Children's busy social lives drive mum and dad half way to the moon

Article date: 19 September 2013

  • Parents drive children over 125,000 miles by the time children reach 17

The taxis of mum and dad make an average of 27 journeys per week, clocking up an average of 148 miles, ferrying children to a range of activities such as ballet, football practice and piano lessons.

New research* from Aviva reveals that, in fact, parents will have driven over half way to the moon (125,817 miles**) chaperoning their children to and from their hobbies and social engagements by the time they reach the legal driving age of 17.

Unsurprisingly, to keep up with their children’s busy social lives, the number of households relying on two cars to manage their family schedules has trebled in the past 40 years*** and  over a third of parents (36%) now rely upon two or more cars in order to split the numerous family car rides between them.

The research shows that the most demanding social schedule comes as children hit primary school. Parents of primary school kids make an average of 31 journeys per week (1,559 per year) between their cars to keep up with their children’s busy social calendar. These include trips to sports clubs and practice (three per week), trips to friend’s houses (three per week), family outings and events (six per week) and journeys to school (four per week) as well as various other after school activities and social clubs.

While the social lives of secondary school children demand less of mum and dad, parents of this age group still chaperone their children on an average 23 car trips per week, with trips to friends’ houses (3 per week) and sports clubs (3 per week) the most frequent journeys.

 Table 1: Requirements on Taxi of mum and dad by school age


Average number of journeys (per week)

Average distance travelled per week (miles)

Average distance travelled per year (miles)





Primary school




Secondary School




Over the course of a month, mum and dad on average will jointly spend the equivalent of one whole day ferrying their children between their social engagements (25.16 hours over the course of a month).

The average family cars undertake 12 trips to and from friend’s houses for play dates or sleepovers, 11 journeys to and from sports clubs or sports practice and six trips to and from their children’s friends’ birthday parties per month.

Table 2: Monthly trips made by mum and dad in the family cars

28 trips to and from family outings and events such as an adventure park or playground

12 trips to and from friend’s houses for play dates and sleepovers

11 journeys to and from sports clubs or practice

6 trips to and from birthday parties

5 trips to and from social clubs and activities

4 trips to and from music clubs or music lessons

Commenting on the findings, Heather Smith, Director of Marketing at Aviva said:  “It’s easy to see how parents could drive themselves round the bend with their children’s busy social lives, due to the array of social engagements and friend’s parties they are continually driving their children to and from.

“And with parents having to make around 27 journeys a week for their children, it’s no surprise that over a third of parents now rely on two or more cars to ferry their kids around.  It’s amazing they have any spare time left after the numerous family car rides.

“For households that require two cars to help them manage the busy family schedule, a multicar insurance policy is one way to help ease the strain of a busy family life and could save them money.  Families using an Aviva Multicar policy benefit from the convenience of one set of paperwork, one renewal date and a potential saving of up to a third on a second car’s insurance policy^’

Households that require two or more cars to help them manage their busy family schedule can save up to a third^ on their second car’s insurance policy with Aviva MultiCar insurance. We expect 20% of our customers to achieve the maximum saving of 1/3. For further details visit 

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Methodology and research methods:

*Aviva commissioned the research with Populus who interviewed 1,000 GB parents online between 12 August 2013 – 16 August 2013.

** Research calculated 125,817 miles as:

5 years driving pre-school children (0-4 years old) at 7,143 miles per year = 35,715 miles

6 years driving primary school children (5-10) at 8,415 miles per year = 50,490 miles

6 years driving secondary school children (11-16) at 6,602 miles per year = 39,612 miles

= 125,817 miles

Weekly trips related to school activities such as trips to school / nursery or school outings are calculated on a 39 week school year, rather than a 52 week annual average.

Weekly trips related to school activities such as trips to school / nursery or school outings are calculated on a 39 week school year, rather than a 52 week annual average.

***ONS General Lifestyle Survey – number of households with access to 2 or more cars or vans in 1972 was 8%, rising to 26% in 2011.

^Up to 1/3 off applied to the cheaper of the two vehicle insurance premiums. Both vehicles must be registered at the same address. Discount does not apply to optional extras.

- Ends -

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Notes to editors:

Aviva provides insurance, savings and investment products to 34 million customers worldwide.

We are the UK’s largest insurer with over 14 million customers and one of Europe’s leading providers of life and general insurance. We combine strong life insurance, general insurance and asset management businesses under one powerful brand. We are committed to serving our customers well in order to build a stronger, sustainable business, which makes a positive contribution to society, and for which our people are proud to work.

We are ranked as one of the UK’s top ten most valuable brands and Aviva Plc is in the top 10% of socially responsible companies globally in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.  In 2012 we invested £5.7m into our UK communities. One in three of our employees were involved in community investment activities which included giving nearly 30,000 hours.

Aviva is working in partnership with Railway Children through the Aviva Street to School programme to get children living or working on UK streets back into everyday life, especially education. Find out more at

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