PARENTS across the UK will be all too familiar with the struggle of getting their kids out of the house and into the car. Just finding a pair of socks that don’t “have bumps” is a daily battle that steals precious minutes in some households. Now Seat claims to have worked out just how much time mums and dads lose every year due to their uncooperative offspring.
According to the Spanish car maker’s findings, British parents spend around 96 hours every year (the equivalent of four days) trying to get their children from the house into the car.
This, Seat says, adds 20 minutes on average to the journey time, with one in 14 parents who were quizzed saying the setbacks mean they head off a whopping 40 minutes later than planned.
Disruptive daughters and sons appear to have a big impact on parents who drop off their kids at school before heading to work, as nearly a third (30%) of mothers and fathers said their kids make them late starting their shifts at least once a week, by around 11 minutes on average.
The amount of time it takes for parents to get their kids buckled up and ready to go varies considerably across the country. On average, it takes children in London the longest to get ready to set off, taking on average 18 minutes and 12 seconds to go from the house to the car, which is more than double the time (seven minutes and 49.2 seconds) for kids in East Anglia to get ready.
In the battle (to get out of the house) of Britain, Scottish children appeared to be more punctual than their contemporaries in much of England, taking on average around eight minutes and 40.8 seconds to be ready to hit the road. Just under half (46%) of parents living north of the border said their kids never make them late.
Those in Northern Ireland spent just over a minute longer (nine minutes and 48.6 seconds) to go from the house to the car, with Welsh whippersnappers taking just six seconds longer (nine minutes and 54.6 seconds) to get out of the house.
Working parents are often made late for work as a result, with those in London again affected the most by troublesome children; just under two fifths (16%) of mums and dads living in and around the capital claimed their children made them late to the office every single day.
It’s unclear why Londoners struggle more than most to get their children into the car, though the relative lack of private driveways and off-street parking must make it trickier for many. Especially if they have to go back to the house or flat for yet another pair of socks.
Average time taken to get the children into the car by region
|London||18 minutes, 12 seconds|
|South West||10 minutes, 21 seconds|
|North East||10 minutes, 10.2 seconds|
|Wales||Nine minutes, 54.6 seconds|
|Northern Ireland||Nine minutes, 48.6 seconds|
|West Midlands||Nine minutes, 45.6 seconds|
|South East||Nine minutes, 42 seconds|
|East Midlands||Nine minutes, 33 seconds|
|Scotland||Eight minutes, 40.8 seconds|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||Eight minutes, 35.4 seconds|
|North West||Eight minutes, 7.8 seconds|
|East Anglia||Seven minutes, 49.2 seconds|