The Cost of Driving Kids Around to U.K. Parents


It’s no secret that raising children requires a measure of sacrifice, but even small costs and inconveniences build up in unexpected ways. Most parents in the U.K. have spent more than their fair share of time ferrying their children to and fro between school, home, doctor’s appointments and parties, and all of that can really build up.

The Cost in Coin

A recent article from Motorpoint reveals that the average parent drives sixteen to twenty miles per week—that’s about 1,000 miles a year—solely to get their kids from A to B. Let’s crunch some numbers and see what that amounts to.

Going to school in the car with childrenAt time of writing petrol costs an average of £5.25 per gallon and the average efficiency of all cars across the country is just under 38 miles to the gallon. Run all that through and that’s an average expenditure of £138.16 (rounded to the nearest penny) per year, and even more in a diesel car. Some families may not even need a second car, and all the associated costs of running it, if their children’s mobility wasn’t a concern, so in some cases you might even add the price of the car and each year’s road tax to the money spent.

Time on the Road

But money isn’t the only thing you spend when driving—there’s also time to consider. Assuming an average speed of 30mph (which seems fair, given all the 20mph limits parents face in school zones and suburbs) 1,000 miles would take over 33 hours to drive. Over half the parents in the U.K. spend more than 45 minutes per week driving their children around, and about the same number say they’d like to spend less time on it.

What Can You Do?

There are ways around some of these costs, of course. School buses and schemes that provide free bus passes to students exist for just this purpose, but that’s a fairly obvious answer and if a family isn’t already using these services it’s probably for a good reason. Carpooling with other parents is an option, especially if there are a lot of families living close by.

Of course, for a lot of parents driving their kids around comes with the benefit of being able to spend time with them in an otherwise busy world, so there’s always a balance to strike.


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