February 27, 2004

Eleven percent of Americans love their car more than their spouse

Chicago, Illinois – The International Carwash Association’s 2004 Car Love Survey found that eleven percent of Americans love their car more than their spouse or significant other.

The inaugural 2003 Car Love Survey discovered that an estimated 116 million drivers (owning 84 percent of all registered vehicles) feel so affectionate toward their cars they talk to them, name them, adorn them with trinkets, and involve them in some of life’s most significant and personal moments. This year’s results show that one in 10 respondents love their car more than their significant other.

Among other findings from the 2004 Car Love Survey:

  • Six percent have taken a date to the car wash.

  • Nearly two in five car owners get their cars
    professionally washed before a date. Men (27 percent) are more
    likely to get their cars washed to impress a member of the opposite
    sex than women (11 percent).

  • About one in 10 car owners
    (11 percent) say they’ve kissed or “made out” in a car wash. And
    Americans with children are more likely to have smooched at the car
    wash than those without children, signaling that perhaps the car
    wash is one of the few places offering some valuable moments alone.

  • Car wash faux pas. Owners admitted the following self-induced
    car-wash blunders:

    • Left the antennae up (29 percent)

    • Didn’t shift the car into neutral (11 percent)
    • Missed the track for the car’s tire (9 percent)
    • Did not close the car window (9 percent)
    • Did not shut the car door completely (5 percent)
    • Did not shut the sunroof (2 percent)
    • Opened their windows purposely during a car wash “to see what
      would happen” (2 percent, or 4 million car owners)

The International Carwash Association (ICA) is a non-profit trade association serving 3,000 businesses in the United States, Canada and overseas. Members include car wash operators, equipment manufacturers, distributors, and related suppliers. ICA members represent approximately 25,000 car wash and car care locations in North America.

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