The 24/7 taxi that’s free

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cardriver lib INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Parents were also asked how much they spent on their children's hobbies  including the cost of transporting them to the activities. Picture: Karen Sandison

London - Parents have long been expected to act as taxi drivers at their children's beck and call.

But a survey has revealed the true extent of British parental help, with some spending up to 50 hours per month transporting their children around and about.

One third of mothers and fathers told the survey they spend between 10 and 49 hours behind the wheel every month bringing each of their children to school and social activities.

Due to the average number of children per family standing at 1.9 in the UK, in reality parents are spending nearly double this amount of time transporting their kids.

The survey, compiled by the AA, found that two percent of British parents spent at least 50 hours per month ferrying each of their children to various locations – equivalent to 25 days a year.

Other parents however are less generous with their time. Four percent of those surveyed said they never brought their children to school or other activities.

And another third of respondents said they spent just between one and four hours every month ferrying each of their children to different events.

Parents were also asked how much they spent on their children's hobbies – including the cost of transporting them to the activities.

One fifth said they spent £1,200 (about R15 000) every year on administrative and travel costs per child. Parents in London incur the highest expenditure on their children's hobbies and getting them there.

One in twenty parents surveyed in the capital said they spent £2,400 every year funding each of their kid's hobbies.

The AA's Mark Hall said that he hoped the huge amount of time spent by parents chauffeuring their children would be “repaid” when parents grow older.

He said: “Besides taking up a lot of time, parents driving habits can influence the drivers their children will become later in life so it's important they set a good example on these journeys.

“Hopefully many of those hours spent driving the children to their activities will be re-paid when they are old enough to drive themselves and keen to get behind the wheel – even if it is just popping to the supermarket to help their mom out.” - Daily Mail

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