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Hitting the road and requiring some light entertainment to pass the time on a long journey?
Our list of fun car games for adults will do the trick!
Most of the options below require little or no equipment which means you don’t need to plan, let’s face it road trip packing is stressful enough.
Featuring easy to challenging, mind bending memory games to head bopping music activities; these games to play in the car adults will surely see you from one destination to another and you might just learn a little more about your fellow companions!
Table of Contents
- Hilarious and Challenging Car Games For Adults
- Alphabet Conversation
- 20 Questions
- Song Starters
- The Memory Game
- License Plate Game
- Would You Rather
- Kiss Marry Avoid
- The Movie Game
- Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts
- Two Truths and a Lie
- Never Have I Ever
- Rapid Fire Questions
- The Rhyming Game
- Movie Script Rehearsal
- Six Degrees of Separation
- Aux Cord Kings
- Hum that Tune
- The Price is Right
- Spelling Bee
- Guess the Quote
- People-Watching Stories
- Scavenger Hunt
- The Compliment Game
- Our Vacation Games
Hilarious and Challenging Car Games For Adults
Alphabet Conversation is a great word game to play in the car with adults, incorporating a high pace with mental quickness.
This game originated in improv acting classes, but applies really well to any road trip.
The aim of Alphabet Conversation is to string together complete sentences in which each word begins with the next letter in the alphabet.
For example, the first person may start the sentence with ‘Always,’ and so the next person will need to think of a word that starts with the letter B, and everyone goes back and forth forming complete sentences and, if you last long enough, complete stories.
In order to make this word game more competitive, each player begins with a certain amount of points, and you lose one point every time you can’t think of a word in time, or choose one that doesn’t make sense.
This is just one of many word games to play in the car for adults included in this article – they are so much fun!
A classic conversational game, 20 Questions encourages everyone in the car to think strategically and efficiently both as a team and against each other.
One person chooses a subject, whether that is a famous actor, a movie or book, or a city.
The remaining passengers then get to ask a yes/no question one at a time, with a maximum of 20 questions before they have to guess.
The fun of this road trip activity is to work as a team to try to unravel the mystery, while also trying to become the first person to answer the question correctly.
Song Starters is a fun way to incorporate the aux cord DJ into a competitive and fun car game for adults.
The DJ chooses a list of songs to play on the car speakers, but only the first few seconds.
Each passenger gets to compete similar to Jeopardy rules, where the first person to respond with the correct answer gets the points.
To add to the fun and heighten the level of competition, the length of time played per song can be shortened each round, so by the end there is only one second of song before everyone must guess.
The Memory Game
There are many ways to play The Memory Game, with the core principle being a challenge of how much information each person can retain at one time.
One person begins with a single sentence, and the next person adds on to that sentence with another one as a story is slowly developed one sentence at a time.
To make it more regimented and straightforward, a theme can be chosen for each round.
For example, the first round can be “on my trip to the mountains, I packed ___.”
Each person adds onto the original sentence in a way that extends the story, which is fun in and of itself.
What makes this a game with challenge is that each person has to repeat everything that was said prior, essentially repeating the entire story and then adding on with one additional sentence.
When someone is not able to recollect the story in its entirety, they are out of the game, and eventually the lone remaining storyteller is the winner.
License Plate Game
This classic road-trip game has some slight variations, each in relation to the concept of scanning all of the license plates that you pass by on your journey.
The most common version of this car travel game is to try to find each letter of the alphabet in the license plates that go by.
Another popular variation is to see how many different states you can find on neighboring license plates.
Whichever variation you choose to play, a shared theme is that everyone is meant to cooperate to try and find as many states as possible, or find all letters of the alphabet as quickly as possible.
Would You Rather
This classic conversation-starter game fits in perfectly with a long drive, especially with smaller groups of two or three, although it can be played by a larger group as well.
There is usually not a competition involved; instead, one passenger asks another a simple question: would you rather do this thing, or this other thing?
The purpose of these questions is to compare two similar options, whether they are two difficult options or endearing ones.
It could either be: would you rather do this grotesque thing, or this equally grotesque thing or would you rather do this amazing thing, or this equally amazing thing?
For example: would you rather sleep in a tent with a loud snorer or a dorm with someone with outrageously stinky feet?
The beauty of this game is not really the answer, but the follow-up reasoning that a person has, which can open up a whole new conversation and reveal something you may not know about each other in the process.
Kiss Marry Avoid
This silly car game presents three options and players need to state whether they would kiss it, marry it, or avoid it.
Kiss it means they don’t mind it, marry it means that they can stick with it for life, and avoid it means it is the worst item out of the three.
In any list of the best road trip games for adults, trivia needs to be included.
One of the oldest and most beloved contests, trivia is a general umbrella-term for any kind of game in which questions are asked and contestants must compete to see who can answer as many correctly as possible.
There are two widely-popular formats for trivia, one designed for a more laid-back feel and another for high intensity.
The laid-back version is simply the moderator provides the prepared questions to the passengers, who then have time to contemplate and write down their answers.
The high-intensity version is a head-to-head contest, in which the moderator presents a question and the first person to ‘buzz in’ gets a chance at answering the question correctly.
Either way, questions are presented and the passengers all attempt to answer them all correctly, and the person with the most correct answers wins.
The beautiful thing about this game is that you can go in any direction you want with the theme.
If your car-mates are all history buffs, have a history-themed trivia game.
If they all really enjoy Harry Potter, then ask a bunch of detailed questions about the series.
It can be as difficult and detailed or as simple and high-level as you like, which makes it just as fun for the moderator to come up with the questions as the contestants who have to answer them.
You won’t be surprised to hear that we have a whole catalog of trivia made up for you already, so you don’t have to do anything to plan a game of road trip trivia for adults.
Alternatively, check out our all of our quiz questions to see them all.
The Movie Game
The Movie Game has become a popular pool-party game, but can also serve as a great road-trip game as well.
The point of the movie game is that each person has a chance to be the presenter, who is responsible for thinking of a movie and not telling anyone else what it is.
The presenter provides vague clues without revealing anything too telling such as character names or obvious plot details.
The contest is then for the rest of the passengers to try to say the correct movie title first.
To make things even more interesting from a competitive point of view, contestants lose a point every time they guess the wrong movie title.
Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts
This game originated on The Late Show with James Corden, and became one of his most popular segments.
The goal of the game, on the show at least, is to provide the contestant with two options: either answer an uncomfortably-personal question or eat something disgusting.
The questions often include things like: what is a secret you haven’t told anyone before? or what is your most embarrassing drunk story?
If a contestant does not want to answer a certain question, they must then eat something disgusting.
Add to the anticipation of this particular game by stopping at a rest stop before you begin and choosing the most odd or gross food items there in preparation.
This is one of the few road trip activities for adults that needs some pre-planning to find out everyone’s food hell and purchase the gross produce!
Two Truths and a Lie
Two Truths and a Lie is an incredibly popular and useful ice-breaker activity for new groups, but also serves as an entertaining conversational road-trip game.
The point of the game is simple: one person must tell everyone three things about themselves, two of them being truthful and one being fictional.
The rest of the car then needs to decide which of the three items is the lie, which can become increasingly challenging and enlightening depending on how personally everyone knows each other.
The game can either be played as a group, where each passenger picks a lie, or one-on-one, going one at a time around the car with different sets of truths and lies.
For example, player one would say they have been ice fishing, clear bottom kayaking, and swimming with manatees and the group would decide which out of the three was the fib!
Never Have I Ever
This game is also a conversational ice-breaker turned road-trip activity.
Never Have I Ever is a communal exercise, in which everyone is playing together at the same time.
Everyone in the car holds their hands out with five fingers showing (the driver would need to either pretend to raise their hand or do it briefly at the end of each round).
One at a time, each person states something they have never done, like shotgunning a beer or sticking their head out of the top of a limo.
If someone else in the car has done that thing they stated, they must put one of their fingers down.
Depending on how you see it, the winner can either be the last person with any fingers left, or the first person to lose all of their fingers.
This is one of the easiest car travel games for adults as most people know how to play it already from their younger years!
We have lots of Never Have I Ever lists for you: Never Have I Ever Questions for Friends, Never Have I Ever Questions for Best Friends, Never Have I Ever Girl Edition, and Never Have I Ever Questions for Couples.
Rapid Fire Questions
There’s two ways to play rapid fire questions.
You can either use the car ride to get to know someone better by asking questions in very quick succession with little time to respond.
Or, you can set a topic that the questions are asked around and the players have to return accurate answers about the topic with no time to think!
The Rhyming Game
Originally an exercise from improv acting classes, The Rhyming Game is a great high-paced game that involves everyone in the car.
One person picks any word at all to start, and the next person has to then pick a word that rhymes with the original choice.
From there, each person has to think of another word that rhymes with that original word, until someone can’t think of one in time.
The best way to keep this game competitive is to make each person start with a certain amount of points, and you lose one point every time you can’t think of a new rhyming word.
Movie Script Rehearsal
If you are driving with an especially theatrical bunch, Movie Script Rehearsal may be a wildly entertaining option.
This isn’t traditionally a competition, but more of a group exercise where everyone attempts to work together to create a great product.
The group chooses a movie that everyone knows and loves, and everyone pulls up the script to that movie on their phones.
One person is the designated narrator that reads all of the expository notes and direction, while everyone else chooses various cast members to act out.
Together, you act out the whole movie from the script, relishing in your favorite scenes or squirming through the most awkward ones.
This story-telling game involves the whole car, exchanging responsibilities for each sentence of a collaborative story.
The rules of this game are simple: one person begins with the initial prompt, and the next person follows up with a ‘fortunately,’ statement.
The next person then follows that up with ‘unfortunately,’ and each participant will go back and forth this way as the story evolves and grows.
The first person to not think of a new addition to the story will be ‘out,’ or lose a point, depending on how you are playing.
As an example: ‘Todd went to the bank. Fortunately, he remembered his debit card. Unfortunately, the ATM was broken. Fortunately, the bank teller was able to talk with him. Unfortunately, Todd chose to stay in his pajamas, thinking he wouldn’t be interacting with anyone…’
Six Degrees of Separation
This game first became popular in the mainstream as a thought exercise, seeing how many steps it would take to go from any topic at all to Kevin Bacon.
The term ‘six degrees of separation’ is a philosophical theory that you can connect two completely unrelated topics with only six steps total.
Kevin Bacon was a humorous example to show the random specificity of this game, but it can be applied to any subject at all.
One person chooses a pair of completely unrelated things, and someone else has to then try and relate them using only six topics total.
If someone is unable to complete the six degrees of separation, they are out.
The last person standing who can still connect two random things in six degrees wins, if you choose to make the game competitive.
Aux Cord Kings
This music-oriented game involves a head-to-head competition with a judge or set of judges.
Two people are assigned the aux cord, and each round is a musical theme such as ‘best 80’s hair-band song,’ ‘best song for getting through a breakup,’ or ‘best song for the first day of summer.’
Each contestant gets a chance to play a portion of their chosen song on the car speakers, and the judges then decide which song fits the theme more appropriately.
The most enjoyable part of this game is that everyone can get involved all at the same time.
The two contestants go head to head, and everyone else in the car gets to be a judge, including the driver.
Many of these games, you may notice, are hard or straight-up impossible for the driver to participate in, so games like these might be a great option for moments when the driver starts to feel a bit left out.
Hum that Tune
A contest that is both hilarious and challenging, Hum that Tune will expose exactly how skilled at humming everyone is, in contrast with how good they may think they are.
The contest is often a matchup of pairs, but depending on the number of passengers that can be adjusted so that everyone is participating evenly.
One player thinks of a song and hums it to their partner, who then has to guess the name of the song.
If they guess correctly, the pair gets one point.
If there aren’t enough passengers for pairs, it can just be one person humming and the rest of the car competes to guess the song first.
The Price is Right
Similar to the game show of the same name, The Price is Right is a contest of price-guessing of any kind.
The traditional rule is to guess the price of gas the next time you are fueling up, although it can be any item at all.
The contest rules for the original game show are to guess a price that is as close to the actual number as possible without going over.
Some contestants may be tempted to add one dollar to the last person’s guess, to try to game the rule.
If you find people taking advantage of this rule, just remove that rule to not go over, so that if the guess is above the actual, adding one dollar would actually ruin your chances of guessing correctly.
For the academically-inclined, an old-fashioned Spelling Bee is a great way to put your spelling skills to the test in a group competition.
Traditionally, there is one moderator who has the list of words with proper spelling.
Each contestant is asked to spell a given word per round, each round becoming more and more complex.
The contestants are encouraged to ask contextual questions such as country of origin and definition, as well as use in context.
If the car is full of excellent spellers, this game could become an extended battle of wits that may last the whole drive.
If the car is full of people who rely heavily on auto-correct, the game could fall apart into a hilarious contest of who can spell a single word correctly.
Guess the Quote
In this game, one moderator has a list of movie quotes, and the rest of the car has to compete to see who has the best film knowledge.
The quotes can begin at an easy level, with lines such as ‘I am your father,’ in which the competition is to see who can guess it first.
From there, the obscurity of the quotes can increase until all of the contestants are scrambling to think of which movie the line came from.
The open-ended nature of this game leaves room for whatever theme or format fits the interests of everyone in the car.
More of a conversational activity than a contest, People-Watching Stories is generally as simple as it sounds.
Passengers in the car spectate at the cars going by, taking notes of unique things they notice in each car, such as pets hanging their heads out of the window or the kids playing in the back seats.
The game is simply to see who can come up with the most interesting backstories for all of the families going by, which can quickly become a world-building storytelling game that involves all of the different characters you have made up as a team.
This game needs to be designed ahead of time, or downloaded from an online resource.
Similar to the License Plate Game, contestants are encouraged to search outside of their windows for visual items from a list.
This road trip scavenger hunt for adults can include specific things like license plates from North Dakota, an odd roadside landmark or towns with silly names.
The list can be handed out at the start of the road trip, and each passenger is expected to keep track of their own progress as the road trip goes on.
To make it extra competitive, ask each person to take a picture of the item they find along the way.
The Compliment Game
The Compliment Game is a great way to boost everyone’s spirits and encourage everyone to be nice beyond the standard comfort level.
The goal of the game is simple and uplifting: you have an assigned person that you have to give a thoughtful compliment to.
If you are looking to make compliment-giving competitive, designate a judge who decides who gave the most thoughtful and authentic compliment for each round.
By the end of the game, whether you win or lose or if you don’t even make it competitive at all, everyone is sure to feel better about themselves and everyone they are sharing a ride with.
Our Vacation Games
- Beach Games For Adults
- Boat Party Games
- Camping Games For Adults
- Car Games For Adults
- Campfire Questions
- Camping Questions
- Camping Trivia Quiz
- Cocktail Party Games for Adults
- Football Games For Adults
- Pool Games For Adults
- Scary Campfire Stories
- Conversation Starters
- Music Quizzes
- Trivia Quizzes
- Fun Games
Is there a themed quiz you’d like us to make? Tell us in the comments or contact us.