Since the dawn of the drive-through restaurant in the 1930s, the allure of convenience food has remained firmly in the psyche of drivers the world over. However, did you know that the first in-car cup holders only came into being in the 1980s? Since then we have judged cars on their ability to hold our post-footy game beverages, pre-event chilled snacks and more. But, and there’s a great big ‘but’, eating in the car can cost you dearly in more ways than just the hip pocket.

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Your car is a biohazard food trap

To make everything that needs to fit inside a car work, engineers cram a whole lot of items into a very tight space to leave – and you’ve guessed it – a myriad of even tighter spaces that only piping-hot French fries and secret-sauce soaked slices of tomato seem to fit into.

There’s no way the average adult can reach these rogue meal runaways. The next time you see that escapee will be when you fish it’s desiccated and mangled remains out from under the car seat along with your much-needed parking change. From cup holders stained with cola spills and fabric ceilings smeared with chocolate ice cream to handbrakes encrusted with crisp flavourings, your car is the least food-friendly location that you could ever find.


The smells linger for a long time

There’s a very good reason why kitchens and diners have so many hard, polished surfaces: they are easier to clean and sanitise against the plethora of food spills and messes likely to encounter.
Soft fabrics, however, trap smells and remnants of foods to create an unpleasant day-after stink that you can’t ignore or avoid. So while it may have seen a great idea at the time for a 1 am burger with the lot, the same can’t be said at 8 am when you’re on your way to work and face the morning-after stench of food.


There’s a very good reason to cry over spilt milk

To those who have never spilt a milkshake or a carton of milk in your car, hats off to you. Off-milk is one of the strongest, vilest and most inescapable smells to ever be introduced and released into the confines of car upholstery. Requiring more than just a quick touch-up with some soapy water, most car owners can agree that it takes more than one revisit with a strong stomach and even stronger cleaner to remove the stain and lurking smell of rotting dairy. You may want to reconsider the next time you feel like a strawberry milkshake to finish off your meal.


It isn’t a healthy habit

Eating in the car may be convenient, but it rarely goes hand-in-hand with healthy eating. Most drive-through restaurants offer the quick and easy options of handheld burgers and fried chicken, food that can be eaten mindlessly. However, mindless eating is counterintuitive to regular, more natural eating habits, so you’re less likely to put a dent in your hunger and instead grab another bite to eat at your next destination.

In all, it’s much better to get out of the car and eat in the restaurant, savour your meal and throw the trash in the bin before returning to your car.


Good luck selling your car

Ground-in food is the bane of car sellers the country over. Old biscuits, crackers and chocolate bars can resist even the most powerful of vacuums to leave your otherwise pristine car looking manky and tired.
With children the likeliest culprits to pulverise their food into their immediate surroundings, it may be wise to enforce a ‘no food’ rule in the car until you can trust them not to mash a banana into the se