Child Taxis: Parents using their kids for lifts in role reversal

20th December 2012

  • Four in five (79 per cent) parents have been given a lift by their children
  • Half (51 per cent) say they save money by asking their child for a lift instead of taking public transport1
  • Over half (56 per cent) have been given a lift to a party or special occasion where they may have been drinking

After ferrying their children around for 17 years, picking them up at all hours of the day from friends' houses and school discos, 79 per cent of parents are taking the opportunity for a role reversal. According to a study by Churchill car insurance2, after passing their driving test, many children become the ones who pick their parents up from parties or drive them to and from various social engagements.

The frequency of lifts received by parents is fairly consistent, with eight per cent of parents getting a lift at least once a month and six per cent at least once a week. Two per cent of parents get a lift to work from their child every day.

The study shows that parents are taking advantage of the opportunity to let their hair down after years of parental responsibility and enjoy a tipple. For those that regularly3 get a lift from their children, 20 per cent of respondents cited that they did so because they wanted to drink, while of those who get a lift as a one off, or less than once a month, 24 per said that they knew that they wanted to drink and may have been over the limit, and therefore called upon their child for a lift.

51 per cent of parents say that they save money by getting a lift from their child rather than taking public transport1. However, nearly a quarter of parents (24 per cent) say that they pay their child the same sum they would pay if they took public transport. A more generous contingent of parents said that they pay even more than they would if they had taken public transport1 (24 per cent). The average payment parents will shell out per journey is £11.16.

Tony Chilcott, head of Churchill car insurance said, "The wonderful thing about family is that you know you can always rely on them to help you out when you need a favour. So now that the party season is well under way, if you are going to drive - don't drink, if you are going to drink - don't drive! This may well mean calling upon a family member to give you a lift".

Most popular places that parents get a lift from their kids to/from are:

  • the shops (65 per cent)
  • friends'/relatives' house (61 per cent)
  • restaurant (57 per cent)
  • party or special occasion (56 per cent)
  • pub/bar (39 per cent)
  • airport (36 per cent)
  • train station (26 per cent)
  • cinema (20 per cent)
  • concert/gig (16 per cent)
  • work (13 per cent)

For further information, please contact:

Chloe French
Churchill Press Office
Tel: 0208 285 8848

Notes to editors:

  • 1Public transport or private hire taxi
  • 2Churchill car insurance commissioned Opinium Research to carry out an online survey of 2,013 UK adults aged 18+ from 11th to 13th December 2012.
    Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria. Regional statistics can be provided upon request.
  • 3Regularly in this instance meaning once per month or more.


Founded in 1989, Churchill is now one of the UK’s leading providers of general insurance, offering car, home, travel and pet insurance cover over the phone or on-line.

Churchill general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Churchill and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Churchill products or get a quote by calling 0300 200300 or visiting