These six will have you reaching for the eject button quicker than you can say ‘fancy a lift’?

1. The Chatterbox

It was meant to be the road trip of the century but you weren’t betting on your companion not knowing when to shut up. Why aren’t you tired yet?  Why do you have to comment on everything? Why can’t we have some quiet time?

After a while you don’t even try to engage anymore. Doesn’t work. Your silence is met with more incessant chatter. By the end of the journey you’re pulling your hair out and vowing that this friendship/relationship is officially over. If they’re not talking the ear off you, they’re on the phone – “Yeah, yeah, oh really, oh my god, oh my god, oh I know, oh that’s terrible, oh I know, ok listen pet I’ll talk to you soon, bye bye, ok ok, bye bye byeeeee”.

2. The Back Seat Driver

The classic critical passenger who thinks they’re a better driver than you and would always do things differently if they were behind the wheel. Somewhere between a control freak and an overbearing mammy, every inch of your driving will be scrutinized and commented on. They anticipate that YOU haven’t anticipated every single hazard – the idiot jutting out of the side road, the car in front slowing down etc., etc.

A journey with this passenger goes something like this:

Back Seat Driver: That car in front is slowing down.

You: (No kidding? Bites tongue) Yes I see it.

Back Seat Driver: I knew you did, just thought I’d say it in case you hadn’t.

You: Line of expletives.

They will periodically reach for the brakes and make stomping movements towards the ground, while simultaneously grabbing the inside of the door to brace themselves for the impact they know is coming at any moment because in their eyes you’re a crap driver.

3. The Messy Eater

This passenger hops in and proceeds to eat a three course meal in your car.

There are a few problems with eating food in the car. No matter how careful your passenger is, you will inevitably end up with crumbs in hard to reach places and food smeared on seats. Then there is the smell, the chewing and scratching noises, burps, and I’m shivering at the thoughts of the greasy fingers on the fascia and upholstery.

Messy eaters don’t tend to be great at rubbish disposal either so you’ll find half a sandwich behind the front seats and every time you brake the empty water bottle they discarded will be tossed from the back to the front of the car and back again until you have to give in, stop the car and dispose of it (and your passenger).

4. The Culture Vulture

You know those brown signs that litter the countryside teasing tourists with promises of old castles, monastic settlements and other place of historic and cultural interest?

This passenger is a brown sign magnet. They can’t drive by a brown sign without asking you to stop the car and take a detour. They love old stuff.

Fine, so you stop and take the detour. After a quick look around to conclude that it wasn’t all that great anyway, it’s back in the car and on the road again. A few minutes of peace and progress until you come across the next pole heaving with brown signs that’s bound to give your culture vulture serious FOMO if you don’t stop the car.

Avoid driving with this passenger unless you love old stuff too.

5. The Bad Navigator

This is how it is meant to work. Like a dream team, you drive and your passenger reads the map and directs you where to go quickly and efficiently.

But no. It turns out that they’re really bad at map reading and don’t have very quick reflexes. So when coming up to a junction you shout “Which way?”, they say “Left, no right, no left, sorry I don’t know where we are on the map, can you pull in?”.

At least they’ve made something of an effort. The Really Bad Navigator gets into the car, says that they’re really, really tired, falls asleep and leaves you to it, then sulks for the rest of the journey when they find out you missed your turn fifty miles back.

6. The Lazy Lounger

This passenger thinks a few hours in your car is a chance to put their feet up (on the dash, on the seats – they don’t care). The worst thing is when they decide it’s ok to take their shoes off so they can “properly” relax.

If you’re hitting the road soon with company, might be a good time to draw up some passenger rules.

What are the rules in your car for passengers?

Caroline Kidd