Men are significantly more likely to lie than women, with the average male telling three lies a day or 1,092 a year compared to women who only lie twice a day or 728 times a year, according to new research.

However, researchers found that women were more likely to lie in certain situations like hiding new clothes from a partner, with 39 percent of women feeling to need to lie about their latest purchase compared to 26 percent of men.

Women are also more likely to tell a lie or pretend to be busy to avoid a phone call, with half of women admitting that they have lied to dodge a phone call compared to just over a third of men reporting the same, according to the new survey by BMW Financial Services.

While it is generally thought that lying causes a moral dilemma, Professor Karen Pine at the University of Hertfordshire believes that deception is an essential characteristic in humans, the Daily Express reported.

"We think lying is bad, but actually the ability to deceive others has helped humans survive as a species," she said, according to the Daily Express. "Our primitive ancestors had to compete for resources and would have needed to be deceitful to outwit their enemies."

The survey also revealed that people are often tempted to lie to make life easier.

"Everybody lies, but we have to know when it's OK to do it and when not. It might be OK to say you like your friend's new hairdo when you don't really, because the fib could be good for the friendship," Pine said.

However she warned that telling lies to escape from life's difficulties can cause harm and have long-term consequences. For some people, lying can even lead to compulsive behavior because one lie often leads to more lies.

"Who lies? Everyone does it but some people are naturally better at lying than others. Socially skilled people make better liars. Extroverts also tend to lie more often than more introverted people," she said.

The survey revealed that nearly 20 percent of participants believed that lying to a boss to pull a "sick day" from work was justifiable and 13 percent of people report feeling that lying to their partner about an affair was not harmful.

Saving money is also a common motive for telling a lie and the survey revealed that a quarter of drivers have lied on car insurance policies to try to get a cheaper deal.

However, Joe Pattinson, of BMW Financial Services, warned that people who lie about their car insurance are taking a big risk on their policies.

"The risk of not being truthful is that your insurance will become null and void," Pattinson said. "It also means that those that do lie are increasing the cost of car insurance overall and that's not fair for the rest of us."