It’s a common grumble amongst parents across Britain: life can feel like it’s a constant cycle of Mum and Dad’s taxi service. Now research reveals how much time the typical parent spends ferrying their kids around – and the numbers could cause a family squabble.
A total of 2000 parents who drove were asked to share their driving history. On average every month, Brits clock up nearly 12 hours at the wheel, make 47 car journeys and travel 250 miles. In London, that would be the equivalent to £28,000 a year in taxi bills.
The findings were shared by The Car People, a motor dealer based in Manchester and Sheffield. It calculated the eye-watering fees using the average taxi rates in London, which are £3 a kilometre (£4.87 a mile), and journey times.
However, anyone living in Brighton and Hove will be relieved to learn that their bill falls substantially: the annual cost of chauffeuring the children to school, parties, horse riding, gymnastics, football and friends’ houses is halved to less than £15,000 a year. Parents in Leicester would pay the least of all, with a bill of less than £6000.
Parents spend more than a third of their time operating a taxi service
The average distance travelled each month – 3000 miles – is particularly noteworthy, given that British motorists cover on average just under 8000 miles a year. It means many drivers are spending around 37 per cent of their time on the road giving lifts to the kids.
And when they’re not driving, mum and dad are waiting around to get going. Of those surveyed, the average time spent wishing that the children would hurry up and get ready for the ride was just over five hours a month.
Happily, most mums and dads wouldn’t have it any other way. Parents say they find the time together with offspring enjoyable, and use the time wisely to catch up on gossip and find out what’s going on in their world. More than half of children share a secret with mum in the car, compared with a third of dads.
Nearly half of dads with kids aged between 11 and 14 say that they feel they sacrifice their own social life to ferry the family around, and a quarter go so far as to grumble that they feel like a taxi driver.
Despite the moans and groans, it would seem that many mums and dads wouldn’t have it any other way. Two fifths of parents say that regardless of age, they’ll never hang up their peaked cap and white gloves, and will continue to ferry the family far and wide.
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