Driving is, for some, a chore, others, a pleasure, and many, a necessity. How we pass that time or make it more enjoyable can vary dramatically from person to person. Whether you’re a hardcore rock enthusiast, a funny podcast-listener or an audiobook fanatic, here at YourParkingSpace we want to know what you listen to when behind the wheel, and why.
We have asked car experts, lifestyle bloggers and influencers alike what they typically find themselves laughing, listening, or singing along to when driving. Do you agree with them?
What do you listen to while driving in your car?
#1 A Mixture!
I love driving, I get to spend a lot of my time driving. Behind the wheel, I do a mix of podcasts, audio books and Spotify in that order. I love that I can turn a 2-hour motorway journey into a learning experience. This makes traffic and congestion a lot more bearable as you don't feel like you are wasting your time.
However, when I have something more exciting to drive and a suitable road to drive on I tend to use Spotify to play one of my playlists and enjoy the driving experience a bit more.
#2 Always music
I spend a lot of time in the car and our music choice is always s priority when we're on a little road trip. I always listen to music and I usually download playlists to my phone to suit the journey that we're going on and I connect my phone to the car stereo to listen through the car's sound system. For longer journeys I love to listen to classic 80s or 90s pop music and for shorter trips I put The Greatest Showman soundtrack on or listen to our local radio station.
- Donna Wishart, whattheredheadsaid.com
#3 It varies!
What I listen to in the car depends very much on the time of day, how far I'm travelling and if I've got company! If I'm with the kids then we take it in turns to pick songs on Spotify and this can range from Little Mix to Adele or Ed Sheeran to some random dance song from our holiday last year or the Greatest Showman soundtrack when the kids are choosing - I'm usually happy if it's something we can all sing along to and the three of them are starting to develop quite varied music tastes as a result! If we're only travelling a short distance we'll stick Radio X on (we all love a bit of Chris Moyles in the mornings). If I'm on my own and travelling for more than 20 minutes I will often listen to a podcast - usually something work related like #HashtagAuthentic as it feels like a constructive use of the journey - especially as I rarely get chance to concentrate on listening to things otherwise.
- Colette Burgess, goingonanadventure.co.uk
#4 It depends when I am driving
It depends on when Im driving. If its during morning drive time I typically listen to Sports Talk radio. If it’s around 5pm, most of the radio stations are commercial free and play good rock-n-roll. On long drives to go skiing, in the mountains & desert there is often no reception so I switch to downloaded podcasts which I enjoy very much. Podcasts are a great way to pass time on a long drive.
- Maxwell, theruggedmale.com, emaximize.com
#5 Rocky & punchy playlists
I’m a classic car guy which means I don’t always listen to music when I’m out for a drive. It’s the sound of the engine that I enjoy. My 1982 Vauxhall Viceroy only has an AM radio with no tape deck so it doesn’t get used at all. And I removed the stereo from my 1990 Bertone x19 as I never used it either. I prefer the sound of the Weber carb behind my head. But my everyday car is a 2000 Volvo V40 T4 auto, one of just 10 in the UK. It has a really good sound system and a factory subwoofer in the boot which really kicks out nice base. My playlists tend to be quite rocky and punchy. Anything from Pearl Jam to Metallica, Lacuna Coil, Deftones, Faith No More, Linkin Park and the Smashing Pumpkins. I’m also a big fan of the tv show Supernatural (the 67 Chevy Impala in that show is so cool) so I have a special playlist of tracks from the show, which is mainly 1970s rock. Tunes by Kansas, Lynard Skynard, REO Speedwagon and ZZ Top. So yeah… lots of rock!
- Niall Julian, taketotheroad.co.uk
#6 I'm an 80's girl!
I'm an 80s girl, so any opportunity to stick on some classics and sing along while I'm on a long drive is my favourite way to while away the time - it really is a great stress reliever. If I'm on a short journey - either popping into town or on the school run - I'm usually found tuning into LBC for debates and news to catch up with the latest headlines, or I'll tune into something like Smooth FM if I'm sat in traffic to calm the nerves! Finally, if I have the kids in the car, I'm usually sat there listening to them arguing! But I'll get a game of some sort going to distract them and get some peace and quiet!
- Lauretta Wright, homeandhorizon.com
#7 A lot of Audiobooks
I've recently got really interested in self-help and trying to become a happier, more fulfilled person so in turn I can help my children to grow up feeling happy. I’ve been listening to lots of audiobooks recently in the car, as I can really take it all in whilst I’m driving. My current favourites are The Secret and The Power by Rhonda Byrne, You are a Badass by Jen Sincero and The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.
- Mel Knibb, lecoindemel.com
#8 My teenager's singing
While I’m driving I normally listen to my teenager singing with headphones on! We have an old car, which doesn’t have the facility to connect a phone, but she isn’t a fan of any of my CDs, so prefers to listen to her own music through headphones. I probably could put something of my own on, but listening to her sing when she can’t hear herself, and then me trying to sing along to songs I can’t hear, is actually quite entertaining!
- Jo Middleton, slummysinglemummy.com
#9 I'm a Radio 4 addict!
I drive a Suzuki Vitara and whilst my business is primarily online I do visit family regularly in the North East and rely on my radio to keep me informed and entertained en route. I'm a Radio 4 addict, from Womens Hour to The Archers and at present I need my daily Brexit news fix even though that's rarely good for my blood pressure behind the wheel.
"Being honest, I'm a bit of a Luddite when it comes to onboard technology. My Suzuki expects me to plug in my smartphone and use Bluetooth to play my Spotify collections. But I've spent years investing in CDs and I'd prefer to play these in their entirety as I drive.
- Steph Savill, Founder, foxyladydrivers.com
#10 I am kind of a hybrid listener while driving
Driving a long distance can be mentally challenging. Which to central London is about 2 miles! Thankfully I am able to keep alert thanks to the radio. Being a millennial, I do not have a car equipped with the latest tech, but my Mini Cooper does have a USB port, so I converted it to a Bluetooth bub. Wireless music = happy days. I am kind of like a hybrid listener while driving. I am not an avid Podcast listener. But I do listen to The Young Turks quite frequently. If I happen to be driving in the afternoon I will switch on the DAB, tune into Radio 4 and then listen to the opening of the Archers. Just to hear to the intro music. It's like a call to arms. But I never listen to the actual drama because I always find it butt clenching-ly embarrassing. I have never been into teenage music. I don't like Little Mix, 1 Direction etc. boy bands, girl bands. I like listening to relaxing music where people hardly sing, a bit of electronica, maybe classical, maybe a soundtrack. Someone introduced me to Fleetwood Mac the other week, my favourite has to be The Chain. It starts off as folk-hippy-country-western music stylistically. Then the last 1.45mins switch to rock. Its a great sound. Admittedly my musical tastes are varied, I will listen to obscure folk music from Norway and then happily switch to a bit of Clean bandit or Jess Glyn. But not for too long. And if the song is great, you can be sure I'll be belting it out at the top of my lungs from behind the steering wheel. Take on Me by a-Ha is my personal favourite. But in moderation of course.
- Elizabeth Harper, Director of Content, dailycarblog.com
#11 I can't miss Popmaster!
On a long motorway run, usually to or from an airport, I'll either make a number of phone calls or listen to the excellent Motoring Podcast. The presenters, Alan and Andrew, cover some of the more interesting industry stories, and get into just enough detail without making it too tedious. And then they argue about cars for a while.
Beyond that, if it's the afternoon then it's music from the The Hold Steady and Bruce Springsteen through to the Dixie Chicks and even Ellie Goulding, but all streamed from my phone. In the morning it's Chris Moyles on Radio X (he's mellowed in his old age) before switching to Ken Bruce on BBC Radio 2 - I can't miss Popmaster!
#12 Spotify comes to the rescue
With three children in three different age groups, it can sometimes be difficult to find something to listen to that everyone agrees on.
Thankfully Spotify comes to our rescue with the promise of playing something each of them loves. Whether it is The Greatest Showman or Mammia Soundtracks to the top hits of the day. On the way home from a day out and the children are tired, it is the perfect opportunity to educate them on the fantastic hits of the '80s, '90s and classic trance.
#13 I like to listen to Podcasts
When travelling in the car I like to listen to podcasts. I am always interested in all manner of podcasts, but I love to listen to ones that are motivational, inspirational or just great human interest pieces. Listening to podcasts allows me to learn something new, muse on life or even just hear a funny story while enjoying the journey in the car with my family.
#14 If it's not old CD's, it'll be Radio 4
When driving, I have a terrible habit of turning the stereo up so loud the windows rattle. My wife tells me she can tell it’s me driving up the road because she can hear me long before she can see the car! We don’t have the most up to date stereo system so it tends to be old CDs I listen to: Limp Bizkit, AC/DC, Ramones, anything loud and fast. It doesn’t necessarily reflect the music I like now, but the CDs I own that have survived as i’ve moved house over the years! That said, if i’m not listening to old CDs it’ll be Radio 4 for news and current affairs.
#15 I'm an NPR junkie
Hands down I’m an NPR junkie and I have been for years. As much as I love music, I can’t help but listen to NPR while driving in my car. Morning Edition with Steve Inskeep and the crew especially.
I love their news reports because they offer insight and unbiased perspective, but NPR offers more than news. They share uncommon stories about people and events around the world. You’re just not going to hear this stuff anywhere else. Perfect for my drive to work (and back home listening to All Things Considered). Perfect way to stay informed about news and culture during my uneventful commute.
#16 Biographies of Successful People
For the past couple years, I've been listening to biographies of successful people when I drive. I do so because I would otherwise see driving as a necessary evil, but when I'm listening to someone's success story, my time in the car is transformed into a time of inspiration and learning. Right now, I'm listening to "Thrive" by Arianna Huffington, where the successful publisher makes a strong case for redefining what "success" means in the modern world. I'm learning so much from her right now that I sometimes sit in the car after I get home to keep on listening!
#17 Audiobooks and Business Podcasts
Audiobooks are perfect for long drives. I'm a huge fan of Jim Dale's rendition of the Harry Potter series - it's perfect for adults and children alike. Everyone needs a little magic in their lives! As a small business owner and blogger, I listen to creative business podcasts when I drive. They keep me motivated, and I always look forward to trying out new social media & marketing strategies I've learned about.
#18 The Classics live on!
I travel a lot for work and have an ultimate playlist of tunes for long journeys. I’m always adding to it, but some of my all-time favourites are from the 80s, especially Queen and AC/DC. There’s nothing like hitting the motorway belting out Don’t Stop Me Now or Thunderstruck. The classics live on! I find the journey flies by the more upbeat the music is. Right now I’m playing a lot of dance stuff in the car like Calvin Harris and Major Lazer. It’s a mix of everything really.
#19 I take driving as an opportunity to learn new things
I drive a lot in my 1994 Chevy Astro van as I also live in it part-time. When I go on road trips I primarily listen to podcasts with business and blogging advice. This is the only time in my life when I have time for this type of education! I take driving as an opportunity to learn new things and be inspired. At the end of a long road trip, I always have ideas I can apply to my own business and website. When I need a break from business podcasts, I listen to true crime.
#20 Music really does have an influence on how you drive
I find that music really does have an influence on how you drive, or certainly does on how I drive. The type of music I listen to or not depends on the car that I am driving, and whom I have as passengers. In a supercar I have no music, why would you? I want to listen to the V8, V10 or V12 in all it’s bliss, that’s the best music of all. In the classic car, I tend to listen to music of that era, in my 1970’s Lancia I have an 8 track with “the best of motown” and John Lennon’s “Imagine” so they get a lot of paying. In the family car its smooth FM, easy listening, or if the kids get their way pop music (arrghhh). IF I want to get somewhere fast the BM goes up, so I’ll listen to rock or trance or house music, if I’m chilled, then smooth chilled out music is normally on. Happy driving all....
#21 We love to listen to audiobooks
With 3 kids we travel a lot visiting in-laws, to all sorts of clubs, teams and activities and also on long holidays (given flying is often out of our budget reach).
We all love to listen to audio books - either on CD or podcasts. They're a great way to get the kids to focus on something other than winding each other up and making a racket! And, as every parent will know, a quiet peaceful journey is a good journey.
From Harry Potter to fairy tales, there's a great variety out there that the whole family can enjoy listening to.
#22 I prefer listening to upbeat, pop music
Being a travel blogger means lots of road trips in unfamiliar places. While I love podcasts, concentrating on the storyline of my favorite Crime Junkie episode distracts me from navigating to a new destination. When I drive, I prefer listening to upbeat, pop music, streamed through Apple Music to diffuse any stress while driving. I love singing along to P!nk, Sara Bareilles and Rita Ora... and because I'm just traveling through, the chances of knowing anyone who catches me jamming alone in my car are slim to none.
#23 It depends entirely on why I'm driving
What I listen to while I drive depends entirely on why I’m driving. I used to the be kind of person that absolutely had to have music playing anytime I was in the car, to the point that people would be constantly turning it down in order to have a conversation with me. I eventually learned to save the music for when I was by myself, but still enjoy it quite often. My all time favorite song for nighttime driving is Anthems For A Seventeen-Year Old Girl by Broken Social Scene. Something about that song and a dark country road gives me the chills.
When it comes to long road trips, there’s nothing better than the podcast Alice Isn’t Dead. It’s about a truck driver looking for her wife who was supposed to be dead, and it’s fantastic and gripping. I also get obsessed with the weather while on road trips, and often have the Weather Channel app on, just like a lot of truckers commonly do. Between the podcasts and weather, sometimes I think I missed my calling as a trucker myself!
- Scott Huntingdon, offthethrottle.com
#24 I love listening to podcasts to kill time
I drive a lot for work and love listening to podcasts too kill the time. Lately I've been listening to one caked The History of English. It's a fascinating in-depth look at the history, geography, and linguistic influences that have led us to the modern English we speak today.
The Thread is another fantastic podcast with shorter episodes that connect seemingly non-related people and events across the years. It's great for shorter drives, or you can listen to a whole season in a few hours on the road. I also have my standard road trip playlist full of your classic songs like "Route 66," "Roam," "Life is a Highway," and more.. It really gets you in the spirit.
#25 I've been adding new podcast shows to my library
Since I recently just moved back to LA, I've been driving a lot more and adding new podcast shows to my library. Lately I've been loving the Almost 30 podcast by Krista Williams and Lindsey Simcik. They discuss all things health, wellness, entrepreneurship, spirituality and personal development as it relates to the transitions women go through in their 20s and 30s. They bring on killer guests and their humorous and honest approach is a breath of fresh air while combatting LA traffic!
#26 I always listen to podcasts about wellness
When driving, I always listen to podcasts about wellness. Because this is a topic I'm interested in, the time passes enjoyably, and I arrive to my destination having learned something new. Some of my favorite podcasts are Almost30 and Mind Love.
#27 I almost never listen to the radio anymore
I almost never listen to the radio anymore, when I drive somewhere I hit the purple podcast icon on my phone and prop it up to listen to it through the phone's speakers. I pick a few of my favorites--The Pitch, by Gimlet, a realistic version of Shark Tank with a lot more information about the pitched ideas, and a follow up a month later to see what really happened. Then I might tune into Mike Rowe's short podcasts, his update version of the old Paul Harvey, the REST of the story types of anecdotes.
#28 Something to make me laugh
I find a long journey passes a lot quicker with a comedy podcast. My favourites are Adam Buxton’s, Richard Herring’s and the Comedian’s Comedian podcast which mostly involve one comedian interviewing another. For a few weeks, I worked my way through the entire back catalogue of Dad’s Army radio plays. I also enjoy Kermode and Mayo’s film review podcast, which is an extended version of the 5Live show. Once I’ve had enough of comedy chit-chat, I find myself flicking between a USB stick full of music and various BBC radio stations. There’s certainly no shortage of choice nowadays anyway…