Mums and dads could be earning a fortune for ‘parent taxi’ services

Parents could earn £61.50 in taxi fares running their kids around this half term, according to #ParentTaxi app

Posted on 23 Oct 2017

8.6 million2 fewer cars will be on the road this half term – majority (50%) of which are parents taking time off to look after their kids.
Mums and dads will spend almost TWO HOURS3 of half term giving their children lifts in the car.
One in eight (13%)4 parents would charge their children petrol money.
Mums run their kids around more often in a week than dads (5 lifts vs 4 lifts, on average)4. has created the #ParentTaxi app to help mums and dads find out just how much they could earn from running their kids around.

This October half term, almost two fifths (39%)3 of commuters will be leaving behind their daily commute, relieving roads of approximately 8.6 million2 cars. And almost half of these are parents taking time off to spend with their kids. However, some parents are facing a week of ferrying their children around, and the cost certainly adds up.

New research found that parents could be earning a whopping £61.501 in taxi fares for running their kids around over the half term, according to the #ParentTaxi app. The taxi-meter-style app allows mums and dads see just how much time they are spending running their children around, and how much they could be earning as a taxi driver. The app could come in handy for the 4 million5 parents who are taking time off over the week-long break to look after their kids

Further research by the driver savings site found that parents with school-age children will be spending 1 hour 53 minutes running their kids around during the half-term week, on average3. This is almost half an hour longer than they would spend in an average week (1 hours 30 minutes), which would usually earn them £50 in taxi fares1 if they were to use the #ParentTaxi app. While most parents (69%)4 are kind enough to never want to charge their child petrol money, more than one in eight (13%) admit they would charge their child petrol if they were old enough and had a job.

The research by revealed it is mums who are spending more time as a parent taxi driver than dads, giving lifts to their kids five times a week, on average (vs four)4. However, there seems to be some dispute over who is the main parent run-around. Nearly two thirds (65%) of mums say they do the majority of driving their kids around while half (50%) of dads say it is them who spends more time behind the wheel with their kids in the car. Although dads (24%) are also more willing to admit their partner does the majority of ferrying around.

Regardless of who gives the most lifts, both mums and dads really do go the extra mile to ensure their child is safely picked up or dropped off. In fact, when asked about the furthest they have travelled in one return journey to give their child a lift, parents said they had driven 41 miles on average4. And nearly one in 20 (4%) say the furthest they have driven to pick up or drop off their child was over 201 miles.

However, it seems dads have drawn the short straw when it comes to giving the kids a lift, and have faced longer journeys than mums. Dads have driven longer than two hours (2 hours 3 minutes)4 in one journey, where mums have only had to spend 1 hour 43 minutes in the car when taking their child somewhere.

It is mums, however, that seem to be the most lenient and are most likely to give up their time to give their kid a lift. In fact, almost half (46%)4 of mums say they have had to cancel or rearrange their own plans to pick up or drop off their child. Fewer dads (43%) say this is something they have had to do. 

Unfortunately, this unofficial taxi service is part and parcel of being a parent, especially given that parents are mostly finding themselves driving their kids to and from school. In fact, roughly 21 minutes of the 1 hour 30 minute weekly average driving time is spent doing the common school run. Parents are also spending 17 minutes on average driving to visit the grandparents and 13 minutes a week taking their kids to meet their friends. For those with kids in a job, 9 minutes on average is also spent taking or pick them up from work. 

Although, surprisingly, it isn’t teenagers who are making use of their parents taxi services as much as expected. In fact, most mums and dads (8%)4 have revealed their most frequent passenger is their eight year-old. Together, almost three in ten (28%) parents are spending the most time running their kids aged between 7 and 10, and almost a quarter (23%) mostly give lifts to their 15 to 18 year olds.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at, says: “As a parent, I am not surprised to see that mums and dads are spending so much time running their kids around. And with the October half term coming up, it is undoubtable parents will be spending more time giving lifts.

“Although it is very much all part of being a parent, mums and dads are still having to fork out a lot on fuel to be able to give lifts to their kids this frequently. And with the cost of fuel rising, it is only going to get more expensive.

“ has created the #ParentTaxi meter as a tongue-in-cheek, but also eye-opening way for mums and dads to see just how much they could earn in fares. And while we don’t expect parents to be charging their children for petrol money, those who really want to reduce their spend on motoring should compare the costs online using the fuel price comparison.”


Notes to editors

All costs are calculated based on 0.554p per minute. The taxi meter calculated a 25 minute journey at £13.60 (£13.60/25 = 0.544).
1. Example calculation: parents expect to spend 1 hour 53 minutes over the half term. 113 x 0.544 = £61.50
2. 39,975,351 registered full driving licences in June 2017, 54.6% of which commute to work by car = 21,826,542. 39% of these will be taking time off during the half term = 8,512,351. 
3. Figures taken from omnibus research carried out by One Poll on behalf of This was an online poll of 2,000 UK adults who drive (nationally representative sample). The research was conducted between 16th – 18th October 2017
4. Figures taken from omnibus research carried out by One Poll on behalf of This was an online poll of 1,767 UK adults with children aged between 0-18 and drive (nationally representative sample). The research was conducted between 2nd June 2017 and 14th June 2017.
5. 50% of respondents taking time off during half term are doing so to look after their kids. 8,512,351/2 = 4,256,176 parents taking time off to look after their kids.


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