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Five filthiest areas of your car’s interior

New research has revealed the parts of cars harbouring disturbing amounts of dirt, with the radio unveiled as the area containing the most bacteria.

A car stereo can be nearly four times (371%) dirtier than a toilet seat, closely followed by the gear stick (331%), claims the study.

Car stereo

In the contamination tests, researchers for swabbed 10 key touchpoints in 10 different vehicles to discover whether our cars are as clean as we think they are.

 Five dirtiest areas of cars 

RankArea of car
2Gear stick
4Steering wheel

To provide a comparison, an office toilet seat was also swabbed to determine how the levels of bacteria compared to inside cars.

The research also compared parts of a family car to that of a worker’s van. Surprisingly, parts of the family car were shown to be twice as dirty as the work van. The inside door handle of the car had 196% more dirt than the van, while the car mirror was 52% dirtier.

“During the COVID-19- pandemic, it has never been more important to uphold good hygiene standards, such as washing your hands thoroughly and disinfecting surfaces,” said Dan Hutson of

“As our research shows, it is important that people don’t forget to disinfect their cars, as they can harbour far more bacteria than one might expect.

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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