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Aussie parents drive up to 4200km more per year

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.

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.”      

For comments or more information about Roy Morgan Research’s automotive data, please contact:

Vaishali Nagaratnam
Telephone: +61 (3) 9224 5309

About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%