Busted flush: How much do we spend to spend a penny?

We’ve all been caught short in public desperately looking around us for the easiest option to relieve ourselves. But at what cost? 

Here at TENA, we were intrigued to see just how much Brits spend when they have full bladders – either using businesses’ facilities or a public toilet – so we took out a survey to find out how much this set them back each year.
How many people go for a pint at the pub to give them safe passage to the toilet when they’re busting for a wee? Do some Brits pay for a pee only to succumb to ‘stage fright’ and are then unable to go?
TENA also ran a hidden camera social experiment which saw people walking into different public spaces and asking to use the toilet for free. 
Watch how many people were successful above, and keep on reading to see the pick of the stats from our survey…

The cost of relief is colossal…

2.2 billion going to the loo
Yes, you read that correctly. As a nation, we pay a staggering £2.2 billion for the privilege of going to the loo every year. 
Whether that’s paying for a full meal at a restaurant or slotting a couple of coins into a station turnstile, we pay £47 each on average for trips to the toilet across the year.

We all freeze up sometimes…

1 in 4 respondents have experienced stage fright
Remarkably, a quarter of us will pay for the opportunity to have a pee only to then freeze and not be able to go when facing the toilet or urinal. Is it the pressure that defeats you even after parting with your precious cash? 
Read our interview with shy bladder syndrome expert Andrew Smith to find out more about stage fright.

Desperation can lead to wastage…

1 in 4 bought something then threw it away
Sometimes, we are so desperate to go to the toilet that we will purchase anything for the opportunity to go for a wee. The operative word here being ‘anything’…

The lack of care we have for the item we buy can be startling – our survey found that 25% of us chuck it away having been to the toilet. 

A stealthy trip to the toilet is not uncommon

27% admit to sneaking in without paying
Considering that toilets can be so pricy to visit, it is perhaps no surprise that people would attempt to stealthily nip into the loo without paying. According to our study, over a quarter of people try to catch businesses’ staff unawares and evade them in order to get to the loo.
Check out our insightful map infographic to discover how much people spend on average to visit the toilet when out and about in your town each year alongside other illuminating stats!
Urinalysis - how much does your town spend on public toilets? Our 2018 survey flushed out some interesting regional facts - discover which Yorkshire city is paying plenty for a pee and the Welsh seaside town that doesn't succumb to stage fright.
Public spending league table - money spent by respondents to access public toilets each year, ranked highest to lowest
Stage fright rank league percentage of respondents who have been unable to go after paying, ranked highest to lowest
Sneakiness rank league table - percentage of respondents admitting to sneaking in without paying ranked highest to lowest
And if you think that you may be going to the toilet one time too many then it may be worth looking at our page about the causes of urinary incontinence. If you are worried you may be affected though, please consult your doctor to discuss your concerns.
Based on a survey of 2,000 people carried out in October 2018 by OnePoll