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How long does Coronavirus last on car surfaces?

While the official guidance for the general public here is to stay home during the nationwide lockdown, exceptions are made for those making trips outside the house for essential purposes; food, medicine or for key workers, getting to and from work.

The Government guidance surrounding washing your hands acts as a preventative method for halting the spread of Coronavirus, however, it is important that we use these same sanitary principles for our personal devices, clothing and modes of transport such a car.

The spreadable nature of the Coronavirus has encouraged a concerted effort to stop the spread, and this information might help in relation to your car, which you should ensure is kept hygienically clean, so you don’t bring the virus back to your household.

There are currently very few studies that can effectively track how long Coronavirus can survive on certain surfaces – for this reason, many bodies have referred back to the SARS outbreak as a point of reference, as the two viruses are very similar in nature.

With this in mind, here is the best estimation of how long the virus remains on certain surface types (According to Harvard Health and Business Insider), and see where we are likely to encounter these in your car:

Material Example(s) of these materials in your car How long does it survive?

Copper Unlikely to encounter. Up to 4 hours.

Cardboard Unlikely to encounter. Up to 24 hours.

Wood Unlikely to encounter Up to 48 hours.

Cloth (Fabric) Car seats, personal clothing,

headrests. Up to 48 hours.

Plastic(s) Dashboard, interior car door

handle, interior buttons,

steering wheel, hand brake, air

vents, infotainment/radio, ignition,

car keys, glove compartment. Up to 72 hours.

Stainless Steel Exterior door handles, seatbelt

buckle. Up to 72 hours.

Glass Car windows, interior mirrors. Up to 102 hours.