Kids, your taxi bill adds up to £32 billion

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Mums and dads in Britain provide over £32 billion worth of free taxi services to their children every year, according to new research from Sainsbury’s car insurance.

The findings reveal that parents collectively clock up over 230 million miles a week, the equivalent distance of driving from Earth to Mars at their furthest points apart, transporting their children to social, sporting and recreational events outside of school. If charged at hackney carriage rates this would total over £621 million.

The study shows that over 9.3 million parents spend time driving their children around, covering an average of 24.7 miles a week.

On top of this, parents spend an average of around one hour 14 minutes sitting in their cars waiting around for their children.

The average parent who drives their children around is worth £66.66 a week in taxi fares to his or her offspring.

And now Sainsbury’s car insurance has created an online parental taxi calculator. The calculator shows the amount mums and dads around the country would have to spend to hire a taxi to cover the hours, minutes and miles they put in for their kids.

Visitors to the new Sainsbury’s car insurance Facebook page will also be able to view documentaries of two real life ‘mum and dad cabs’

Dads bear the brunt of the taxi duties, with 4.8 million fathers regularly ferrying their kids around compared to 4.6 million mothers.

“Dad cabs” cover an average of 28 miles a week on taxi duty compared to 21 miles for mums, waiting around in their cars for an average of one hour 23 minutes a week in comparison to one hour four minutes for mums.

Of those parents who drive their children around, eight per cent cover 50 miles a week, and five per cent cover a time-sapping 100 miles a week or more driving their children to social and recreational events.

But far from being disgruntled at the amount of time they spend on parental taxi duty, almost two thirds of parents find this time provides some benefits to their relationships with their children.

One in three say it is one of the few opportunities they have to talk to their children without them being distracted by gadgets like TV or mobile phones, and seven per cent say it is the only chance they get to talk to their kids at all.