School run mum and dads in Ireland could be providing as much as €10 billion worth of free lifts, equivalent to a quarter of our nation’s bailout debt burden, by the time their children reach the age of 15 according to a hypothetical calculation carried out by the AA.
The AA also shares that the majority of these hypothetical earnings would go to mums based on the findings of one of its past Members polls. Of a sample of 2,400 AA Members who have children under of 12, 64% of mums compared to 31% of the fathers said that they drive their child/children somewhere at least once a day.
In light of the amount of time our nations mums spend playing the role of chauffeur and in the spirit of Mother’s Day, the AA is calling on families to give mums a well earned break from driving this Sunday. According to the most recent available census data there are in the region of 450,000 mums in Ireland who have children between 5 and 14 years of age.
The AA derives its staggering €10 billion figure on the basis of each child attending a primary or secondary school located 5km away from their home. If mums could notionally charge a normal taxi fare for the journey (based on 1.4 children per mother in the 5-14 age category based on CSO census data) for each school day for 10 years, the amount would be €29,498.80 per Mum. (see tables below).
The AA calculation also factors in the most recent pupil numbers published by the Department of Education and Skills, the number of children who travel to school as a passenger in a car and the present day taxi rate per kilometer travelled.
“When you attempt put an equivalent monetary value against the hours mums and dads spend driving their kids around it’s a real eye opener.” Says Conor Faughnan, Director of Consumer Affairs, AA Ireland. “No better time than Mother’s Day to spare a thought for all those “taken for granted” lifts and allow mums to hang up the car keys for a day.”
Notes to the editors;
Fig. 1 Estimate of equivalent taxi fare for 8 years of school runs (Junior Infants to 2nd year of post primary school inclusive) based on present day taxi prices and school calendars:
A. For children attending primary school: 183 days* (average primary school year) x 20km per day (10km rounds trip, am & pm) x €1.03** per kilometer x 6 years = €22,618.80
B. For children attending 1st or 2nd year, post primary school: 167 days* (average post primary school year) x 20km per day (10km rounds trip, am & pm) x €1.03** per kilometer x 2 years = €6,880
(A + B = €29,499.20) x 347,179 pupils*** = €10,241,502,756.80
*Figure sourced from: www.citizensinformation.ie **This price has been sourced from
www.worldtaximeter.com/dublin on 05/03/13 and is indicative of the present day rate in the Dublin area. This figure does not allow for inflation/deflation.
***See fig. 5 below: No. of children who travel as a passenger in a car to school based on 2011 Census data
|Fig. 2 No. of mothers in Ireland with children between 5 and 14 years of age = 445,651* *Data sourced from CSO, Census Data ‘Profile 5, Households and Family’ See table 5 (pg. 44) www.cso.ieFigures include lone mothers, married mothers and mothers cohabiting with their partner.Note: As you will see from table 5 referenced above, figures are not available for 5-12 year olds exclusively.
Equally as the last age bracket does not provide an upper age limit (15 years and over) we have used the
5-14 yr age group for the purposes of this exercise.
| Fig. 3 No. of primary school and 1st & 2nd Year pupils in Ireland*Primary school pupils: 509,652
1st & 2nd Year pupils: 111,623
*Figures sourced from The Department of Education & Skills, Annual Statistical Report 2010-2011, Table 3.3 http://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Statistics/Statistical-Reports/
Fig. 4 Average no. of children per mother who has children aged between 5 and 14 years of age:
1.4 children = 621,275 (see fig. 3 above) / 445,651 (see fig. 2 above)
|Fig. 5 No. of children who travel as a passenger in a car to school based on 2011 Census data:Primary school pupils: 296,711*1st & 2nd Year pupils: 50,468**TOTAL 347,179
**www.cso.ie/px/pxeirestat/Statire/SelectVarVal/saveselections.asp – Note figure represents total for students aged 13-18
divided by 5 and multiplied by 2 to achieve an approximation for 13&14 year old pupils only.
Fig. 6 Overview of who provides lifts to children and with what frequency (based on 2,497 responses):
|A family friend||0.5%||7.1%||22.0%||30.4%||40%|
|Child minder / au pair||3.1%||4.5%||3.7%||3.5%||85.2%|
|A shared car pool||1.6%||5.1%||5.6%||5.4%||82.3%|
|The parent(s) of one of the child’s friends||0.4%||12.1%||25.2%||23.6%||38.7%|
 Data sourced from CSO, Census Data ‘Profile 5, Households and Family’ See table 5 (pg. 44) www.cso.ie/en/media/csoie/census/documents/census2011profile5/Profile%205%20Households%20and%20Families%20full%20doc%20sig%20amended.pdf
 The Department of Education & Skills, Annual Statistical Report 2010-2011, Table 3.3 http://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Statistics/Statistical-Reports/