During the summer holidays, the average grandparent looks after two of their grandchildren for a total of 11 days, reveals new research** commissioned by Europcar, the leader in car hire services in Europe. And the summer holidays don’t come cheap, with grandparents spending an average of £105 over their usual daily living costs during the school break – equating to over £1,000 for the average of 11 days.
Grandparents are a vital source of childcare for many parents, especially during the long school holidays. But Europcar’s research reveals that one fifth (20%) spend an extra £50-£100 per day, compared to their normal daily expenditure. And on top of the cost of looking after grandchildren, 19% have to take time off work to do so. The findings were released in London.
“It’s hard for parents to afford childcare for the whole of the summer holidays, so grandparents often step in to hold the fort,” said Jan Emms, mum of former GB Badminton number 1, Gail Emms, who often helps out with care of her grandchildren. “It can add up to a lot of extra expense to keep them occupied – as well as having to adjust normal daily plans. For example meal times, and what you eat, changes. And it’s a tight squeeze to get everything in the car when going out for day trips or a few days away!”
Looking at the regional picture, grandparents in the East and North West take care of their grandchildren for an average of 12 days, compared to the national average of 11 days. However, grandparents in London, the South West, Midlands, South East and Yorkshire only take the grandkids for 10 days.
North West grandparents seem to bear the biggest financial brunt, spending £181 above their normal daily living costs. London grandparents spend on average £134 and those in the South West seem to spend the least at £79 above their normal daily living costs.
The average grandparent says they travel for an average of 1 hour and 53 minutes when they take their grandchildren away on more than a day trip during the summer holidays. However, this goes up to 2 hours 22 minutes, in Scotland, compared to just 1 hour 29 minutes in the South West.
“It’s clear from our research that grandparents take on a lot of the care of their grandchildren during the summer holidays and this can mean having to adjust their normal lifestyle,” added Gary Smith, Managing Director, Europcar UK Group. “For example, their normal car might be a squeeze when it comes to fitting in the grandkids for day trips out. Europcar’s affordable vehicle hire is a convenient, stress-free option. Whether it’s booking something with extra room or wanting the security of a modern, well-maintained car to get everyone there safely, Europcar has something to suit every family and every budget.”
Europcar has over 200 locations across the UK and the widest choice of vehicles. Customers can benefit from Europcar’s Delivery and Collection service, making it the ideal choice for busy families at any time of year. Plus, Europcar vehicles are fully covered by 24 hour Roadside Assistance at no extra cost, as well as a damage liability and theft waiver, for added peace of mind on long journeys.
* Based on average of grandparents stating they look after grandchildren for total of 11 days and on average spend £105 over and above daily living costs
** Survey conducted May 2016 by Censuswide – sample 504 grandparents – PRNewswire