Our research found the school run is the most expensive journey for parents.

Are you a cabbie to your kids? Ferrying them around from place to place all for free?

Our recent study found that the average parent could be ‘Uber’ rich by earning an additional £120,269¹ by the time their kids are 16, if they were to charge them for their taxi services.

Doting parents spend an average of 11,648 hours ferrying their children to and from activities, clocking up 29,952 miles before their kid’s 16th birthday. It seems that parents should consider installing a weekly meter as they spend 14 hours on average in the car, which could rack up a bill of £122.92 – the equivalent of £6,391.84 each year.

The most time consuming journeys are fuelled by children’s social lives – from driving to parties, cinemas, shopping trips, and leisure centres – on average parent cabbies are burning an additional seven hours’ worth of petrol every week.

Pre-teen 11 year olds were found to be the most demanding of their parent’s time, taking up 19 hours and 48 minutes per week. Parents based in Coventry, Gloucester and Durham were found to be providing the best taxi service, spending the most time on the road.

Our research found that the reason parents admit to ferry their children around is more than just simple logistics. Over a third (36%) say driving their kids around is one of the only times they get to really bond and talk with them. Over two thirds (67%) drive their children around as they’re concerned for their kids’ safety, but almost a tenth (8%) say they feel emotionally blackmailed, with the manipulation starting as young as 11.

Top 10 most expensive journeys for parents:

  1. School run
  2. Sports classes or practice
  3. Shopping trips
  4. Visiting family members
  5. Visiting friends
  6. After school clubs
  7. Parties
  8. Cinema
  9. Leisure centres
  10. Taking part in sports events/competitions

Andy James, UK CEO at 1ST CENTRAL, said: “With children of my own, I really understand the value and time committed by mum and dad’s taxi service, as we always want to do the best for our kids.

“This survey shows the true extent of the service we’re providing, and with that much time spent in the car it’s important for parents to feel that their families are covered for any eventuality.

“These days families go their separate ways so much, that the time spent together in the car is actually a good way for parents to connect and catch up with the kids.”


  1. Based on figures from Pay Scale which says the average taxi driver earns £17,000 per year, meaning they earn £8.78 per hour.


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