Carguments rife on the road as Brits debate over directions and go Radio Ga-Ga at in-car music volume

Half of the country’s drivers have had a ‘cargument’ with their other half (49 per cent) – with route disputes, messing with the radio and bad smells guaranteed to cause friction on the road.

Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 11:23 am

Researchers who polled 2,000 motorists found while one in six regularly fall out with their children while clocking up miles on the nation’s motorway network, our partners are most likely to end up in our bad books.

As well as bust-ups over the best way to get to our chosen destination, the driver’s speed – too fast or too slow – was the second most common trigger. ‘Back seat driving’ was third while the choice of music was fourth. The volume of the car stereo completed the top five.

The study was carried out to launch Amazon’s Echo Auto, a new device that adds Alexa to the car, and has a range of features that can help bickering Brits, from in-car entertainment, including music and games, to directions for the nearest petrol station.


To tackle the age-old infamous question just ask, “Alexa, are we there yet?” for an entertaining song, or to detour bumpy car conversations, just ask, “Alexa, change the subject”. For those looking for further entertainment for passengers, just ask “Alexa, play Beat the Intro”.

The study also found a passenger becoming impatient, whether that be a partner, child or parent, is also likely to lead to a fast-lane fall-out. It also emerged the battle to bag the coveted front passenger seat can sometimes be enough to spark a row.

Toilet breaks – too many, or not enough – can lead to tempers boiling over, as can a passenger who begins to complain they are uncomfortable within minutes of pulling off the driveway. A waft of odour from smelly passengers also made the list of potential ‘cargument’ triggers.

With Brits at odds over the perfect driving music, the Echo Auto comes with all of the things Brits love, including the ability to play, pause, and skip songs, choose something new and alter the volume, all by just asking Alexa. If the driver wants to take control of the music they can activate the mute button on the Echo Auto device and disable voice commands from others in the car.


Probing the topic of who is allowed to select the road trip soundtrack, 65 per cent said they felt it should always be the driver’s privilege. Slightly more than one third (35 per cent) said the passenger should be the one to choose the music.

It also emerged close to one in five drivers (17 per cent) often take the opportunity of a long drive to broach tricky topics amid a belief it’s easier to do than at home. One in three (36 per cent) said they preferred to have difficult conversations while on the road because you don’t have to look your companion in the eye.

Top ten causes for British carguments according to Brits:

Disagreements on directions (25 per cent)

Driving speed (22 per cent)

Back seat driving (13 per cent)

Music choice (7 per cent)

Music volume (7 per cent)

Impatient passengers (7 per cent)

Who sits in the front (5 per cent)

Passenger comfort (3 per cent)

Toilet breaks (3 per cent)

Smelly passengers (3 per cent)