Bricklayer’s van carries twice as much bacteria as a toilet door handle

Vans used by tradespeople in the UK are ‘riddled’ with bacteria that could pose ‘a serious threat to the health of their drivers’.

Six vans from various trades were tested for pathogens, which are a type of microorganism that can cause disease. All of the vehicles tested contained more bacteria than a toilet door handle, with the bricklayer’s van measuring more than double.

The other trades represented were builder, electrician, dog groomer, carpenter and plumber.

The research, which was conducted by the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Essex in partnership with car insurance comparison site, found the handbrake was the dirtiest ‘touch point’ of all.

The most common bacteria found in this location was staphylococcus aureus, which is known to cause skin and respiratory infections. Other bacteria that can cause pneumonia and endocarditis were also found.

According to a survey of 500 van drivers by, eight per cent only clean their van once it starts to smell, with 55 per cent admitting to eating in their van and leaving the leftovers for days at a time.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at, says: “We spend so much time in our vehicles it’s only expected that some germs would be lurking around.

“But leaving cleaning our vehicles to a yearly occurrence could have some pretty concerning consequences.

“Vans are like second homes to tradespeople, so spring cleaning can be daunting. And people can be confused about where to start – especially when the rubbish starts to pile up.”