Car borrowers find pics, guns and booze, survey says

There's just no winning for the ol' Good Samaritan it seems. If a recent survey from online insurance hawker is any indication, lending your vehicle to a friend in need is likely to result in said pal snooping around your wheels. After surveying some 1,500 licensed drivers, the survey found that 63 percent of folks that had borrowed a car in the last two years had felt at liberty to open the glove box, center console, trunk or some combination thereof. Men were worse than women here, with 73 percent of dudes copping to peeking, compared with 44 percent of the surveyed dames.

Frankly, we're surprised that snooping number isn't higher across the board. More surprising still, however, is what the nosey borrowers found in the cars when rifling through those tucked away spaces.

A cell phone was the mostly likely item for snoopers to find, at 27 percent, and joined the boring section of the list with expired registration (23 percent) and insurance (19 percent) documents. "Surprising" photographs registered a healthy 26 percent, though what made them startling to the survey group isn't made clear. Meanwhile, cars with a gun (15 percent), illegal substances (17 percent) or liquor (23 percent) were menacingly frequent. A word to the wise: if you borrow your buddy's car and find a Glock, a dime bag and a three-quarters empty bottle of Old Crow in the trunk, make a mental note to spend less time on the road with him.

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People who borrow cars likely to snoop; here's what they find

September 30, 2013 (Foster City, CA) -- More than half of drivers who borrow cars do some snooping, and they run across guns, liquor and the occasional uncomfortable snapshot with surprising frequency, according to a survey commissioned by

In a survey of 1,500 licensed drivers, of those who had borrowed a car in the last two years, 63 percent had opened the loaned car's glove box, console or trunk. Half of those snoopers found something more interesting than breath mints and old roadmaps:

A cell phone, 27 percent
Surprising photographs, 26 percent
Liquor, 23 percent
Expired registration, 23 percent
Expired insurance, 19 percent
Medicine, 18 percent
Illegal substances, 17 percent
Gun, 15 percent
"If you're lending out your car, seriously consider taking out private items," said CarInsurance consumer analyst Penny Gusner. "This is particularly true if it's a man who will be driving off in your car."

Men opened the trunk, glove box or console 76 percent of the time. Just 44 percent of women did, the survey found.

Seventy-two percent of the snoopers said they mentioned their discoveries to the owner of the car. "Imagine that conversation," said Gusner. "Here are your keys back, and here's a photo I found."

Why are people snooping?

41 percent looked around the vehicle as they were storing something of their own
22 percent said they were rifling around for music
20 percent said they were just curious
17 percent were searching for the vehicle's insurance card
While borrowers were more likely to ask relatives for their keys, they were much more likely to snoop through the cars of their co-workers and love interests:

Relatives: 52 percent of vehicle loans; snooped through 56 percent of the time
Friends, 26 percent of vehicle loans, snooped through 67 percent of the time
Dating, 9 percent of vehicle loans, snooped through 77 percent of the time
Co-workers, 8 percent of vehicle loans, snooped through 79 percent of the time
Neighbors, 5 percent of vehicle loans, snooped through 72 percent of the time
Of those who have loaned their car to others, only half said they removed items beforehand for privacy reasons.

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Methodology commissioned a survey of 1,500 licensed drivers. The survey was fielded in July 2013.

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