Motorists spend £100 to ‘personalise’ their car

New research reveals the average UK motorist spends nearly £100 personalising their car with accessories such as seat covers, soft toys and window stickers and, for some drivers, the desire to decorate their car could be putting them at risk of having a crash.

Monday, 13th February 2012, 2:24 pm

Women’s car insurance specialist Diamond surveyed 2,000 UK motorists on how they personalise their car. It found 57% have accessorised their car, with floor mats (35%), novelty air fresheners (15%) and humorous window stickers (14%) being the most popular. Only 4% admitted they have fluffy dice hanging from their rear view mirror.

Worryingly, seven out of 10 drivers with humorous stickers on their rear window, think they obscure their view from their window.

Diamond’s research found one in 10 (11%) motorists said they accessorise their car to stand out from the crowd. A similar number (13%) do it to express their personality. But the most popular reason why motorists accessorise their car is to make it more comfortable, one in three (29%) said they do it for this reason.

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Diamond managing director Sian Lewis said: “While only one in 10 motorists have added expensive performance enhancing modifications to their car, five times more are choosing to decorate their vehicle with mats, stickers and even fluffy toys.

“When you think how much time we can spend in our cars each week, you can understand why so many of us want to make them more comfortable or individual, but car accessories should never impede the driver’s vision in any way. If you are going to adorn your rear window with stickers or soft toys, make sure they don’t obscure your view.”

But personalising your car isn’t popular with everyone and for many, adding accessories and novelty items to a car is seen as bad taste. 29% of motorists think it is cheap and tacky to decorate your car in this way.

While more women (59%) than men (54%) adorn their cars with accessories, men spend on average £39 more than women doing so and are more likely to invest in pricier car graphics, wraps and special paint jobs. Women prefer cheaper items such as soft toys, floor mats and window stickers.

The average amount of money motorists spend on personalising their car is £99, but some take it much further. 11% spend over £200 and one in 100 have spent more than £1,000.

Adding accessories is certainly most popular with younger motorists. 18-24-year-olds are the most likely to have personalised their car (66%), Middle aged drivers in the 35-44 and 45-54 age brackets are the least likely to personalise their car (52%).

Sian Lewis continues: “A car can say a lot about a person’s lifestyle and perhaps even more so if the driver has chosen to jazz it up. Some might choose simple things like a novelty tax disc holders or air fresheners, but others choose to spend a lot more with graphics, tints and wraps.

“If you do have some of the more expensive accessories, it’s always worth checking with your insurer to see if they’ll make a difference to your premium.”