Nov 7, 2008

Revealed: The things people keep in the boots of their cars

A 13ft trampoline, hundreds of bags of mints and a stag's skull complete with antlers are just some of the items people keep in cars, a government survey reveals.

Many motorists use their cars as mobile wardrobes, with men almost as likely as women to store shoes or clothes in their car boots.

One woman from north- west England built up clutter in her car over two years, with items including a kettle, a sandwich-maker and two vacuum cleaners. Another car owner, a 25-year-old marketing executive, had unopened Christmas presents from two years earlier in her vehicle.

The Department for Transport survey showed that 10% of those polled could not remember the last time they cleared the clutter from their car. Main reasons for women having a clear-out were to give their vehicle a spring clean, while men were motivated by saving money by reducing their fuel consumption through lighter loads.

Tim Anderson, of the Energy Saving Trust, said: "We can all lighten our load to avoid emitting unnecessary carbon dioxide. A spring clean of your boot will make your car lighter, meaning you need less fuel, saving money and CO2 emissions."
Transport Minister Lord Adonis said: "Passenger cars alone make up over half of the UK's carbon emissions from transport. As part of the Act On CO2 campaign, we are encouraging drivers to clear out their boot as the first step to smarter driving.

"If all motorists adopted smarter driving techniques it would save 5.5 million tonnes of CO2 every year - collectively, that's a cost saving of over £2bn a year for the motorist. This shows that small actions can add up to big savings."