What Really Happens Behind Car Doors? Half of Brits use Family Car Journeys as Quality Time Together and a Chance to Discuss Awkward Topics


  • Renault survey finds that half of UK parents use driving with their children to encourage discussion on serious issues
  • More than half of children are more likely to talk to their parents about any awkward topics when their parents are behind the wheel
  • Research conducted amongst 2,000 British parents
  • The All-New Renault Scénic is being used to put the findings to the test in a year-long experiment

Renault UK has revealed new research that explores the importance of family time in the car as a place of honest conversations and storytelling.  The study found that the family car is becoming a travelling confessional with over half (54%) of kids are more likely to open up about topics such as what happened at school and trouble with friends when mum or dad is behind the wheel.

Putting the findings into reality, Renault is conducting a year-long social experiment with online personalities Mother Pukka (@mother_pukka) and Father of Daughters (@father_of_daughters). Their day-to-day business will be revealed via dash-cams as the families navigate everyday life.  

More than a third (38%) of parents think their conversations with their children are far more honest in the car than anywhere else. Over 40% believe this honesty is down to their kids not being under a judgmental stare and one in five (19%) think it’s because their kids can’t immediately be sent to their room.

It's not just parents, who are wise to the benefits of using the car as a place for talking openly. Picking their moment perfectly, more than one in five kids (22%) admitted to getting into trouble with a teacher or not doing well in a test (22%).  A further 14% have owned up to forgetting to do homework and almost one in 10 (8%) to getting a detention.

Further afield from school, a third of parents (32%) find it easier to talk about more delicate subjects with the kids when on the road. Over half (59%) of parents instigate awkward topics such as the ‘birds and the bees’ in the car so they don’t have to engage in eye-contact.

  • 33% discuss troubles with friends;
  • 17% talk about troubles with a boyfriend or a girlfriend;


  • 10% of children have discussed changes in their body shape;
  • 8% of kids wanted the ‘sex chat’.

One in 10 (9%) parents surveyed said they deliberately embark on a car journey in a desperate bid to get their child to talk more.  28% of parents admit to learning more about their children in the car then they would at home. In fact, 31% feel more clued up on their kids’ favourite music and TV shows after a journey and 22% say they know more about their friends.

A third (34%) of parents said they listen more in the car than at home. Of those surveyed, 49% believe it’s the absence of having to cook and 44% having the pressure to leave the house on time (44%) that distracts them at home.

Dr Linda Papadopolous, leading family psychologist said: “This research suggests that the car journey can be a really important time for families, as for some it can be the only time where a conversation can take place with very little distraction.

Based on the findings of the study it appears that parents feel that their children are more comfortable addressing deeper and more meaningful issues if they’re not under the spotlight – if mum or dad are focused on the road they can’t be under their watchful gaze, and sometimes this can make it easier to open up.

And given the fact most parents are driving their children around in excess of eight times a week, this means families have plenty of time to talk.”

Renault commissioned the research of 2,000 UK parents to highlight the importance of family time in the car as a place for quality conversations and as an environment for families to thrive. Renault’s year-long social experiment with online personalities Mother Pukka (@mother_pukka) and Father of Daughters (@father_of_daughters) will capture the daily trials and tribulations of the two young families in the All-New Renault Scénic, revealing the real life conversations and experiences as the parents navigate all sorts of challenges.  Experiences will range from the everyday school run, to family trips and after school journeys to hobbies and activities. The experiences will be shown at: www.life.renault.co.uk.

Renault invented the concept of the family people carrier. The latest fourth generation Scénic and Grand Scénic family car range blends striking design with the utmost practicality and the most advanced safety and convenience technology features. Customers can choose the 5-seater Scenic or 7-seater Grand Scenic a choice of five different powertrains - two petrol and three diesel engines with either manual or Auto EDC transmissions. The Scénic and Grand Scénic range also provide CO2 emissions as low as 100g/km & fuel economy of up to 72.4mpg (NEDC combined). To ensure maximum capacity for everything a family needs, the All-New Scenic has a best-in-class boot volume of 572-litres. The All-New Scenic range is priced from £21,605.




Notes to editors:

Based on a survey carried out by Renault UK Ltd. in 2017 with 2,000 parents in the UK that drive with children aged 2-18, via OnePoll.

About Groupe Renault

Groupe Renault has been making cars since 1898. Today it is an international multi-brand group, selling more than 2.8 million vehicles in 125 countries in 2015, with 36 manufacturing sites, 12,000 sales outlets and employing more than 120,000 people. To meet the major technological challenges of the future and continue its strategy of profitable growth, the Group is harnessing its international growth and the complementary fit of its three brands, Renault, Dacia and Renault Samsung Motors, together with electric vehicles and the unique Alliance with Nissan. With a new team in Formula 1 and a strong commitment to Formula E, Renault sees motorsport as a vector of innovation and brand awareness.

In the UK, Groupe Renault UK has nearly 160 dealers selling the range of Renault cars, LCVs and Dacia. Groupe Renault UK sales significantly outpaced the UK vehicle market during 2015, with sales totalling 127,343 vehicles – up 17.4 per cent on 2014.