Games to play in the car

10 of the best car games for long journeys

These driving games are great for kids and keeping boredom at bay

Road trips are a lot of fun, but there’s no denying that long car journeys can get a bit boring.

To help pass the time on these road trips, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite car games, which are perfect for keeping kids entertained on long drives.

Family in car on road trip

1. The picnic game

This is a memory-based alphabet game that requires you to pay close attention to both what you and those around you say.

One player starts off with the line “I went to a picnic and brought…” followed by an object beginning with “A”. The next player has to repeat all that went before and end with an item beginning with “B”.

You can also try the shopping list car game – same idea but “I went shopping and bought…” which increases the potential for imaginative items.

We fix 8 out of 10 cars at the roadside.

2. The word association game

One person starts this car game by saying a word, then the next person says a word that’s related to it and so on.

For example, person one says “grass”, person two says “leaf” and person three says “tree”. Quick-thinking is key – the faster you go, the more fun the game is.

3. The banana game

In this driving game, points are awarded to whoever spots a vehicle with all or part of it in yellow.

Add to the fun by awarding different points for specific cars, trucks, lorries, motorcycles and taxis.

Planning on driving to Europe soon? Read our guide to driving abroad.

4. Pub cricket

Better for A- and B-roads than motorways, the aim of this car game is to spot pubs along your road trip, and successfully count how many arms and legs are in each name.

For example, the Horse and Jockey would be 6 combined legs and 2 arms giving you a maximum score of 8.

The King George would score 4 (2 arms and 2 legs) and The Coach and Horses would score 12 (Two horses and one driver equals 10 legs and 2 arms).

Any time you spot a pub with no arms or legs in the name, you’re out and the next batter is up.

5. Name that tune

For this driving game, someone simply hums or whistles a song and the rest of the car have to guess what it is.

Whoever guesses the song name and artist correctly gets a point.

For the extra competitive, you could add bonus points for naming the year the song was written and what album it was from.

Check out our guide to the best places to stop on a road trip.

6. The number plate game

This is a great game for long car journeys and sparking the kids' imaginations.

Everyone chooses a passing car and memorises the last three letters of the number plate. Then you make up a story with the letters.

Use the first letter to decide the name of the main character, the second letter could be an item or animal in the story, and the third letter can help you decide what the character’s doing.

7. Car colour race

A simple but fun car game for the whole family, it works by everyone choosing a colour and counting the number of cars of their colour that drive past.

First person to spot 10 cars of their colour and shout out wins.

Planning on driving in Europe? We can help if you break down.

8. Car bingo

This driving game requires a little bit of preparation before you set off on your car journey.

Make a list (or a picture card for younger children) of things you might see on your journey - for example, sheep, horses, cows or an AA van.

Children simply cross off their score cards as they spot each item. The first person to score off every item on their card and shout “bingo” wins.

9. Never miss a beat

All you need for this car game is some music. Put on a song which everyone knows and start singing along, then turn the volume down for 10 seconds but carry on singing.

Turn the volume back up and see how you're all getting on. Are you in time or a bit off the beat?

The winner is the person who manages to sing perfectly in time when the music starts playing again.

Heading across the Channel for your holidays? Find out our top tips on driving in France.

10. 20 questions

This game is a popular one for car journeys as it can take a while so is good for passing the time.

One person needs to think of a person, place or thing. The others in the car take turns questioning the person to find out what they are thinking of.

The first person to guess correctly, wins.

Published: 12 April 2017 | Updated: 28 September 2021 | Author: The AA

European breakdown cover

Peace of mind when you drive abroad, with access to over 40,000 trusted garages in 44 countries