Cluttered boots wasting fuel for 30 per cent of motorists

A classic Chevrolet Capitol car with items for sale at the Classic Car Boot Sale in King's Cross, north London.

It seems common sense that loading your car up with extra weight would negatively impact fuel economy – but the message hasn't got through to around a third of British drivers. A recent survey of 2,000 people by Velcro found that 27 per cent of motorists said friends and family have commented on how untidy their car boots are.

Perhaps more surprising was the survey's finding that 12.5 per cent of people admit to never clearing out their car's boot.

A previous survey by Shell in 2012 had similar results, with 32 per cent of drivers keeping more than five items permanently in their boot. The top five offenders were tools, wellies and outdoor clothing, sports equipment and golf clubs, pushchairs and baby equipment, and multiple pairs of shoes.

The 2017 survey found residents of Sunderland had the fullest boots in the country – 67 per cent of respondents said their boot was full to the brim with clutter. It's Warrington in Cheshire that takes the cleanliness crown though, with only 16 per cent of respondents having full boots.

Chrissy Halton, an organisation expert from commented: "These stats are fascinating, but not altogether surprising. The car boot is one of those places like your loft where, once things go in there, they can all too easily be forgotten. It's very much a case of 'out of sight, out of mind'".

There's a very good reason to clean your boot out though – fuel economy. According to the RAC, an additional 50kg of weight can reduce fuel economy by as much as two per cent. Over time, this seemingly small increase could cost you a lot in fuel.

Not only that, but continued heavy loads in the rear could even leave your suspension overloaded, while additional weight will also increase the car's braking distance. The advice is clear, then – only travel with what's necessary for your journey, and clear your boot of clutter regularly.

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