We'll be the first to admit that we're not the most fastidious folks when it comes to a clean vehicle. It's not that we don't pride ourselves in having a clean-as-can-be car, it's just that there are more pressing things on our schedule most days. The good news is, we're not alone. According to research worked up by Autoquake – an online vehicle retailer in the UK – nearly half of drivers surveyed clean their vehicle in intervals of six months or more. Hey, even we aren't that bad. Even more interestingly, the poll found that women are more likely to leave their ride dirty than men.
Around 56 percent of the women in the study said that they leave their vehicle unwashed for six months or more while 44 percent of men said the same. Granted, leaving half a year's worth of grime to eat away at your vehicle's bodywork is bad, but it gets worse: Four percent of those surveyed said that they never clean their vehicle.

This lead us to wonder – how often do give your vehicle the once-over? Come clean in our poll below, and don't forget to check out the full press release from Autoquake after the jump.

[Source: Autoquake]

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20/07/10 from Autoquake

More than half of Britain's car drivers leave their car unwashed for six months at a time or longer, according to research by Autoquake, the UK's largest online car retailer.

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.

In a survey of over 1000 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.

"What's more, if your car is so dirty that the number plates become unreadable you could land yourself in trouble with the police," Halpin added.

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."

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