To ask friends to chip in for petrol sometimes?

(36 Posts)
cocktail82 Wed 30-Jul-14 15:10:06

My partner and I are good friends with another couple, and we often go out for dinner/cinema together. Whilst my husband and I drive, neither of them have passed their tests, or even learnt to drive as they say they cant afford to, so its always down to us to drive. Normally this does not bother me, and if we are going long distance, they will offer to chip in, but what I am finding annoying is that they never offer to chip in for the shorter journeys. They just assume as we are already going that way then its fine. Which in principle it is, although I don�t see why it should always be us that forks out for the cost of running the car and paying for the petrol, and for them to be picked up and chauffeured around up to 3 to 4 times a week! I don�t see why it should cost us money to go somewhere, but our friends don�t pay a thing. I just wish they would say something like � we appreciate all the lifts you give us. Heres �20 for all the lifts we have had off you in the last few months� or buy us a drink when we go out. Do you think im being unreasonable??

Namechangearoonie123 Wed 30-Jul-14 15:12:43

If it bothers you just offer to meet them there.

3 or 4 times a week? I don't see anyone that much.

MrsWinnibago Wed 30-Jul-14 15:13:01

YANBU. I have friends who give me lifts and they won't take cash so at Christmas or other occasions I send them wine or chocolates. Little hampers etc.

ViviPru Wed 30-Jul-14 15:18:37

3 or 4 times a week? I don't see anyone that much.

This^^ confused . I can't imagine a scenario whereby I'd socialise with people this much that the transport costs would become an issue. And surely if I did, they would be such fabulous close friends that I would be so keen to see that I'd be happy to foot the cost.

But I do agree they should offer to buy a drink, to thank you. That's just polite. It's become so ingrained though as it happens so often that for them to make this small gesture now would be tantamount to acknowledging a massive debt to you from past lifts....

nocabbageinmyeye Wed 30-Jul-14 15:19:35

How far out of your way (if at all) are you going for them? If its not far/not at all and you are all going to the same place together then I think you are being a little tight to be honest. If you are going out of your way then you could ask them to come to your house first next time for the lift as you are trying to keep costs down

HotDogJumpingFrogAlburquerque Wed 30-Jul-14 15:21:59

Next time say you'll meet them there as you are busy before hand? Start turning the tide so they don't expect it every time.

Unless you are passing theirs on the way, in which case YABU.

cocktail82 Wed 30-Jul-14 15:27:33

ViviPru - neither of us have children, so its quite easy for us to socialise during the week, and not just as a foursome, quite often with other friends also, but its always us that drives and covers the cost when we do go out.

ViviPru Wed 30-Jul-14 15:30:51

neither of us have children

Neither do I!! <reclusive>

GoEasyPudding Wed 30-Jul-14 15:33:15

I would perhaps find it rude if they didn't offer to pay for the parking.

whatever5 Wed 30-Jul-14 15:34:04

Assuming that you are not going out of your way to pick them up, I think it would be really petty to ask for petrol money for small journeys.

MaryWestmacott Wed 30-Jul-14 15:39:36

Agreed, if you aren't going out of your way, then it's petty.

If you want to break the habit, you could say you'll meet them there, or you could say can they come to yours first (rather than you having to drive to collect them), but it's not going to lower your costs if they take the bus.

fairylightsintheloft Wed 30-Jul-14 15:46:12

it would be awkward to ask for a couple of quid each time yes, but its not JUST the cost of petrol is it? The OP and her DP pay for the upkeep and running of the car as well. If the friends are essentially getting a free taxi service then I would hope it WOULD occur to them every now and then to pay for a tank of petrol, or pay for the activity you are doing / the meal or whatever - maybe only once every couple of months but enough to show they appreciate the free rides they are getting.

Aeroflotgirl Wed 30-Jul-14 15:55:45

Meet them at the venue or don't go out as much with them

DidoTheDodo Wed 30-Jul-14 16:00:40

I'd think it was reasonable for them to buy you an extra lemonade or something along those lines.

If you're always the driver it means you're the one who has to worry about getting a parking space, not having alcohol, being responsible etc. An acknowledgement of that wouldn't go amiss.

KnackeredMuchly Wed 30-Jul-14 16:04:09

So difficult when you've established a precedent but they are being SO cheeky. I'd just say "I'll meet you there!" and if they ask for a lift come up with excuses why not to. Bring it down to no more than once a week.

When I had a houseshare at uni only on of us had a car and he kept a spreadsheet - we all paid gor every lift, to Tescos, a night out etc. Being precise means there is no simmering resentment

ladygracie Wed 30-Jul-14 16:05:56

I agree that asking them to pay for parking each time would be good. Would that work?

MrsWinnibago Wed 30-Jul-14 16:10:10

It IS petty to hand over a couple of quid. That's why I just buy my lift-givers a present at Christmas.

PeppermintInfusion Wed 30-Jul-14 16:10:38

Whilst I can see why people saying it is tight, I quite often drive myself as I can't be bothered with taxis etc and I'm happy enough not to drink. Several of my friends expect lifts, often completely out of my way, yet wouldn't even offer me a few soft drinks. I do get resentful, especially a I'm saving them a tenner for a taxi and if we're having a meal I can end up paying for drinks I didn't have.
I wouldn't expect petrol money every time but YANBU to expect some acknowledgement of this.

I think the problem here is that your socialising so much you've already set a precedent, it's likely to cause tension when they realise you've been getting wound up by it but kept quiet

If you were going that way anyhow, I really don't think it's good spirited to ask for petrol (other than long journeys)

As a non driver - I have no clue re petrol and car costs, however I do offer what I can afford if I'm offered a lift but if I choose not to own a car and happily pay for transport when a lift is not offered to me - id think it very rude if someone expected me to chip in with running costs of their car simply because I accepted a short distance lift when offered by people going to the same place,

You'd have a car regardless of whether you ferried them anywhere I assume?

Fluffyears Wed 30-Jul-14 18:01:11

I think petrol money should at least always be offered. It's not the money so much as the gesture. MIL is very selfish about DP and his car. Wants chauffeured around but never once offers a penny and he wouldn't take money anyway but it's the gesture that would mean more. Her latest thing is some garden centre an hour away she wants driven to for 'a look round'. Oh yes your little look round two hour journey will cost us £ but don't you worry!! Grrr

whatever5 Wed 30-Jul-14 18:26:19

I agree that the friends should offer to buy drinks or show appreciation in some other way but I still think it would be petty to ask them for petrol money. You could ask them to pay for parking (if there are parking costs) but otherwise the only thing to do is not go out of your way to pick them up or not bother to go out with them at all. Then they are not inconveniencing you or costing you money.

Igggi Wed 30-Jul-14 20:22:39

When you give someone a lift it isn't only money for petrol involved - what bothers me is having to leave at a time that suits all the people in the car - if I'm not drinking the upside is being in my own car and able to head off home whenever I want.
I think the friends take the lifts for granted but not sure how to change things tbh.

Yambabe Wed 30-Jul-14 20:33:07

Driver get their drinks bought by the driven is kind of the unwritten rule amongst our friends and us.

MunchMunch Wed 30-Jul-14 21:09:40

Surely the same could be said about a bus though, the bus is going to the shops, I'm going to the shops so I should get a free lift?

It's not tight at all, if op has had to put a fiver in petrol to get her to the cinema why should the other couple have no transport costs? The weight of two extra people does and will mount up in petrol, tyres and general up keep.

Suttonmum1 Wed 30-Jul-14 21:09:53

why not stop for petrol on the journey and make a few comments about how much it costs per mile while filling up. they probably have no idea how much tax, insurance, breakdown, petrol, servicing etc adds up to.

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