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Driving tips and other life stuff

The 5 worst passengers to have in your car

We've all met them: the passengers who make every journey a moving hell. Whether it’s constant nagging, frenzied screaming or incessant poking - they were put on this earth to ruin your driving chi.

But who’s the worst?

  1. The Screamer

    Screaming Mum by Dan Evans  

    Usually your mum or your grandma. The Screamer might not even be a driver, but she’s sure as eggs is eggs that you’re driving too fast, too recklessly, too something.

    You could be the safest driver in the world and The Screamer would still grip the door handle like she’s going to bail out any second. Very annoying, and not too good for your decision-making either.

  2. The Backseat Driver

    They've driven in all conditions, across every kind of terrain. They were once in a car chase with Jack Bauer and they've got a black belt in reverse parking.

    So it’s surprising how little help The Backseat Driver is when they’re sat next to you. If you listen to their advice, you’re likely to end up in the car park of a disused carpet warehouse, somewhere west of Rotherham.

    When you were aiming for Portsmouth.

  3. The Boy Racer

    Boy Racer by Dan Evans  

    He’s got it in for Porsches and he never met a Ferrari he didn't want to race. This guy may be nice as pie on the street, but put him in a four-wheeled vehicle and he thinks he’s Lewis Hamilton.

    So Lewis Sham-ilton sees a car moving up next to you at the lights and suddenly, it’s on. He’s poking at your consciousness, daring you to show the other driver who’s boss.

    The Boy Racer might think it’s just a bit of fun, but driving at ridiculous speeds in an area that has traffic lights (especially pedestrian crossings) is about as idiotic as it gets.

    And taking driving advice from someone who believes a 2001 Fiat Panda can beat a Lotus Elise? Definitely not a good call.

  4. The Sleeper

    When you were clean and hadn't been sleeping in mud for 3 days, driving home from a festival in Germany didn't seem like such a bad idea.

    But now it’s happening to you and surprise, surprise: your mates are all asleep. You’re sitting there, seething, as they catch some Zs after their heavy weekend - and you ferry them home to their mums.

    You don’t necessarily MEAN to switch the radio suddenly to Headbangers FM but it jolly well serves The Sleepers right for abandoning you as you do a sterling job of rescuing everyone from a field of burnt tents.

  5. The Drunk

    The Drunk by Dan Evans  

    20 minutes ago your car smelled of the pine air freshener the garage thoughtfully hung on your rearview mirror. Now it smells of kebab and broken dreams.

    The Drunk is not only incoherently rambling about how much he loves the girl he met tonight; he’s also looking worryingly queasy. Descending into tears now, you know he’s seconds away from kissing you on the face - or being sick in your glove box.

    Being the designated driver is a noble office and deserves recognition in the form of money, cake and decoration by the queen. You’re not going to get any of that, but you can certainly make The Drunk pay tomorrow when you point out that the girl he met was a bouncer called Tyrone.

Got another candidate for worst passenger ever?
Hit me.


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Honor joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of words on the Young Driver's Guide and blog. Her first car is a Peugeot 206 cabriolet, which is a very sensible choice for the British climate. Follow her on .