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Can one have too many accessories?

Women’s car insurance specialist, Diamond surveyed 2,000 UK motorists on how they personalise their car. It found that 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 ten drivers with humorous stickers on their rear window, think they obscure their view from their window.

Diamond’s research found one in ten (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.

Diamond managing director, Sian Lewis said, “While only one in ten 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 are seen as bad taste. 29% of motorists think it is cheap and tacky to decorate your car in this way.

Whilst 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 a hundred 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%).

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. Here comes the sting, 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.

I have a few accessories on my car – tasteful ones of course unlike some. If I were Transport Minster I would personally ban all cars with those ridiculous stickers some crazed motorists finds funny and sticks them in the rear window. You know the ones like “Beware, new baby on board” or “ex husband in boot.”  Sorry they are so tacky and oh so not funny and probably dangerous as the car behind creeps up too closely just to read the message then fails to stop in time as that driver has just reached for the bucket in the passenger footwell.

That is one accessory too many.

Jackie Violet
Motoring Correspondent

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