Managing finances can be extremely challenging and stressful for parents. One area which causes a fair amount of financial hardship is motoring, as it is no secret that parents spend a large amount of their time being a “taxi” for their children and children’s friends.
Time spent behind the wheel
The school run, sporting activities, visiting friends, attending parties and appointments are just a few of the trips that parents must make on a regular basis. On top of this, the parents will then have their own commitments such as driving to work, food shopping and socialising. When you add all of this, it means that parents are spending an awful amount of time behind the wheel.
In addition to the time adding up, this taxiing can also cost a fortune in terms of fuel consumption. In fact, a recent survey from Motorpoint found that one in three parents covered more than 30 miles each week and one in five were doing at least 40 ferrying their children around. The investigation revealed that parents spent over 100 hours each year behind the wheel for their kids. Nearly a fifth stated that the school run is causing them financial hardship and over £300 annually each year.
However, these trips are important to make and many happy memories are made in the family car. This means that parents need to find ways to reduce their fuel consumption, which could include investing in more efficient vehicles, taking part in lift-shares with other parents or occasionally walking/using public transportation to reach the destination.
Other expenses and ways to reduce costs
It is not just the fuel consumption that can make motoring extremely expensive for families. The increased time on the road increases the chances of needing repairs and general wear and tear on the vehicle. There is then car tax, insurance and general running costs to consider. Consequently, it is crucial for families to look at eco-driving advice to reduce the cost of driving as much as possible. This could include regularly checking tyre pressure, streamlining and losing extra weight on board, combining short trips and reducing the use of air conditioning.
Motoring will always be a large expense, but this is particularly true for parents. Parents spend a huge amount of time behind the wheel for the benefit of their children and this is often unavoidable. If this is causing financial hardship, it is crucial for parents to analyse their motoring situation and where they can make changes to their driving habits or by investing in a more efficient vehicle.