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Drop that taco; eating in car could be costly

November 18, 2010

While 60 percent of respondents to a survey said a clean exterior is "the most important attribute to the long-term value of their vehicle," just 34 percent of the respondents said the same thing about their vehicles’ interiors. 

Small surprise, then, that the survey, by Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research and Taco Bell Corp., found nearly 60 percent of all vehicle owners eat or allow someone to eat in their vehicles. And that could prove costly at trade-in time.


"Our research highlights a huge misperception among consumers, that the interior condition of a car has less importance than the exterior appearance in terms of residual value," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and market analyst for Kelley Blue Book.  

"Cars in excellent condition and appearance, both inside and outside, can be valued thousands of dollars higher than those in good or fair condition. Messy interiors could potentially cost owners thousands of dollars when it comes time to turn in or sell their vehicles."


The survey also found that people who allow eating in their vehicle were less concerned with their vehicle’s overall appearance, ranking all vehicle attributes lower than those who don’t allow eating in their car.