MODERN PARENTS SPEND A STAGGERING SEVEN WEEKS OF THE YEAR FERRYING KIDS AROUND, BREAK UP AS MANY AS 52 IN-CAR FIGHTS A YEAR AND GET ASKED ‘ARE WE NEARLY THERE YET?’ 156 TIMES – BUT OVER HALF WON’T HEAR A SINGLE “THANK YOU”.
Source: i (The paper for today)
New research of British drivers with school-aged kids has revealed that Mum and Dad’s “cabs” will rack up a staggering 3,084 miles a year- the same as driving from Land’s End to John O’Groats three times - including 673 miles on school runs, 367 miles to and from after school clubs, a staggering 484 miles to friends’ houses and 510 miles to parties.
On average, British parents spend 52 hours a month in the car ferrying their children around, including nine hours a month dropping and picking up the kids from school, five hours a month back and forth to after school clubs, a further four hours a month to parties and four hours a month to friends’ houses.
The study, by webuyanycar, found that UK parents spend up to THIRTY hours every month driving their little darlings to and from activities.
Despite all this, more than a half (57 percent) admit that their children NEVER say thank you for driving them around. Of those that are lucky enough to get a thank you, it happens an average of just twice a week.
The study also found that parents will hear ‘are we there yet’ three times a week and that they are going too fast or too slow – once a week.
One in three (34 percent) say they spend more time driving their kids around, than using the car for their own purposes, and a third (35 percent) also admit that they feel like a taxi driver because they drive their children around so much. So much so that one in ten (11 percent) have even considered changing their job and working as a taxi driver.
Richard Evans, head of technical services at webuyanycar, said: “Many parents, grandparents and guardians will know all too well just how much they use their car to drive their children around, but we think most will be surprised by just how many miles Taxi of Mum and Dad wracks up each year! And while we might not be able to reduce the miles – or elicit a thank you from the kids – we can help with making selling your car quicker and easier so you can upgrade to something bigger, more comfortable or maybe more green this year to make all that driving feel a little better.”
Over half (55 percent) drive their kids around more than their parents drove them around.
Parents are required to be more than just drivers though: they are forced to become referees as the survey also reveals that an average of two arguments take place in the car a week when children are being driven somewhere, one of which will be physical.
In addition to fights, the average car will experience one food and drink spillage a week, as well as two coverings of mud.
Mum and Dad’s music choices are also a point of discussion with children asking their parents to turn their music choices down – and occasionally up - once a week, while the kids will ask if they can put on their own music at least twice a week.
A fifth (22 percent) said that their children complain about their car not being new or expensive enough, while one in four (26 percent) get complaints about their driving skills.
Little wonder then, perhaps, that one in five (20 percent) have pulled over to the side of the road and told their children if they didn’t like their driving, they could get out and walk.
One in ten (11 percent) have even been asked to pick their offspring up and drop them off ‘round the corner’ because they were embarrassed about the state of the car.
Four in ten (45 percent) say they have been forced to stay up later than they’d like at the weekend in order to pick their kids up from a party or event.
Two thirds (58 percent) believe their children have a better social life than they do.
Despite all this, 61 percent of Brits parents claim to enjoy driving their children around because they like spending time with them (51 percent), hearing about what they’re up to (46 percent) and being there for them (45 percent).
A third (36 percent) like driving them around because they chat more in the car than at home, while one in four (28 percent) enjoy feeling needed.
A quarter (25 percent) love listening to music together, with a fifth (21 percent) not minding the hours in the car as they enjoy all their children’s activities as much as they do.
The study also found that the nation’s cheeky mums and dads love embarrassing their kids while on the road.
Four in ten (40 percent) parents have sung along loudly to a tune in the car to mortify their children, while a third (27 percent) have hooted their horn when driving past their kids.
One in four (25 percent) admit turning up the music really loudly and lowering the windows when dropping them off or picking their children up to cause a stir.
A sixth (15 percent) have even rapped along with a tune really loudly to raise a smile (or a groan) from their kids.
This research of 1,700 Britons was commissioned by webuyanycar and conducted during January 2023.