Parents could save a collective £2bn a year if they ditched the school run and accompanied their children to lessons on foot or by bicycle.
On average, each set of parents could reduce costs by £642 a year if they did not use their car to ferry their offspring to and from school, said charity Sustrans.
Around 11 million journeys a day are made between home and school, while on average primary school children live 1.8 miles from school. This translates to roughly a 25-minute walk or 15-minute bike ride.
But Sustrans added that nearly half (44 per cent) of primary school children are driven to school, with only two per cent making the journey on two wheels.
It also said that physical activity among young people is at an all-time low with statistics showing that 28 per cent of children under 16 are now overweight or obese.
Sustrans’ policy and campaigns head, Claire Francis, said: “There are massive financial and health benefits to both children and parents in choosing to cycle, scoot or walk to school, instead of drive.
“With lots of people feeling the pinch, leaving the car at home can be a cheaper and more enjoyable way to the school gates.
“We know that safety is a concern for some parents so to encourage more people to leave the car at home we want the Government to do more to encourage parents to cycle and walk to school by introducing reduced speeds and better infrastructure.”