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The Taxi of Mum and Dad

The Taxi of Mum and Dad

Whether it’s taking their children to parties, after school clubs or just driving them to the other side of town so they can hang out with their mates, just how many British parents are turning into the ‘taxi of mum and dad’?

The number of parents giving lifts to their kids has risen exponentially in recent years as the number of cars on the road grows. We dug a little deeper into this urban legend, and surveyed parents across the nation to find out the number of hours parents drive their children around in a typical week and how much it’s costing them!

How much is driving costing parents?

For each of these activities, we found that parents were ultimately spending nearly the same amount of money driving their kids around as they do driving their kid’s friends around too! The total amount spent on fuel money for driving their own children to all the different activities combined came to a grand total of £2,443, while the total for driving their children’s friends around came to around £2,300.

figures for analysis done


To work out the costs, we took the average number of hours parents spend driving their children to different places and calculated this against the cost of fuel per mile.

British parents are spending between £590 and £645 a year on fuel money for driving their kids to each different activity - when it comes to driving our children to school, this comes to an eye-watering £642.25 a year! This amount of money has a lot to do with the mileage that British parents are driving - we all know that petrol can cost a pretty penny right now with the rise in the cost of fuel. But how far is the taxi of mum and dad willing to travel to drive their children to different activities despite this?

How many miles are parents driving every month?

When it comes to mileage, British parents are driving their children and their kid’s friends all over the place:

· 27% of parents are driving their children 100 miles or more per month

· 18% of parents are driving their children 150 miles or more per month

· 6% of parents are driving their children over 300 miles or more per month

On average, parents are spending 28 hours every month taking their children to different activities, which will ultimately cost them thousands of pounds each month, including over £2,300 a month driving their kid’s friends too!

Which parents ask another parent for petrol money?

All that driving around can be quite expensive, so do some parents ask for money from other parents when ferrying around children that aren’t their own?

We found that parents in London are the most likely to ask for petrol money (23%), which comes as no surprise seeing as London is the biggest city in the UK and the most expensive to drive around!

London is followed by:

2. Newcastle - 22%

3. Birmingham - 20%

4. Sheffield - 17%

5. Bristol - 17%

How many hours per week do parents spend driving their children somewhere?

First, we had to establish how many hours overall parents are spending driving their kids around town, especially for different activities. When it comes to social activities, like seeing friends or going to parties, over half (55%) of parents drive between 1-3 hours a week.

This number goes down slightly for the number of parents driving their kids to school or childcare, with 32% of parents driving between 1-2 hours per week for these activities. For extra-curricular activities, like hobbies and sports, almost 1 in 4 (23%) parents drive their kids around for more than 2 hours a week, and more than 1 in 10 (12%) drive over 3 hours a week.

Which city has the most ‘mum and dad taxis’?

Here’s where it gets even juicier – we wanted to find out which city is the worst for falling for the ‘taxi of mum and dad’ trope. And by all accounts, parents in the south are most likely to drive their kids to different activities!

1 in 5 (20%) parents in London spend over 3 hours driving their children to social activities every week – the most in the UK – while 16% of parents in Norwich drive their children around more than 3 hours a week to extra-curricular activities.

Parents in Bristol, meanwhile, are the least likely to drive their children to social activities, with only 3% driving more than 3 hours a week. Meanwhile, there are no parents in Belfast and Edinburgh who choose to drive their children around for more than 3 hours weekly!

We also found that nearly a third of parents in Liverpool (31%) find that driving their children around disrupts their day-to-day lives.

So, for the parents who don’t want to become part of the ‘taxi of mum and dad’ crew, are they comfortable with letting their kids take public transport instead? Interestingly, over half (53%) of parents in Sheffield do not feel comfortable with their children using public transport, followed by half of the surveyed parents in Edinburgh (50%).

Percentage of parents uncomfortable with their children using public transport

1. Sheffield - 53%

2. Edinburgh - 50%

3. Nottingham - 42%

4. Birmingham - 40%

5. Southampton- 39%

Meanwhile, the parents who are most comfortable with their children using public transport are as follows:

Percentage of parents comfortable with their children using public transport

1. Glasgow - 71%

2. Cardiff - 70%

3. Leeds - 70%

4. Liverpool - 68%

5. London - 67%

Of the parents who are most uncomfortable with their children using public transport, 90% of those in Sheffield feel that it’s too unreliable for their kids to use, and 55% of parents in Nottingham say they don’t think it’s safe enough for their kids. Meanwhile, 43% of Birmingham parents say that it is too expensive and that they would rather drive anyway.

So, do you reckon you could be part of the ‘taxi of mum and dad’ crew? If you’re thinking of joining the ranks of mums and dads who’d rather not have their kids using public transport to get around, you can take a look at our car finance calculator to find out how much you may be able to borrow to get yourself a car today!

You don’t even need to worry about applying for bad credit car finance, as we’ve got all sorts of guides to help you find the best deal.

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