Are We Bored Yet?

Back-seat boredom to cost parents £58 million this half-term

BORED kids start playing up just 12 minutes into a car journey, new research from reveals today.

With families planning to spend a total of seven hours on the roads together this half-term, experts are warning against being distracted by attention-seeking offspring as one in five drivers admit taking their eyes off the road because of misbehaving youngsters.

A poll of more than 3,000 parents by eBay Motors reveals Mums and Dads will do anything to keep the peace and are set to spend a total of £58 million keeping their kids quiet whilst they're behind the wheel next week.

Despite today's children being part of the iPod generation, I-spy remains the most popular car game for families, with twice as many parents choosing the old family classic over MP3 players and games consoles.

eBay Motors 'Cost of Keeping the Peace' study also reveals:

  • Each UK family will spend £19 keeping kids entertained on journeys this half term - enough petrol to take a family car from London to Alton Towers
  • A third of parents say they regularly lose their rag while driving thanks to kids playing up
  • Food, drink and bribes top the list of tactics parents use to keep the peace
  • Along with I-Spy and iPods, computer games and car-eoke are kids favourite ways to pass the time in the car

To help harassed parents keep their eyes on the road and their kids occupied beyond the 12-minute danger point, eBay Motors has created an online guide to the nation's most popular car games which parents can download for free from

Child Psychologist Doctor Pat Spungin comments on the results: “Despite getting distracted very early into a car journey, today's children can in fact be quite easily entertained. Simple, classic family car games such as I-spy and the number plate game are perfect for the motoring mother or father because they don't involve a great deal of attention and they're free.”

According to the survey, the best games for keeping children entertained are:

1. I-Spy
2. MP3 / Ipod / music systems
3. Computer game and consoles
4. Car-eoke
5. Built in car DVD systems
6. Car Bingo
7. The Number Plate Game / TLA (Three Letter Acronyms)
8. I Went to the Market
9. Consequences
10. Connections / Word Association

Charlie Coney of eBay Motors says: “The in-car entertainment section of the eBay Motors site is always busy ahead of Half Term but now there's even more reason for parents to pay it a visit. Given the amount set to be spent by parents, a free guide to keeping kids entertained should help avoid everyone being driven round the bend.”

For more tips from Doctor Pat Spungin and to download the eBay Motors car games guide log on to

15 February 2006 Staff

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