It's all fun and games on a road trip!

A look at some fun games to play to pass the time on a road trip
03/08/2021 Blog
Road trip games


It’s all very well playing on your phones or even using travel-versions of popular games like Battleships or Connect Four, but the ones we’ve noted below won’t need any electronic devices or game pieces. All you’ll need is the knowledge of how to play.

There are some obvious classics. Everybody knows I-Spy, for example. There’s also the supermarket memory game, “I went to the supermarket and I bought…” where you choose something to purchase and then the next person must purchase that same item plus one of their own, and so on, until someone forgets the list of items. There’s ‘Would You Rather’, too. But there are also some good games directly linked to the roads.

Falling boulder sign

The sign to show the risk of falling boulders.

Car-colour cricket

Each player takes it in turns to bat, choosing a colour of car they’ll need to spot in order to score runs. However, the other players must also decide on something to represent that player being caught or struck out, such as vehicles belonging to the emergency services or motorcycles or a particular type of road sign. When one of these is seen, the players has to stop counting their colours and it’s somebody else’s turn. The winner is the player with the most runs.

Optional rule: play baseball instead of cricket, with each player getting three chances before they are caught or struck out.

Sing a sign

Using road signs as your inspiration, score a point if you can name a song that uses the sign in its lyrics or title somehow, or maybe even the singer/band. For example, a stop sign might give you “Stop, in the name of love…”, a one-way sign could lead to a One Direction song, and a falling boulder warning sign could be any kind of rock and roll! (Bonus points for singing and air-guitaring where appropriate.)

Number plate games


FUN 4U Of course, at plates4less we’re rather fond of number plate games, as you might expect! Here are just a few to get you through a long journey.


Quick and easy, you score a point every time you spot a number plate using a letter of your initials, with bonus points if a plate features all of the letters of your initials. You can play this with a time limit or end the game when someone scores an agreed number of points.

The alphabet game

You have a fixed time in which to spot every letter of the alphabet in the proper sequence over a range of number plates. This is a first spotted, first claimed game where the number plate cannot be used again by any other player once it has been used to score a letter (or it can be used, but only to score a different letter). To avoid confusion with multiple players, you could always play this one in teams, with one team starting at A and the other starting at Z, and going backwards. Whoever gets through the alphabet first, wins.

The numbers game

Same as the alphabet game, except you’re spotting numbers from 1 through to… well, whatever number you all agree on!

Optional rule: the countdown game. Players must spot a 10, then a 9, then an 8, down to 0 and whoever wins the countdown gets to choose the next game played.

The numbers game…with added maths

This one works like the numbers game except that instead of spotting the actual numbers you have to find them by applying your maths skills to any other numbers on the plate. For example, if you’re looking for a 4, you can’t simply point it out on a number plate, but you can use a plate with a 1 and a 3 by adding the numbers together.

Longest word

A player points out a clearly visible number plate and all players have 3 attempts to make the longest word they can using the all of the letters in the same order as they appear on the plate. Whoever comes up with the longest word wins the round. Again, you can play for a fixed number of rounds or end the game when someone wins 10 rounds.

Optional rule: bonus points for using the numbers as well, either because the number resembles a letter (8 as B, for example) or sounds like part of the word (4 as for, 4 example).


For this one you use the letters of a number plate, coming up with a phrase where each word begins with one of the letters while maintaining the same order. For example, TG02 GET can be This Game Gets Everyone Thinking, or Tiny Giraffes Go Everywhere Together. You can play that the first person to come up with a phrase scores the point, or maybe everybody suggests a phrase and someone (perhaps the driver) decides on the best one.

Youngest and oldest

This one is most easily played using only current style number plates. These are the ones that have 2 letters, 2 numbers, and then 3 letters. The numbers are the age identifier and represent the year, so with JC12 HOT the 12 represents 2012. If the number looks too large for a year, such as 64, simply subtract 50. So JC64 HOT would be a 2014 plate. Players must find the most recent plate and/or the oldest plate to score a point. This game works best with a time or distance limit.

AB05 ABC the 05 represents the period of March 2005

So there you go – a selection of game to play on your next road trip. If you have any suggestions for games, please do add them to the comments below.