12 April 2012
Parents in the UK are losing their entire annual leave allowance ferrying their children about in their car
Parents in the UK are losing their entire annual leave allowance ferrying their children about in their car.
AA Driving School research shows that a third of mums and dads lose between 10 and 49 hours a month per child driving them to school and social activities.
And a minority (2%) spend at least 50 hours a month driving each of their children around – equivalent to 25 days over a year, a typical annual leave allowance.
With the average number of children per family at 1.9 this means many parents are spending nearly double these figures driving their children.
Besides taking up a lot of time, parents driving habits can influence the drivers their children will become later in life so it’s important they set a good example on these journeys
Mark Peacock, head of AA Driving School
Mark Peacock, head of AA Driving School, said: “Mum and dads’ taxi is still very much in operation as parents spend large chunks of their time getting their children to various activities.
“Besides taking up a lot of time, parents driving habits can influence the drivers their children will become later in life so it’s important they set a good example on these journeys.
“Hopefully many of those hours spent driving the children to their activities will be re-paid when they are old enough to drive themselves and keen to get behind the wheel – even if it’s just popping to the supermarket to help their mum out.”
As well as finding out how much time parents spend transporting their children to activities, the research*, also looked at how much parents spend on hobbies and activities per child.
One fifth (19%) of parents polled said they spend at least £1,200 a year per child, including the transport costs of getting them there.
London parents were the most prolific spenders with one in 20 spending more than £200 per child every month on things like sport, music and dance classes.
That equates to a huge minimum spend for each child of £43,200 over their childhood, up to the age of 18.
With one fifth of parents already spending at least £1,200 on hobbies for their children they will be reassured to know that re-directing that amount when their children are old enough to drive would likely cover their driving lessons**.
Learning to drive is an essential life skill and once children have passed their test it will hopefully be money well spent as parents will be called on less for lifts.
(12 April 2012)
*AA/Populus poll of 20, 161 asked the 6,396 with children aged 4 – 18 still living at home:
**The DSA says pupils take an average of 45 hours professional tuition to pass and with our average lesson price at £25 per hour that comes in at £1,125.