move. They could slip under the brake pedal or, in the event of an accident, become an in-car missile. As a rule, a de-cluttered car is definitely a safer car.”
Women in Wales are most likely to use their car as a dressing room, with 15 per cent storing evening clothes in the car for after work. The South East has the most gym-bunnies with 16 per cent of female motorists storing their gym kit in the back of their car.
And female Londoners have the most expensive personal possessions, with an average of £143 worth of goods per car and a shocking 17 per cent with more than £250 of valuables in their vehicle.
Although Sheilas’ Wheels would urge women to clear their motor of clutter, there will be occasions when personal items are left in the car unattended - which is why Sheilas’ Wheels comprehensive cover provides up to £200 for personal possessions and a further £300 for handbags. For more information on Sheilas’ Wheels and the benefits it provides for female motorists, simply log on to www.sheilaswheels.com.