Legendary punk minstrel Lou Reed sang “I am a passenger” in his now iconic road melody. You’d probably rather travel with this crazed old musician than some of the characters on our list. With our oversubscribed roads now sagging under the weight of traffic, cycle lanes and completely redundant lights, the last thing you need in your car is another negative factor. Unfortunately sometimes you have to grin and bear these 5 types of passenger, who are not always the biggest pleasure to have in your car…
They’re only getting a ride with you because their car is full up with McDonald’s boxes and empty Costa cups. From the moment they get in your vehicle you’re on edge. What are they going to ruin next? Muddy boots threaten to grind long term dirt into your carefully cleaned carpets and melting snow on toecaps could leave those dreaded tidemarks. And that’s if they don’t put their feet on the dash. You know they’ll treat your car like a dustbin too, and don’t even think about asking them to put in a little work and look up some directions on their phone.
Yeah we get it. Everyone hates traffic. And no one wants to drive in the rain or the boiling heat, but it’s only that perfect temperature in May or September twice a year. You’re already preparing for that drawn out whine when the whinger steps into your car. You’re never quite travelling quickly enough for this passenger, and they’ll argue with your every move on the road. And of course, it doesn’t matter how calm you stay, this person will road rage enough for the both of you.
Fuel costs too high for this one? Don’t worry, you’re lucky enough to be going their way. That is if you don’t mind a 3 mile, 20 minute diversion on your trip home. It’s that selfish passenger who breaks wind into your upholstery dramatically devaluing your car, and they never have any money for fuel. And forget about the vape smoke, it won’t harm you – your car will only smell like a Dutch bakery for a couple of days and if they get bored they can always call up their mate for a loud phone convo. No reception? You’re not getting off that lightly. They’ll change your music without asking and out comes the terrible singing. Remind me again why we’re friends?
You arrived to pick them up 10 minutes ago and they’ve forgotten they even asked for a lift. Don’t start the car yet, they need to take a selfie, post it on Instagram, and they don’t get coverage down the road. There’s no point asking this feather-brained individual to work the SatNav or manage the map – you’ll end up spending more time teaching them what to do. Then they’ll have nothing to say until you’re trying to pull out to turn right on the biggest roundabout in town – or they decide to disagree with you and insist they know a short cut.
Are you driving the car or are they? If you listen to this passenger then you’re going the wrong way and you don’t actually know how to drive your car properly. There’s some technique you’re not using with the gears. Slow down. Speed up. Forget the rule that the one behind the wheel is in charge, this is rule by command. They’ll lean forward at the same time you do to check traffic, and make you fully aware that many of the dash controls are well within their reach. And that invisible brake thing where they keep putting their foot down hard? You could do without having to put a brake on their anxiety affecting your mood behind the wheel. Maybe you’ll suggest they drive next time?
Of course, the main thing to do when you’re behind the wheel is keep calm and stay quiet. If you find yourself getting distracted by any one of these passengers, remember that the thing most of them desire above all is attention. Don’t give them any, and they’ll soon be as bored as you are and start looking out of the window for someone to give them some shine.