Leaving something behind on the bus is an old problem.

Almost everyone will have experienced it in some form, from the relatively trivial umbrella on the seat, to the heart-stopping panic of realising your bag is riding the 281 without you. Here at NotLost, it’s a story we hear all too often. 

In our battle to ensure that lost property on buses is returned, we came across some interesting stats, highlighting what gets left behind on buses in the UK. So, if it’s a question keeping you up at night, you’re in luck. 


What gets left behind on buses?

You might think the general public would be good at keeping their valuables. After all, we live in a time personal possessions are growing more expensive.

It stands to reason then that inexpensive items would be more commonly forgotten, leading to a collective ‘who cares’. This is wrong.

In fact, items that are more convenient to replace are generally lost the least. Sunglasses and umbrellas, which are often disposable, only made up 5.5% and 2.5% of the total amount.

The data – which covers April 2020 to March 2021 – also shows that keys comprised just 4.2% of the items handed in. 

So, it seems that the obvious options aren’t to blame. Intrigued, we turned our attention to the real culprits.


The most likely items to get left behind on buses

And the winner is… Books, documents and cards. 

This classification contains three separate items, which is probably why it’s out in front at 23.4%. All these are annoying to lose, but it’s unlikely they will ruin your week.

Cards can be replaced, documents are generally stored online, and books aren’t too expensive – although the pain of losing your page might sting.

Next on the list are bags and mobiles, which make up 15.6% and 13.6%, respectively. Phones in today’s society generally cost upwards of £3/400, and it’s not just the monetary value.

The world assumes you have a phone with you at all times, making normal day-to-day activities like parking or signing up for a subscription you definitely don’t need almost impossible.

Losing a bag can be even more disastrous, as it’s rarely just the bag you’ll lose. You’re unlikely to take a bus trip with an empty bag, right?

The final two entries making up the top five are valuable, such as cameras and laptops (12.6%) and articles of clothing (9.7%). See below for the complete list.

What gets lost on buses

Books, Documents and Cards – 23.4%

Bags – 15.6%

Telephones – 13.6%

Valuables – 12.6%

Miscellaneous – 11.6% 

Clothing – 9.7%

Eyeware – 5.5%

Keys – 4.9%

Umbrellas – 2.4%

Jewellery – 1%

See the complete data set here.


How NotLost can help 

So, as you can see, the items left on buses aren’t throwaway. Passengers are leaving behind possessions of value, and a flawed system that fails to return them effectively will cause further grief.

That’s why it’s essential to have a process that works, giving you the best chance of repatriating as many items as possible – saving your staff time and delighting your passengers. 

Details of how NotLost have already helped the Oxford Bus Company revolutionise their lost property process are available below.

Oxford Bus Company Case Study

How your lost property process could work with NotLost

1) A passenger leaves their phone on the bus

2)  The phone is handed in, and an image is uploaded to the NotLost platform, along with any pertinent details.

3) NotLost’s image recognition software creates a profile of the phone, and a lost property ticket is logged.

4) When inquiring, the passenger is directed to a self-service portal, where they enter details of the phone, and a missing item ticket is created.

5) NotLost’s matching software pairs up relevant tickets, which a staff member then validates

6) The passenger is sent a variety of return options to choose from, which includes delivery and collection

Euro Bus Expo 2022

If you’re lucky to be attending Euro Bus Expo 2022, then we’ve got good news. NotLost is exhibiting!

You can find us in the technology zone on stand 30, where we will be extolling the virtues of a cohesive lost property process for bus operators and most importantly, how it can help your business.

Want to arrange a meeting or just have a friendly chat? Drop us an email at .