MORE people in the South-West raise extra cash from selling unwanted items at car boot sales than by working longer hours, a study has revealed.

Research by poverty charity Elizabeth Finn Care has revealed that 14% of people in the region are selling items at boot sales to battle the economic slump, compared to just 6% who work late to supplement their income.

And 10% say they even return gifts to the shop to get a refund to supplement their main income.

Bryan Clover, Director of Casework at Elizabeth Finn Care, said: “Many people are struggling to make ends meet and our research reveals that as a result many people cannot afford to replace or fix household items when they break.

“Some 21% of people in the South-West cannot afford to fix or replace their washing machine if it breaks and 15% would have to wait to fix their cooker if it stopped working.

“As part of Elizabeth Finn Care we offer the Turn2us service which helps people to check their entitlement for benefits and see if they are eligible for help from one of the thousands of grant giving charities listed.

“It seems people are opting for car boot sales to supplement their income but £16.8 billion of welfare benefits go unclaimed every year so I would urge people to see if they can maximise their income by using Turn2us.”

The research also reveals that 3% of people in the South-West resort to selling family heirlooms and 1% even sell their wedding ring.