BRITISH “staycation” parents are preparing for some heated arguments with their partner and kids over getting the temperature right – in the car.
Families are busy planning how they are going to spend their leisure time with foreign holidays a no-no for most this summer.
And a survey of 2,000 parents by car firm SEAT revealed almost four in 10 (39 per cent) admitted they regularly argue with their occupants about getting the temperature right inside the car.
When driving in general, one in five parents with children aged 16 or under will argue about having the window open, while 19 per cent will row over having air-conditioning on and 16 per cent will bicker over whether to have the heating on.
This could create a number of ‘heated debates’ over the next few months, with the average family estimating they’ll be going on five day trips from the start of July until the end of September, covering almost 350 miles in the process.
But almost half (44 per cent) admitted they dread taking their child on a journey which is more than one hour long.
And 41 per cent struggle to park when they have their children in the car distracting them.
SEAT carried out the research as its new Leon family hatchback, which is the manufacturer’s firm’s most advanced ever model, arrives on UK roads for the first time.
Engineers have equipped the Leon with a high-tech ‘climatronic’ system, designed to make journeys more comfortable and less argument filled.
Family day trips are great fun, but we know there can be tension among the occupants in the car.
Covering three separate zones inside the car’s cabin – driver, front passenger and rear passengers – the temperature can be increased by simply saying “I’m cold”, “I’m hot” or by just saying the temperature you want.
The rear-view mirror has a solar sensor that measures the intensity of the sun’s rays. It distinguishes between the left and right side, so can send cooler air to the side which has the most sunshine.
And before families return to their car after spending the day in the sun or when it has been cold, they can remotely set the ideal temperature from their mobile phone.
The research, conducted by OnePoll for SEAT, comes as the government continues to ease lockdown, with Brits in some areas now able to stay overnight at hotels and caravan parks.
More than three-quarters (79 per cent) of parents with children under 16 said they had missed being able to get in the car and go for a day trip.
However, when it is safe to do so, the number one destination for day trips for families will be the beach (70 per cent), followed by the countryside (66 per cent), visiting family (61 per cent) and the zoo (45 per cent).
It also emerged that British parents estimate they will be saving £650 by not going on a foreign holiday this summer.
And almost three quarters (73 per cent) think they can have as good a time travelling in the UK as they can visiting other countries.
Half said they plan to have an overnight staycation this summer, while 28 per cent are considering going camping.
Eva Villar, air-conditioning systems designer at SEAT, said: “Family day trips are great fun, but we know there can be tension among the occupants in the car.
“Features like the voice and remote-controlled air conditioning, sat-nav and parking assist can help make journeys a little bit more enjoyable.”
More information on the SEAT Leon – https://www.seat.co.uk/new-cars/new-leon/overview.html