THOUSANDS of cars have been rolling out of dealerships since Tuesday as the first new registration is released, but by the end of the first '05 day, an estimated 600 of those will have been smashed up.

A report by Churchill car insurance reveals how long new cars are on the road before their first crash.

The insurer reviewed claims data for 50,000 new cars and found that 600 crashed on the first day and 3,240 within a week.

This means £8.1m of cars are trashed on day one, rising to £43.7m by the end of the first week.

The study followed new cars' first two years of motoring and showed that after just a month, 13,400 had already been in the body shop for repairs.

After a year, 135,000 of these cars had been in an accident, rising to more than a quarter of a million after two years.

Darren McCauley, head of car insurance at Churchill, said: "There are a number of reasons why people crash in new cars.

"There is the distraction caused by the excitement of owning a new car, coupled with the fact that it can take a while to get used to the different controls and switches.

"It's a good idea to familiarise yourself with your new car before setting off, to minimise the chance of having an accident.''

The research revealed a link between makes of car and frequency of accidents showing that more Porsches than any other car have a crash, closely followed by Mazdas.

Churchill's new car collision index; (percentage of crashes within first month)

1. Porsche 2.42%

2. Mazda 1.83%

3. Lexus 1.81%

4. MG 1.61%

5. Peugeot 1.47%

6. Kia 1.42%

7. Ford 1.38%

8. BMW 1.28%

9. Volvo 1.24%

10. Seat 1.23%

"Our data shows that luxury, sports cars top the list for being most likely to crash.

"First-time Porsche drivers will find it a very different driving experience from other cars, because of the speed and that the engine is at the rear, making them harder to control for inexperienced drivers." said McCauley.