It costs Brits £43.92 a year to ‘spend a penny’, a study has found.
The average adult will shell out for drinks, snacks and even full meals in order to use a shop or restaurant’s toilet guilt-free.
And almost £3 is spent just paying to get into public toilets in places such as train stations and parks.
But in a cruel twist of irony, a quarter of respondents have paid to use a toilet only to then succumb to ‘stage fright’ and find themselves unable to go.
The research was commissioned by TENA, whose spokesman said: “Needing to use the loo when out and about can be fraught with tension.
“Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find a toilet nearby and even when you do, you may find you have to pay just to use it.
“As a result, we often find ourselves buying things we didn’t need or want from a café or pub so we can use their facilities.
“It might not seem a lot but it all adds up over time.
“What’s more, if you suffer from incontinence, the issue of finding a toilet when in public can be a constant worry – especially if you don’t have any cash or even the correct change on you.”
The study of 2,000 adults found an average of £5 a year is spent on bottled water in a bid to be a genuine ‘customer’ while £7.40 is lost on tea or coffee in a café.
Brits will also spend £14 each per year on drinks, snacks and sandwiches so they can use the store’s toilet.
That figure includes £6 spent on soft drinks every year, £7.10 on snacks and £6.93 on sandwiches – just to gain access to the loo.
One in four have even bought something they had absolutely no use for – throwing it into the nearest bin shortly afterwards – just to use a shop’s facilities.
It also emerged four in 10 Brits feel ‘guilty’ using a shop or restaurant’s toilet without making a purchase to justify their ‘customer’ status.
This is despite 55 per cent believing people should have a ‘right’ to use a toilet even if they’re not a paying customer.
Furthermore 43 per cent always make sure they have some small change on them – specifically in case they need to use a public toilet.
Although more than half say they aren’t happy to pay to use a public toilet.