Ian StrachanThe Sun
Sun, 18 Mar 2007 07:35 UTC
New research has shown that bird poo costs car sellers £6.5 million a year, and causes British motorists a staggering £24 billion in annual damage to paintwork.
It might be our feathered friends way of jumping on the global-warming band wagon - but nearly 60 % of us suffer from the dreaded droppings at least once a month, with nearly half of cars in Britain pelted with poo at least once a fortnight, and an unlucky one in six splattered every single day.
And bird poo is more than just an unsightly nuisance for British drivers; it can also cost us dearly. A quarter of used car buyers expect a discount of at least £100 if a vehicle has been used as a dumping ground by our feathered friends.
The number-crunchers at eBay motors have even pin-pointed those most likely to be targeted by the doves from above - their research showed that black cars are the most frequent victims of bird-strike, with over half of them being hit at least once a fortnight and nearly a fifth of them being struck daily.
Bird droppings contain uric acid, a corrosive chemical that can eat through paintwork and discolour cars, leaving an ugly bleached effect behind. As if that wasn't bad enough, birds also swallow grit and small pebbles to aid their digestion, which scratch the paintwork as the poo hits the car. Motorists are warned to watch out for pigeons and gulls as they are the worst offenders.
You'd think the unsightly smears and soiled screens would encourage drivers to keep it clean - but it seems British car owners can't be bothered to wipe poo off their cars. Even though bird excrement can be ugly and corrosive, nearly a fifth of motorists (18%) rarely clean it off their cars. Those that do bother to wipe off the waste tend to let it fester for a few days, only getting round to cleaning it at the weekend (31%), regardless of the effects of long-term damage to the vehicle.
eBay Motors conducted the research to uncover just how much the corrosive crud could cost car sellers. Jody Ford, Senior Manager at eBay Motors, points out that "for many car buyers, bad maintenance on the bonnet can mean bad maintenance under the bonnet. Simple details such as making sure your car is fully cleaned can have a direct impact on the number of people interested in your car, and ultimately the final selling price.
Key research highlights include the following:
- Black cars are the most likely to be hit - over half of them (54%) are hit at least once a fortnight and nearly a fifth of them (18%) are hit every day!
- Scots are the most unlucky car owners in the UK with 64% finding their cars covered in crud at least every other week and nearly a quarter of them (24%) frustrated to have their cars attacked every day
- Female drivers' cars are more likely to suffer from bird poo attacks (only 8% of women's cars never get targeted opposed to 12% of men's cars that are never hit)
- Two thirds (66%) of cars owned by those who live by the sea are targeted at least every other week and over a quarter (27%) of those cars in coastal areas are hit every day
- The roof of the car is the easiest place for birds to do their business with a third of all droppings (33%) landing there eBay Motors top tips for cleaning up your car and dodging those droppings: