Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 - Roy Morgan Research

Parents drive over 1800km a year more than the average Australian driver—the equivalent of an extra trip from Melbourne to Brisbane during the year. And the older the kids, the more kilometres spent behind the wheel, new automotive data from Roy Morgan Research shows.

Australian drivers (14+) drive an average 15,813km per year, down around 2000km/year compared with ten years ago. However the 4.9 million drivers who are parents with children under 18 in the home drive 17,659km/year on average: a cumulative 87 billion kilometres annually (like leaving for Pluto at Christmas and arriving by Australia Day—should little Emily have a soccer game or sleepover there).

Parents with babies aged 0-2 and toddlers aged 3-5 drive an average 15,807km and 15,570km/year respectively, close to the norm.  But all the primary school dropping off and picking up at ages 6-8 takes the total up to 16,764km/year. When the kids turn 9-11 their parents drive farther still: an average 17.433km/year, close to the parental norm.

You’d think once kids are 12-15 years old there’s bikes and public transport to get them round. But no: having a new tween or teen in the house adds a massive 1,580km on the road (to 19,013km/year). And once you’re teaching them to drive themselves, at ages 16-17, expect to hit your driving peak at 4,233km/year more than the average driver: a total 20,046km/year—a leisurely family road trip from South Korea to South Africa. 

Mean number of kilometres driven annually:

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), June 2014 – May 2015 n = 13,058 Australian Drivers including 2,687 parents with children aged under 18 in the household.

Jordan Pakes, Industry Director - Automotive, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Parents know full well that having kids means more and more time behind the wheel as they grow up—but just how many extra kilometres they drive may come as a surprise.

“Well over 90% of parents with kids aged from newborn to eight say their car needs to be suitable for carrying children, while over 75% need lots of space and seating flexibility and say safety is the primary concern when choosing a vehicle.

“Car manufacturers and dealers, repairers, tyre and auto parts brands, petrol retailers and insurance companies would do well to investigate and track Australian parents’ driving habits and what they look for when buying a new car, from having a ‘baby on board’ to installing the first L-plate.”    

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Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Shaun Ellis
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