Park your pride. Driving etiquette (Part three)

A lot of people love their cars. I don’t mean those that dress in suspenders and diddle with the exhaust, I mean the ones whose ownership of an automobile is the centre of their life. Are you one? Maybe you are a Pride and Joyrider.

The Pride and Joyrider

You don’t have to own a flash Bentley to be a Pride and Joyrider or even a souped up Vauxhall Astra. They say that love is blind and even the owners of the beigest of beige Seat Ibizas can fall under the spell.

They will flash owners of the same model of car if they pass on the road. They may also flash the neighbours whilst washing the car in their Speedos to avoid getting button scratches or jumper fluff on their little baby.

There is no age limit to this condition. It can be a seventeen year old in Morrison’s car park on a Friday night, a forty something getting himself a great deal on a family hatchback to a pensioner with 400 miles on their Rover 75 that they’ve had from new.

From obsessive posting of photos on social media to cleaning the tyre valve with a toothbrush, the traits of the Pride and Joyrider are there for all to see.


Signs that you may be suffering include asking people to remove their shoes before getting in the car, taking a day off work to take delivery of your new car so your wife doesn’t get first drive and putting cushions on the walls around your drive so the car doesn’t get scratched. If you suspect a friend of being sufferer, you may need to perform an intervention.

To intervene ensure they are tied down first then carry out a series of rituals to drive out the badness. Try putting a dirty hand on their car, or suggest that they get public transport or if you want to go to extreme levels, mention the newer, better version of the car they own. The results will be something akin to a remake of The Exorcist.

It’s better that you step in now before they are sat revving their engine at the edge of a cliff, until the terrified family in the back seat own up to who dropped a crisp on the floor.

The Unparalleled Parker

Recent reports show that in 2016, over a million work days were lost due to parking issues. These ranged from people being unable to find a space to people being blocked in to people dealing with the police after knocking over garden gnomes, dogs, cats and wayward pensioners.

Technology has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years and some driver’s lack of decent clutch control means their parking is also in leaps and bounds.

It is now possible to press a button for your car to park itself. This sounds like it should be a game changer but those that would benefit most from it, are so nervous that they are afraid to press the button. This is due to concerns that the car has memorised their previous parking exploits that included mounting the pavement with all the grace of a Jack Russell mounting a Doberman.


The government has introduced a series of radical parking laws to sort the wheat from the chafe. Drivers of transit vans are only allowed to park on the corners of junctions, obscuring the view of oncoming traffic for other road users.

Double yellow lines that previously meant ‘no parking’ are now reserved for those rich enough to afford to buy a blue disabled badge. Drivers who legitimately own a blue badge now have to park at least a mile further away from where they need to be so the DWP can determine whether they are really in need of benefits.

Similar to the ‘five-second rule’ for food introduced by the Tories in 2014, car drivers are allowed to pretend any bumps or scratches to other cars didn’t happen if they can move their car to another part of the car park before anybody sees them.

Workplaces have cottoned onto the controversy caused by car parking and have used changes to car parking rules to distract from pay cuts, job losses and the occasional murder.

People who own a car parking space at work have been known to protect them like a lioness protecting her cubs and administrators have created car parking rules so complicated and contentious that Kofi Anan has been flown in to mediate.

Of course, you could always walk or get public transport but where would be the fun in that? Complaining about car parking is part of what made Britain great.

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