213 years spent looking for lost cars

July 11, 2014 | By | In News

One in seven British motorists have returned to their car, only to find they’ve forgotten where they parked it, according to a new study by car insurance provider Direct Line.

With six million of us having misplaced our cars over the last two years, this equates to a collective 213 years of searching, with the average driver taking around 40 minutes to relocate their vehicle.


£11.3million was spent over the last two years in parking fines and charges due to lost cars.

The company’s survey of 2,000 drivers revealed that it is women who are more likely to be absent-minded, with 16 per cent of female respondents admitting to losing their car, compared to 12 per cent of men.


However, when they did lose their cars, blokes took nearly twice as long to find it, at an average of 50 minutes compared to 27 minutes for the girls.

And while male drivers are more likely to forget where they’ve parked in a busy city centre, women are more prone to losing their vehicles in sprawling supermarket car parks.

This forgetfulness isn’t just wasting time, either. For many drivers who eventually arrive at their car long after their allotted parking time has expired, their absent-mindedness has seen them waste cash, too, with a total of £11.3million shelled out in fines and additional parking charges over the last two years.

The Direct Line survey also highlighted that gender stereotypes regarding asking for directions aren’t perhaps as accurate as we once assumed, with 25 per cent of man happy to ask strangers for help locating their cars, compared to only 14 per cent of women.

If you’ve ever been in the embarrassing situation of forgetting where you’ve left your car, don’t panic! And certainly don’t follow the example of countless celebs – including Liz Hurley and Coronation Street star Simon Gregson – who have called the police to report their cars stolen in a blind panic, only to have found their car on a different street soon after.

Have you ever misplaced your car? How long did it take you to find it? Have your say in the comments section below.

Picture: Fotolia

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