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Car pool etiquette in Canberra?

By ThatUniStudent - 15 June 2011 30

A short and sweet one before I go to my exams today. I drive the car in a car pool to uni. I usually have between 2 and 3 passengers. Most of the time it works well. We all know each other a bit, we get on well, and we’re all going in the same direction. For my passengers the car pool is cheaper than the bus, more convenient as I pick them up from home instead of the bus stop, and drop them at work or uni, it is warmer than the bus, they can chat with each other, they still get to look out the windows and on really cold days I’ve been known to bring hand warmers and home made egg and bacon rolls to warm us up before the heater kicks in. For me, it means they share the cost of fuel, which is pretty damn significant when you’re a uni student. As an added bonus, I have a lot of leeway when they can’t pay their share of fuel. One guy was getting worried because he was broke and could not afford to come into uni but I said I understand as long as he catches up next week. Mind you I don’t let them get away without paying full stop. I don’t want to be a push over.

The problem is that one of my car pool passengers smells bad. He’s a smoker, and despite being asked not to, he smokes before he catches the car pool. I can see him putting away his cigarette before he gets in some days. He really stinks the car up. Recently I’ve told him that he needs to make a decision, does he want to smoke before the ride, or does he want to ride in the car pool? Because as far as I’m concerned, the two are mutually exclusive.

I’m in two minds about this, on on hand I figure it’s his life, he has a right to smoke. But on the other hand it’s my car, and asking him not to smoke in the ten or so minutes before the ride isn’t that unreasonable. My other passengers have complained about the smell too. So, give him the flick and loose the much needed fuel money, or put up with this? I’m inclined to tell him he’s made his decision by smoking and that he’ll have to bus it instead.

I think I’m being reasonable, what do others think?

What’s Your opinion?

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30 Responses to
Car pool etiquette in Canberra?
thatsnotme 2:43 pm 15 Jun 11

If you’re finding it hard to make a decision, look at it this way. Would you rather lose the money that this guy gives you? Or would you rather risk having the other people in the car make alternative arrangements because they’re sick of riding in with someone who stinks of smoke, and losing all of their money?

BimboGeek 1:55 pm 15 Jun 11

My guess is that he’s smoking because it’s something to while he waits in that five or ten minute window when you’re due and he’s too unimaginative to come up with anything else. Apparently he’s also too unimaginative to put himself in your shoes and think about how he’d feel if someone smoked up his car.

He sounds boring. Play music he hates – really loudly! Then kick him out of the car at some awkward halfway point where the buses don’t stop. Steal his wallet to cover your petrol costs while you find someone else. Then maybe try Thumper’s method.

SheepGroper 1:24 pm 15 Jun 11

Thumper said :

Drive by shooting.

It’s the only way to be sure….

No way – wouldn’t you get stinky blast powder blown into the cabin?

Thumper 1:01 pm 15 Jun 11

Drive by shooting.

It’s the only way to be sure….

Henry82 12:17 pm 15 Jun 11

Just tell him if he enters your car smelling of smoke, hes getting the flick. Man-up and tell it to his face, no facebook/texting. You dont need to justify your reasoning, its your car, your (reasonable) rules.

The Frots 12:04 pm 15 Jun 11

Try doosing him in lighter fluid as he gets into the car and setting him on fire……………………..oh, sorry, that’s just what I’d do.

Dump your man-friend. Move along.

canberralocal 11:23 am 15 Jun 11

If he knows the rules of the car and doesn’t comply, then no car for him!

trevar 11:00 am 15 Jun 11

I don’t think you’d find it too difficult to replace him. The only other thing you need to consider is whether there’d be any other consequences; would he end up in the same course as you and would he want to make things awkward for you? If so, you might want to consider carefully how you get rid of him.

screaming banshee 10:57 am 15 Jun 11

For a start if you see him smoking just drive on past….if he’s been told then fair warning. If he doesn’t get the hint (just butts out a little earlier) then dont drive past his place at all. Simple really.

Eppo 10:37 am 15 Jun 11

You need a thread for this?

If his stench bothers you, tell him to hoof it.


Mysteryman 10:36 am 15 Jun 11

It won’t kill him to wait until after the ride before he lights up. If he’s not prepared to do that then he needs to catch a bus.

troll-sniffer 10:33 am 15 Jun 11

Can’t see the problem. You’ve asked for a simple condition which isn’t being met. No need to waste any more of your precious thinking cap’s hourly rate on this one, it’s a no-brainer. If the remaining passengers also support you in this, perhaps an increase across the board in subscriptions is justified, until a replacement bod can be found to fill the miscreant’s shoes.

Pommy bastard 10:33 am 15 Jun 11

Classified said :

The problem with smokers is most of them don’t realise just how bad they smell to non-smokers.

Stinky bastards.


Tell him it’s bang out of order, and as you are providing a service above and beyond the expected one, he shapes up or ships out.

Classified 10:25 am 15 Jun 11

The problem with smokers is most of them don’t realise just how bad they smell to non-smokers.

Stinky bastards.

S4anta 10:19 am 15 Jun 11

I am reminded of this wasting my breath. Man up, either get rid of him or cover him in those car smelly tree looking things.

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