That new car smell and other consumer enigmas

Ever wondered how sun cream works or about the curious noise made by an ATM?

Does a new car  really smell good or do you just think it does? Photograph: iStock

Does a new car really smell good or do you just think it does? Photograph: iStock

What with it being the bank holiday and all we thought we’d return to our entirely random and incredibly occasional Ask Us Anything series. In the past we have confirmed that neither tomatoes or eggs have any place in our fridges while women’s clothes sizes are – by and large – nonsensical. But what other consumer mysteries can we solve?

Why does a new car smell so good?

Does it really smell good or do you just think it does? The smell of a new car is almost intoxicating and kind of toxic but it does brings to mind newness and opportunity and – let’s be honest here – money. When you sit into a new car you are hit by the smell of vinyl and plastic and glue, smells which have yet been diluted by human odours and the smell of that half-eaten tub of yoghurt your infant child has thoughtfully hidden under the driver’s seat.

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