Two-thirds of Brits see cars as a stress-buster

Someone polishing the headlight of a white car

Polishing was ranked the most relaxing car maintenance task

Two thirds of Brits say that spending time working on their car helps to reduce their stress and anxiety levels.  

The findings come from an eBay survey of 2,000 people. 

Polishing up on mental health 

42% of respondents said the repetitive motion of polishing a car is by far the most relaxing task. Polishing is closely followed by routine maintenance, with 41% of people finding this most relaxing. Only 19% of people found fixing and changing their headlights the most relaxing task. 

One in four people asked, said that they spent more time working on their vehicle than any other hobby or task. 

Over half (56%) of the respondents believe that mundane tasks are even better than activities like meditation and yoga, allowing them to find a ‘moment of calm’ by doing jobs that don’t require much thought. 

It’s not all torque 

Psychologist Dr Lisa Dorn says: “From a psychological perspective, people get into a zone, or mental state, in which they don’t need to think and are fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus and enjoyment.” 

Laura Richards, Category Lead for Vehicle Parts and Accessories at eBay said: “It’s no surprise that motorists are opting to clean their vehicles Not only is it more cost-efficient, but cleaning a car can be extremely gratifying.” 

Wiping away expenses 

In addition to finding working on their vehicle relaxing, 13% of those asked do it to help reduce costs, saving as much as £150. 

The online auction site also found that one fifth of people have cut costs by washing their own cars, instead of paying someone to do it for them. In the last year, 67% of people said they switched to washing their own cars to save money during the cost-of-living crisis.  

28% of motorists revealed they cleaned the exterior of their car at least once a month, with 17% saying they go all in with specialised car cleaning products. That’s over 24 hours a year just cleaning the outside of their car.  

Richard Tipper, owner of detailing company Perfection Valet, offers some advice on washing the exterior of your car: “I’d strongly advise against the use of washing up liquid. It’s designed to get rid of grease, so could strip the protective coatings off the paint.” 

He goes on to say that a properly formulated car shampoo will look after your car perfectly fine. 

If you’d like to try reducing your stress, check out our DIY guide to checking and repairing your car. 

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