Average Brit has three mysterious keys

More than 2,000 tonnes of useless metal

British people carry an average of nine keys around with them, but can identify only six of those, with no idea what the other three came from, or what they unlock...

The figures come from esure, who asked a thousand or so average people and discovered that women carry 10 keys, compared to a chap's eight, but the girls are slightly better at remembering what they're for – only 20 per cent mysterious compared to a man's 23 per cent.

If we have our house keys stolen we're pretty good about replacing the locks – almost 90 per cent make the effort, though when we lose our keys those figures are reversed, with only 10 per cent assuming that the finder will work out whose house they open. Five per cent of people make that easier by putting an address tag on the keys.

Which is a shame, as esure reckons that 53 cars are stolen every day by burglars who discover the car keys helpfully hung up in the house.

Not that the burglar needs to steal or find lost keys – 20 per cent of homes have a front door key within 3m (10 feet) of the door, with rocks proving the most popular hiding place, followed by the ever-reliable doormat and surprisingly-popular "under a car tyre".

Which saves carrying them around, something most of us are required to do. Nine per cent of those polled report carrying more than 21 keys around with them all the time, though eight was the average for men, with women carrying 10.

And for those looking for an IT angle, we're indebted to NFC World who have painted the whole thing as a demonstration of how much better Near Field Communications can make the world. ®

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