Ferrying family from one social engagement to another may be part of the job description, but it seems for some parents, it’s almost a full-time occupation

New research has found the average parent spends 286 hours a year driving their kids around – almost two months’ working days. If their journeys were on meter, that would earn them a whopping £9.8k a year.

The survey, which polled 2,000 parents for Vauxhall Motors, found that parents could take a road trip to sunny Lisbon for the equivalent of the 1,283 annual miles that they drive their kids on average. But it’s not just heading from A to B - parents spend an average of two working days a year simply waiting for their children in cars.

And not all trips are to the tune of “are we there yet?”, half (49%) of parents use journeys to have a laugh with their kids and more than two fifths (44%) say they enjoy the bonding time it offers.

Almost a third (31%) admit that the moments spent in a car with their kids affords them quality time they wouldn’t get elsewhere. But it seems that both parties get fuelled up over the music choices with a quarter (25%) claiming the selection of tunes is the top in-car discussion.

The research revealed that car journeys are also a great way for parents to find out more about their kids. For both children and parents alike, playground chat is the top thing to natter about with almost half (48%) discussing the latest gossip at school, sixth form or college.

A fifth (22%) of parents use car journeys as an opportunity to eavesdrop on their kids’ ‘private’ chats and one in six (17%) say it’s a good opportunity to quiz kids about their love life, with nowhere for them to run!

TV presenter and dad of two, Jeff Brazier, said: “I definitely do my fair share of ferrying the kids around, but it’s fascinating to see how many hours of your life it actually takes up. It might seem like a chore at time, but it’s true that those journeys are precious moments of quality time that you’ll never get back.”

Taxi of Mum and Dad
Taxi of Mum and Dad

Denis Chick, Director of Communications at Vauxhall Motors, added: “As a father of three, I’ve spent countless hours behind the wheel at the mercy of my children. At Vauxhall, we celebrate the small moments that make life brilliant. And family bonding time during a car trip epitomises just that.”

The results show that while parenting really is a full-time job, the Cab of Mum and Dad is an important bonding experience between parents and their kids – and it’s these moments that create priceless memories to make it all worthwhile.

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