Get off my back: we're a nation of nagging parents

  • Moving away from home, getting a full-time job and owning a car are seen as the official signs of becoming an adult
  • Parents from Newcastle are the nation’s biggest nags, according to their kids
  • A fifth of parents dislike the freedom driving gives their teen children
  • A tenth of us believe we aren’t ‘officially’ adults until the age of 25
  • Direct Line’s DrivePlus box monitors young peoples’ driving activity

A new survey of parents and their children from Direct Line’s DrivePlus, today reveals that we are a nation of naggers, constantly on our children’s cases about everything from loud music to how fast they drive a car.

Almost a fifth of UK parents (18 per cent) admit that driving is one of the key topics of argument as children aged between 17 and 25 grow up, fly the nest and have their first taste of independence. Main concerns include; driving too fast (19 per cent), playing loud music that distracts concentration (13 per cent) or being distracted by someone irresponsible in the car (6 percent).

Direct Line is reassuring the ‘nagging-rents’ - coined by one of those surveyed - with the DrivePlus box, which monitors driving activity and measures driving safety based on factors including speed, smooth driving (acceleration/braking) and time of day. If drivers score well enough on the DrivePlus box, they may qualify for a discount on their renewal at the end of the insurance policy’s term.

Moving away from home (65 per cent), getting a full-time job (58 per cent), owning a car (32 per cent) and having a mortgage (43 per cent) are seen by the nation as the key milestones to becoming an adult officially, despite a tenth of the nation believing that we aren’t adults until we turn at least 25 years old. A fifth (20 per cent) believes the transition happens at age 21.

More than a third of kids most look forward to being able to come and go as they please when they eventually leave home (34 per cent) and almost a third of us (30 per cent) don’t miss it at all once we’ve left, feeling ready to stand on our own two feet.

Perhaps parents have reason to be concerned as the research of both parents and their children revealed that Gen Z is in fact more mischievous as a generation than their parents were at the same age (49 per cent versus 7 percent admitting to staying up to play video games), with girls being more likely to pinch a drink from the alcohol cupboard than boys (20 per cent versus 24 per cent). Today’s rule breaking includes, coming home after curfew and sneaking out late at night with the car.

18-year-old Sophie Jones, a student in Newcastle surveyed on the issue said, “The DrivePlus box sounds like the perfect way get my parents off my back. My dad is always going on at me about my driving. At least this is something I can tell him about, for him to cool off.”

Wendy Moores, Head of Marketing, Direct Line said: “Parents have always been concerned about their children starting to drive but are also thrilled to see them gaining their independence; it's a weird paradox that parents do and don’t want to see their children diving.

We want to reassure them that with Direct Line and DrivePlus, their families are in good hands. Young drivers have the freedom they want, coupled with the reassurance that they have an insurance policy that can change and grow with them.

Those keen to identify as adults, are desperate to prove their parents wrong and show that they are responsible enough for a little more freedom. They’re also beginning to become aware that saving money through their renewal will help once they’ve left the family home”

Despite not missing their parents’ nagging ways, specific home comforts that we miss when we’re braving the world alone include; home cooked food (28 per cent), our parents’ taxi service (12 per cent) and getting our laundry done (14 per cent)

And whether we have flown the nest early or are outstaying our welcome, we’re never truly free, as more than two thirds of parents (68 per cent) admit to telling off children even when they’re over the age of 21.

For more information about Direct Line black box motor insurance visit



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For further information please contact:


Lornette Harley: [email protected] / 0203 858 0022


Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.


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