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To not want to give my friend a lift?

(286 Posts)
User17890672345 Thu 06-Dec-18 10:59:43

My friend has moved house, she doesn't drive, and our children go to the same school.

She dropped her daughters off the other week, and it was raining, she asked if I would mind giving her a lift home as they had got soaked walking to school, so I said yes.

Now, every time it rains, she asks me for a lift - I wouldn't mind but she lives the other side of town to me, so it takes me a 3 mile round trip out of my way each time I give her a lift home (her walking route is shorter than this, about 1/2 a mile)

I feel like I've made a rod for my own back, she's a great friend, but I worry about winter coming and the snow, and having to drive her home all the time, I've already given her 5 lifts - that's 15 miles of petrol that isn't in my budget either.

Our children are in the lower stages of school, so if I don't do something now I think she'll expect this for years to come.

What do I say to her? I feel so put on the spot when she asks me

User17890672345 Thu 06-Dec-18 11:00:53

Not all lifts because of rain, but that's how it started, some lifts because she's so tired or CBA walking home

User17890672345 Thu 06-Dec-18 11:01:52

The more I think about it, the more I wished I'd nipped it in the bud before now - help!

TeamSpirit Thu 06-Dec-18 11:03:20

Make her pay contribution. I learned to drive at 46 so i know how much a lift in the rain mean. It means so much. But make her pay the cost - like paying for a bus ride?

Jinglebells99 Thu 06-Dec-18 11:04:18

Why not walk to school yourself so you can’t give a lift? Or park further away so she doesn’t know that you have the car. Or say you can’t as you have an appointment.

Alfie190 Thu 06-Dec-18 11:05:12

Do you want her to pay or do you not want to do the lifts (even if she does pay?)

pfwow Thu 06-Dec-18 11:05:26

If you really don't want to do it, find something that you need to do instead, like you're going directly to do your supermarket shop or something. Or could you just tell her you don't have time but drop her at a bus stop?

Tinkerbellisnotafairy Thu 06-Dec-18 11:06:09

It's a difficult one. Once you start doing things for people, it does become "expected" and "the norm".

As a non-driver myself, I'm ultra aware not to take the piss if someone is nice enough to give me a lift - HOWEVER, there is also almost an expectation if someone is "lucky" enough to drive and own a car, that they almost "owe" people who don't drive.

Would it help if your friend offered something towards the petrol, if this is the thing that's bugging you the most? Is it the cost, or the time taken?

How good a friend is she? Are you able to say to her, "Look, I don't mind giving you lifts when it's raining, but it's costing me x amount each time - would you mind contributing?"

ExplodedPeach Thu 06-Dec-18 11:06:28


Half a mile is what, 10 minutes? Which is not long, even if it's raining - especially if you're going home and can change when you get there!

I'd make up a few appointments in the opposite direction to try and break the habit. Or buy her an umbrella for Christmas.

Auntiepatricia Thu 06-Dec-18 11:07:53

Just start putting her off say ‘sorry, can’t today’ I need to get straight home.

For a good friend though I’d probably put up with it. Or tell her straight that you don’t mind occasionally but it’s not working for you to do it so often as you have stuff to be getting on with and it’s a bit of a tie to have to be someone else’s transport.

Tinkerbellisnotafairy Thu 06-Dec-18 11:08:10

To be fair though, she should have waited for you to offer rather than asking you.

Tinkerbellisnotafairy Thu 06-Dec-18 11:09:16

There's also a lack of understanding with drivers quite how difficult it is to get around when there isn't public transport or when it's raining.

Half a mile in the rain is no fun, especially when you've walked that already with children in tow.

GhostSauce Thu 06-Dec-18 11:09:47

Tell her that the petrol you have in your car has to last you X number of days, so unless she is willing to pay your petrol then you can't afford to, as it will then mean you cannot use your car until payday or whenever.

Failing that just don't answer the door. How does she know you're in? I never answer my door unless I am expecting people. I just wouldn't open it and say I was in the shower/in the kitchen with the radio on.

Or answer the door with a half glass of wine in your hand and say you're on your second glass.

Floralhousecoat Thu 06-Dec-18 11:09:48

It's taking a lot of time away from you and your dc that you could be spending together at home. For that reason I would say no even if she contributed towards petrol. I would tell her giving her lifts eats into your evenings as a family, so you won't be doing them anymore.

HollyGoLoudly1 Thu 06-Dec-18 11:12:33

HOWEVER, there is also almost an expectation if someone is "lucky" enough to drive and own a car, that they almost "owe" people who don't drive.

Is there? confused I don't agree with this at all! I'm not 'lucky' to drive - I worked hard to pass my test (failed the first 2 times blush), paid a small fortune in driving lessons and continue to pay a small fortune to own and upkeep a car. Petrol, insurance, repairs, MOT, road tax, plus buying the car in the first place. I have a few friends/family who don't drive and I do help them out from time to time but I definitely dont feel like I owe them lifts!

User17890672345 Thu 06-Dec-18 11:13:41

It's not really just the money, although I don't really have money in my budget for the extra mileage.
I just don't want to be tied to doing it, she must have factored things in when she moved, surely?
I think the problem is, she used to live within a 5 minute walk to the school and now it's longer.
I don't want to look unreasonable or uncaring towards her though, or for her to feel hurt.
There's not enough room for us and all the kids, so it would only ever be her who wanted a lift.

Snowwontbelong Thu 06-Dec-18 11:14:26

Tinkerbell how is any of that relevant to the op?
She isn't a taxi.

Thesnobbymiddleclassone Thu 06-Dec-18 11:18:12

Two things you can say:

1 - No sorry, I'm busy today and need to go
2 - No sorry.

sonjadog Thu 06-Dec-18 11:18:20

I think you say that you don't have time because you have to get somewhere. After a few times, she'll probably get the hint.

TeamSpirit Thu 06-Dec-18 11:18:47

No not a taxi - but a friend?

Thesnobbymiddleclassone Thu 06-Dec-18 11:19:37

Tinkerbell that isn't really the OPs problem though is it. Her friend should have considered those options when moving. If she has to walk in the winter weather then she should prepare by getting good coats and wellies or learn to drive.

Bigonesmallone3 Thu 06-Dec-18 11:19:43

This would annoy me and quite often have the same problem.
I would just turn her down a few times in a row with a few excuses Iv just read like..
Oh sorry I have an appointment at XXX
Oh sorry I must get straight home I have a delivery
Oh sorry Iv got to nip to (family members) they're unwell
And hope she gets the hint..

Tinty Thu 06-Dec-18 11:20:23

There's also a lack of understanding with drivers quite how difficult it is to get around when there isn't public transport or when it's raining.

Half a mile in the rain is no fun, especially when you've walked that already with children in tow.

This is maybe annoying but why is it the drivers responsibility?, that you struggle to get around on public transport or you get wet when it is raining? Yes half a mile in the rain (a mile both ways), is not fun, which is probably the reason why some people learn to drive.

Birdsgottafly Thu 06-Dec-18 11:21:41

How long does it actually take you?

TeamSpirit Thu 06-Dec-18 11:22:23

How is it different from helping friends in other aspects of life? If it is pissing down, ofcourse i would offer a lift. As i help friends.. if money is the problem, it can be solved. But surely friends help eachother ona rainy day?

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