Mum And Dad Cabs Clock Up £32 Billion Of Unpaid Fares A Year

30 March 2012

The study shows that over 9.3 million parents spend time driving their children around, covering an average of 24.7 miles a week(3) worth £46.17(1). On top of this, parents spend an average of around one hour 14 minutes sitting in their cars waiting around for their children(3), worth another £20.49 a week(1). In total the average parent who drives their children around is worth £66.66 a week in taxi fares to his or her children(1).

Parents can’t put a price on the time spent with their children but for those who have ever wondered what it would cost for someone to do it for them, 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’

The research(1) from Sainsbury’s car insurance reveals that dads bear the brunt of the taxi duties, with 4.8 million fathers regularly ferrying their kids around compared to 4.6 million mothers(3). “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(3).

Of those parents who drive their children around, eight per cent drive them over 50 miles a week, more than half of whom (5%) cover a time-sapping 100 miles a week or more driving their children to social and recreational events(3).

But far from being disgruntled at the amount of time they spend on parental taxi duty, almost two thirds of parents (61%) find this time provides some benefits to their relationships with their children.  One in three (30%) 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(3).

One in four (27%) parents say that the time spent driving their children around strengthens their bond with them, 18% say it is one of the best times to raise difficult issues with them, and 17% say it provides some of the best quality time that they have with their kids(2).

Ben Tyte, Head of Sainsbury’s car insurance said: “Parents spend a huge amount of time ensuring their children get to sports, classes and events and see their friends – time and effort which often goes unacknowledged. However, many parents take positives from the time spent driving their children around and find it offers them a good opportunity to talk to them and strengthen their bond.

“With the cost of motoring rising, ferrying the kids around can also be expensive. We’d urge these motoring parents to make sure they are considering all they can to reduce the cost of running their car by shopping around for competitively priced fuel, researching quality car insurance at the right price and looking for deals on MOTs and servicing. Our car insurance offers a preferential discount of up to 15%(4), as well as double Nectar points for two years, for example(5).”

Parents in London have the highest average taxi value to their children, providing over £103 of taxi services to their offspring on average, partially because of higher taxi rates in the capital. Parents in Scotland are worth around £73 a week to their children in taxi value, and those in the South East are worth around £72 a week(1).

Table one:  Parental taxi values around Britain
Location Average weekly taxi value of a parent(1) Number of parents who drive their children around(2) Total parental taxi value in this area(1)
South East £72.34 1,536,000 £111,107,600
London £103.04 774,000 £79,754,700
North West £54.30 1,203,000 £65,325,000
East of England £68.42 954,000 £65,276,500
West Midlands £64.63 952,000 £61,532,200
South West £62.52 772,000 £48,267,800
Yorkshire & Humberside £56.50 822,000 £46,444,400
Scotland £73.48 622,000 £45,702,900
East Midlands £59.07 670,000 £39,574,500
Wales £61.66 575,000 £35,454,100
North East £56.39 452,000 £25,488,700
GB £66.66 9,330,000 £621,957,400
Source: Sainsbury’s car insurance

Sainsbury’s car insurance customers can choose from two options of cover, both offering some of the widest range of cover and benefits available in the marketplace. New Sainsbury’s car insurance customers could also benefit from double Nectar points on all Sainsbury’s shopping in-store, online and in petrol filling stations for two years; the saving equates to the equivalent of 2% off their Sainsbury’s purchases when paying along with their Nectar card(5). For example, those spending £49 a week in-store at Sainsbury’s could, over a year, earn up to a week’s free shopping(6). In addition, new customers taking out a policy before 9th April could benefit from free breakdown assistance for one year(7).

For further information on Sainsbury’s car insurance, call 0800 092 9459, visit or pick up a leaflet in store.


For further information, please contact:
Phil Anderson / Ian Morris / Tom Wilson
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
020 7638 9571

Notes to editors:

(1) Sainsbury’s car insurance calculations based on ICM research (see footnote 3) and a survey of hackney carriage rates as set by local authorities and averaged out for each region, collected between 20-27th February 2012
(2) – 401 million kilometres is approximately 250 million miles
(3) 2,004 GB adults were interviewed by ICM in an online survey between 23rd and 24th February 2012. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults.  ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.  Further information at
(4) At least 10% of Nectar customers who are Sainsbury’s shoppers will achieve the maximum discount of 15%. Terms and conditions and exclusions apply,
(5) Double Nectar points available to customers purchasing comprehensive cover. The policy must be renewed at first renewal for double Nectar points to continue. for full terms and conditions. Points are not available on a limited range of Sainsbury’s goods and services – see in-store or for details.
(6) Week’s free shopping earned by combining base points earned in-store/online and offer bonus points for 2 years when you collect double Nectar points with selected finance products. For example, £49 per weekly spend over a year earned 10,192 Nectar points = £50 approx to redeem in-store. Bonus Nectar points subject to a monthly maximum of 2,500 points per qualifying product type per month.
(7) Terms and conditions and exclusions apply,
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Sainsbury’s was the first major British supermarket to open a bank, commencing trading in February 1997. Benefiting from a fantastic, trusted brand that enables us to combine the shopping experience with personal finance, Sainsbury’s Bank provides a range of quality products including insurances, credit cards, savings and loans. Our proposition is to make shopping more rewarding by offering customers great products at fair prices, while consistently rewarding shoppers for their loyalty and being easy to do business with at all times.  Our products consistently top Best Buy tables and regularly win awards for quality, price and service.

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About RBS Insurance
RBS Insurance Group is the number one car and home insurer in the UK (based on policies in force 2010) and is wholly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Headquartered in Bromley, Kent, it has operations in the UK, Germany and Italy.
It provides a wide range of general insurance products to consumers through a number of well known brands including; Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. It also provides insurance services for third party brands, through its UKI Partnerships division.  In the commercial sector, its NIG and Direct Line for Business operations provide insurance products for businesses via brokers or direct respectively.
In addition to insurance services, RBS Insurance continues to provide support and reassurance to millions of UK motorists through its Green Flag breakdown recovery service and Tracker stolen vehicle recovery and telematics business.
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