Driving The Kids CARazy

  • "Kidfluence" costing British parents £3 billion* a year
  • Children in the driving seat when car buying

British parents shed out an extra £3bn a year giving in to their kids' demands for top notch cars, bigger houses and more exotic holidays. The new research out today by eBayMotors.co.uk reveals two thirds of pressured parents try to keep up with the expensive taste of Junior (62%) rather than the more traditional pressure of keeping up with the Jones's (6%).

Dubbed 'Power Pestering' the phenomenon has seen children nagging mums and dads for big ticket lifestyle purchases such as cars rather than traditional toys and sweets.

The top five areas of child influence over parents' spending choices are:

    1. Family holidays
    2. Electronic and audio-visual goods
    3. Interior décor and computer set up
    4. Buying a new house
    5. Buying a new car
In the driving seat…

When it comes to buying the family car, one in five (20%) parents admit their kids have a say in what car they eventually choose.

For many parents, the start of school term spells a real 'power pestering' headache. Thirty eight per cent of Mums and Dads see an increase in nagging as kids are reunited with their classmates and try desperately to fit back in and impress them at the schoolgates.

And take note if you're selling your car - 'Power Pestering' may soon be coming to your doorstep. Two thirds of parents (66%) now take their kids along with them when buying big ticket items in order to ensure their approval and satisfaction, with over one million (16%) British parents insisting their kids go on a test drive with them before they make their final decision.

Of those kids who pester their parents for a car, precious few are gearing up to be the green motorists of the future with gas guzzlers topping their wish lists. Supercars top the poll by a mile:

    1. Supercar like a Ferrari 42%
    2. Big jeep or 4x4 26%
    3. Vintage car 11%
    4. Luxury car like a Bentley 10%
    5. Smart car or small car 5%
    6. Camper van 4%
    7. Dual fuel / hybrid 2%
eBay Motors' 'Power Pester' study also reveals
  • Parents are happy to fork out on average £400 more every time they buy a new car just to keep the kids on-side
  • The top five car whinges by kids are; lack of high tech gadgets like Sat Nav (22%), the car is too old (16%), the car is not cool enough (15%), the car is too small (14%) and the car drives too slowly (7%)
The drive of shame…
  • 32% of kids choose to walk home rather than be embarrassed by their parents collecting them from school.
  • 15% try to completely ignore their parents, pretending not to know them at all.
  • The drive of shame: 22% of kids find their parents' car and driving a massive source of embarrassment

Jody Ford from eBayMotors.co.uk comments, “Children are becoming a major influence in many aspects of modern life, especially when it comes to buying a car. More and more buyers are bringing their kids on test drives so we encourage people who are selling their car to consider more than just the primary buyer when getting their car ready for sale. Those selling their car could reap huge rewards making their vehicle child-friendly by installing a games console or even DVD player. Inclusion of gadgets to impress the kids could mean incurring a short term cost but in the long run it could add value to the final sale price of your car.“

Commenting on the findings, child psychologist expert, Dr. Richard Woolfson says, "No parent is immune to power pestering, although they may be reluctant to admit this to themselves. Involving kids in family decision-making is a positive step, but there is a difference between asking a child's opinion and letting the child actually make the decision.

“When buying a car, it's a good idea to sit the kids down and let them know what options you're looking at before you venture on a test drive. Try to explain that there are big implications to consider when buying a family car like safety and fuel economy, and so that's why the decision is ultimately Mum and Dad's as they are adults and know what's best for everyone! The kids feel much more commitment to the final choice when they know their parents have listened to their views”.

14 September 2006 Staff

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