Škoda UK has developed a new smartphone app, ŠKODA PARENT TAXI, which lets parents charge their kids via the currency of chores. Launched ahead of the summer holidays, the ŠKODA PARENT TAXI app has been created as part of new research by Škoda which found Britain’s parents drive approximately 1,648 additional miles a year ferrying their children around! That’s the equivalent of an incredible £12,565 worth of taxi fares if parents were to charge their kids the average London taxi cost-per-mile rate.
It’s no wonder two thirds of parents (66%) said they sometimes feel like a taxi service for their kids; spending on average an extra three hours in the car each week driving their children to places such as friends’ houses and sports clubs. Northern Ireland was found to have the hardest working parent taxi drivers with mum and dad travelling 2,142 miles on average each year for their kids.
Available to download for free on iOS and Android, ŠKODA PARENT TAXI acts like a real taximeter allowing parents to exchange miles for chores; such as cleaning the car, feeding the family pet, tidying their bedroom, and doing the washing up.
The intuitively designed app works by tracking the car journey via GPS and parents or guardians can set how many miles equate to a single chore. Once the driver has reached their passenger’s destination, the app totals the miles travelled and reveals the chore/s for the journey.
As a means of receipt, the driver can share the completed journey directly to the passenger’s smartphone/connected device via text or email; it even gives the option to share the details on social media. Other functionality includes the ability to view past journeys and fares, create a bespoke chore receipt, and track the total amount of journeys.
To trial the app, ŠKODA enlisted the help of mummy blogger, Jo Middleton and her teenage daughter Belle.
Having completed several journeys using ŠKODA PARENT TAXI, Middleton said: “This is the app I’ve been waiting for! It’s true that kids generally have a better social life than adults and as result that can mean a lot of car journeys each week. Although I love encouraging them to get out and do more, I think it’s a great idea to swap miles for some help around the house in return.”
Naturally, it’s not just teens that rely on mum and dad to drive them around, it’s younger siblings too. Studies have now shown that encouraging younger children to help with household chores, such as tidying away their toys and games, can improve their motor development.
The survey showed 89% of parents regularly ask their children to help out with chores around the home. The most popular household jobs that parents ask their kids to do are tidying their bedroom (62%), doing the dishes (30%), taking out the rubbish (29%) and vacuuming (23%).
In addition, although parents are spending significant time on the road, nearly half (47%) admitted to using the time to catch up with their kids, and 44% don’t mind the extra miles as they’d rather their kids are out doing things - one dedicated parent even covered a 440 mile roundtrip from Bury to Edinburgh and back so their child could compete in a cycle race.
Despite parents seemingly unwavering generosity, Škoda has one eye out for all those hardworking grownups and launched the ŠKODA PARENT TAXI app to help strike a fairer family life balance.
Of course, at what age parents decide to use this app as a means of payment for lifts is at their own discretion!