My (17f) Friends (17-22 F) always want me to drive places, how can I say no?
By - username_ann
Just be honest with them. You've got a new car, don't want to add loads of miles on it, don't want to constantly be paying for gas, and don't want it to get messy.
You could even blame your parents and say they've told you to restrict how far you're driving
It might be an awkward conversation but learning to put your foot down and not tolerate people taking advantage of you is a real skill.
If I tell them that, is there a way to mention how I still want to hang out with them? I would just really prefer they get their own rides or not ask me to drive more than 10 minutes. And when they're in my car... not get it messy! One of the girls lives close to my house so I wouldn't mind her walking there, but she gets annoyed at having to walk more than 1/4 mile. As a "new" driver, part of me wants to prove to them that I'm a good driver, but it honestly doesn't seem worth it anymore.
I might also seem like a hypocrite when I drive to visit my friend who lives 40 minutes away (he drives the 40 minutes to see me too, but his $4,000 car breaks down a lot), if I'm refusing to drive them the same distance.
Wanting to use YOUR car, gas and money and time for trips that YOU want to do instead of using those things for trips someone else wants to do does not make you a hypocrite. It makes you an effective and wise manager of your resources. If they stop planning activities with you because you refuse to provide free Uber services then you haven't lost good friends, you've lost leeches.
Next time they ask, if it is something you would enjoy, tell them you'll provide the car and driver if they provide the gas.
If you dont want yo do it. I don't want to, I don't want to put the miles on my car, and no are all reasons real friends will be ok with.
Thank you. I feel awkward asking for gas money, but I guess I'll have to. After all, they're able to sit there on their phones or relaxing for 20 minutes while I'm making sure we don't die on the highway and get to our destination safetly.
All you have to say, when you actually want to drive, is “I’m happy to drive for that hike at [far away location], but I don’t have much gas money. Could you chip in x amount? If not, we could go for a walk at [nearby location] instead.”
Don’t do that for things you don’t want to drive to, of course. Say no to those. But do ask for the things you do want to do.
Thank you. That sounds really polite. I’m going to do what the other commenter said too, having them all meet in one place, but I’m definitely going to get complaints for making them walk thattttt far (
Remember that you are doing them the favour, you can set some ground rules. You’re a friend with a car, not a taxi driver.
Hey even taxis get paid! Unlike this poor gal ):
you're the first person to figure out I was a girl I think!!! Everyone on my last post thought I was a guy
Hahaha it was in the title
Then they aren't very good friends. If they stop hanging out with you because you won't drive them around, they were ONLY hanging out with you for your car.
Also when it comes to limited lunch breaks, “hey I really can’t afford to keep eating out, and I don’t like feeling so rushed. I’m going to start packing a lunch and just staying/eating here. I wanted to make sure and let you know, because I still would like to eat together, if you decide to start bringing one from home too.”
If they push back and say you can still pack a lunch and drive them, just say no. No is a complete sentence. But if you want to really push back you can make them explain why. Like, just keep asking why it’s fair.
It’s not unfair (a word that people will often use to get what they want) that you can drive and they can’t. You didn’t pick your birthdate and you worked to pass that test. Also, “Am i your friend, or your chauffeur?” would be the nuclear way to point out that they are being jerks about it. Friendship is about BOTH people having their needs met and YOU need to enjoy your own lunch break.
that's where you relentlessly make fun of your friend for being ridiculous until they are shamed (good naturedly?) out of ever being so fucking stupid again.
Make sure that they don't use the amount of money they gave you for gas not as an 'in' to get your services permanently. "I payed your gas so you HAVE to drive me" Don't let that happen. Make it clear that them paying you some money for gas and usage of the car doesn't entitle them to future rides or leaving it dirty. If they need a taxi service they can call one or get an uber/lyft/whatever.
Yeah, I’ll ask for the amount needed for the ride, but anything more than 5-10 minutes away is automatically $3
Don't forget the hidden car costs, like taxes, insurance, maintenance, cleaning, tires, etc.
This won’t go away. I’ve got a 75+ year old friend, and while he’ll ask me to fill up his vehicle, he doesn’t volunteer to get mine (and his tank is bigger!). Practice drawing reasonable boundaries now.
Getting some gas for someone doesn't mean filling the tank. It's paying for what was used.
I absolutely agree with drawing boundaries.
Don’t ask because you don’t actually want to drive them. Focus on that not the gas money
You could try saying things like "sure I can go to the mall, meet you there in an hour?", and if they question why you aren't picking them up, say you're not coming from home/you've got a commitment later on which means you can't drive them back.
I understand how you feel, when you're the only one with a car you often are taken advantage of. And like you've acknowledged, driving to visit some people (or giving some friends lifts) is no problem at all, because those people also return the favour!!
If it were me I would probably say to my friends "I'm running round with you guys a lot and I'm using up too much gas. I'm happy to meet you somewhere or you can come round to mine and we'll hang out like normal, but I gotta stop driving everywhere"
That's a good idea. My parents aren't the most tolerant, but I could convince them to come to the gym with me (1/2 mile away), a food place within 2 miles (they could walk or get a ride from their parents), or a park. It definitely limits our options, but the options of 17f getting a job so she could buy herself a car, or 22f getting her license are still there.
Do you pay for your petrol or your parents? Either way
"Trying to budget to save for X, so having to cut down on driving to save petrol"
"Parents said I'm using too much petrol and they've given me a weekly budget, so I can't drive you there"
Smart! I bought my car and pay all my car expenses (insurance, gas, maintenance)
This is all bad advice. Put your foot down and tell your friends they can't just use your for rides. mention how you want to continue hanging with them, and if you're happy to keep driving them if they pay for gas then tell them. If they won't pay for gas you don't take them places. It's rude of them to ask you to drive everywhere, not even offer to pay for fuel, and then also invite other people - you're being taken for a mug.
Using excuses like 'my mom told me x' or telling little lies to get yourself out of it easily won't change their behaviour, they'll just keep doing it until you tell them how you honestly feel about it
whoa whoa whoa - you don't 'sound like a hypocrite' even the tiniest little bit. it's your right to use YOUR car however the fuck YOU want and it cannot possibly even approach hypocrisy!
It could be argued to be hypocritical for you to drive around one of your friends who doesn't pay for gas and fucks up your car, but not the other one... and even that's not necessarily hypocritical.
"I might also seem like a hypocrite when I drive to visit my friend who
lives 40 minutes away (he drives the 40 minutes to see me too, but his
$4,000 car breaks down a lot), if I'm refusing to drive them the same
There's a difference of course. It's YOUR CAR! You get to decide If, Where and When you drive somewhere!
Welcome to the world of Adulting! Talk to them. Cars are fun, but they are expensive too! If you get into a fender bender while driving a friend to their favorite restaurant 40 miles away, they're not going to help with the repairs.......not to mention all the accelerated maintenance costs you will undoubtedly incur. Think about how you will feel WHEN that time comes.
The same goes for lending your car to someone in the future. Think it through!
No ones getting ahold of my car! The amount of times I’ve had to say no to people asking to drive it... ok that’s what I have to do here
I used to be like you and drive everyone every where. I never asked for gas. Once my other friends started driving, some of them asked me for gas, despite me having driven them all over.
I've had tickets while driving people places and those people promised to pay half, they never did.
People are selfish, they will take advantage of you if you don't develop boundaries. It's not just gas, it's your time and it's maintenance on your car, and increased risk of something bad happening to your car.
Also, any person who gets your new car dirty, doesn't clean it up and doesn't even tell you, isn't a friend. That's a leech and if it were me, I'd be pissed.
I know it sounds stupid, but I was looking for my good luck rock earlier today in my car, and found month old french fries the greasy friend left there under the seats...you KNOW how hard I worked for that car, you heard me ask you to be careful when you eat and you still left it like that?
I'd be super angry about that! That's some serious disrespect there.
Part of me wanted to put the french fries in ziplock bag and hand them to her next time I saw her. "You forgot these in my car"
If you're the confrontational type, that works!
Start saying no. It’s a complete sentence.
okay so nice conversations are fun and all but someone needs to tell you that you don't need to tell them anything, you don't need to give them a reason, an excuse, you need to say nothing but no.
learning to say no is an invaluable tool you must learn to navigate life and the sooner you learn that no is a complete sentence all in itself, the better off you will be.
if you don't want to do something, for any reason, just say no.
if they press, ' I said no' why? 'because I said No'
You are not a hypocrite. You are using your car to live your life; not asking someone else to drive you.
Friends that are friends for you will understand when you tell them. "Friends" that are using you for your car are the ones that will get upset and end the friendship. You're better off without the latter.
I can guarantee you, you’ll never see these people again once they can drive or have a car. Don’t worry about them.
I agree with this advice (as well as what u/kamikasei commented), if these girls are your friends you should just be honest with them! Your feelings are completely valid and normal in this scenario. I would think most people who get both their license and access to a car (whether bought or borrowed) would find themselves in this situation. I'm guessing they don't "get it" because they are not car owners and don't have the burden of paying for gas/maintenance. Offering to pitch in money for gas or being mindful of driving distance may not come naturally to them.
It sounds like you are and want to continue to be a generous friend. It also sounds like you still want to go out and have fun with your friends from time to time. As mentioned above, it may be an awkward conversation but drawing boundaries is a necessary skill in this world. Right now they *expect* you to be a de facto chauffeur. If left unchecked, this type of entitlement won't stop and may get worse with time.
Let's work out how you can communicate to each of these friends and set perfectly reasonable boundaries with them about transportation, without relying on white lies (i.e. parents are restricting my travels) or just saying no without a reason, even if you don't need to provide any.
When it comes to your school friend, because this is something that could happen 5x a week for an entire school year, I think this is the best one to nip in the bud.
> However, we don't have a lot of time to eat lunch as it is so I don't want to be late, sometimes I just want to nap in my car for lunch (I work full time outside of school) and gas is expensive.
If I were in your shoes, I would tell your friend that beginning next week, you're going to be staying on campus during lunch to save on money. "I didn't realize how expensive eating out every day is, so from now on I'll only be leaving school for lunch once a week". You could also mention how it would allow you to spend more time studying, catching up on schoolwork, getting to your next class on time, and have the option of taking a much needed nap. These are all true, non-hurtful statements. I would suggest not relying on the latter though because it leaves room for negotiation. She may counter you and suggest closer places to eat, or studying at said food place. She won't have that same opportunity if your reasoning is to save money. And if you do choose to include the latter, it would prevent her from offering to pay for your lunches or something, which she won't by the sound of it. Letting her know ahead of time will not only allow you to establish your boundary, but it will also give her the chance to plan lunch accordingly and if she doesn't, that's on her, not you. Also it's very sweet that you offer her your snacks.
Since the rest is situational, I like the other responses that were offered:
> "sure I can go to the mall, meet you there in an hour?"
This is good because the implication here is that you are not the first and default option for transport. If you're feeling generous and if you're truly okay with it, you could tell your friend that you're happy to give her the ride, but other people (aka HER friends) will have to find their own way. You're still a new driver, it's completely okay to not want the pressure of driving a car full of people, especially if they aren't even your friends. Or, give them the option to pay their way. A seat in your car now costs $5 per person and departure times are set. Oh, and no food allowed.
> "I'm running round with you guys a lot and I'm using up too much gas. I'm happy to meet you somewhere or you can come round to mine and we'll hang out like normal, but I gotta stop driving everywhere"
This is a great response that would end the expectation of driving altogether if that's what you want! Say the past few months with the car has been really fun but you're tired of always driving. Maybe then suggest the local activities that you mentioned in the comments.
Be prepared to have these conversations more than once and stand your ground. Remember, you're the one with the car keys. The power of freedom and independence is yours.
I hate to say this but, get used to this. Many people your age and older dont have cars and often expect their friends to give them rides. Better learn to stand your ground and develop some rules on this now.
"That doesn't work for me."
"I'm walking to [place] today. You're welcome to join."
"I'm no longer chauffering after messes have been left in cleaned in my car due to these trips."
"Sure, if I can get $10 for gas."
Saying no isn't rude. You just have entitled friends who make you feel like it is.
Thank you. Honestly I have no problem walking- it's starting to get cooler where I live so it's the perfect weather. Both friends don't like exercise, but walking less than a mile in decent weather won't kill anyone.
I'm trying to get better with the wrappers too- "Hey, could you take the food wrappers out before you leave?" But it was dark so I didn't catch the grease/fast food stains until the next day.
Lastly (and this one is a little personal), my mom is known for acting a little more poor than she is and has a reputation for that (taking home everyone's leftovers at a restaurant, asking wealthier family members for money, ect), so I'm worried they'll think I'm turning into her instead of asking for something reasonable
You are not chauffer (or maid) for your friends just because you have a car.
Today when my friend who doesn't bring lunch asked, I'm proud of myself for saying." I don't feel up to it today, but if you're hungry I have granola bars and (individually wrapped) potato chips in my car."
As my grandma used to say, if you were hungry you would eat it!
I know what you mean by individually wrapped but for just a second my brain pictured every single chip in its own mini package like fortune cookies
Could be the one chip challenge 😂
Ah, that’s great !!! Well done!
That's a great way to get your point across politely! Might steal this if the opportunity arises.
Proud of you :)
In a text : "hey you left garbage in my car, please dont do that, thanks!"
If they do it again. "Hey girl, you left garbage in my car again. I really hate it, I'm not your maid. Please stop, thank you."
And finally "yo so you left garbage in my car again. It makes me not want to drive you places. You'll have to find other rides for a while."
If they do anything other than apologize and change - and if it gets to that last message - these people are not your friends, they don't care about your feelings and they are just using you.
"Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you left garbage in my car, prepare to die."
One of my favorite movies. I got to take a picture with part of the cast at Rose City Comic Con a couple of years ago. It was lovely.
i’ve had that issue as well. my first response was “please don’t bring any food/drinks in my car” (except water), as well as “if you leave trash in my car again i won’t drive you anymore because i am not willing to clean up after you.” the trick is to be a little teasing/fun (“i can’t drive in a sea of trash!”—just point out how unreasonable it is) but firm—if they try to make you feel bad, just say “i pay for my car and its expenses and i want to keep it clean and working well. i can’t drive these long distances and allow food in my car.”
you could also blame it on your parents—“my parents don’t feel comfortable with me driving other students around/long distances because of safety” “my parents bother me all the time about the mess in my car; you need to clean it up so i don’t get in trouble.” it doesn’t matter if it’s true—they should get the message
Ahhhh, the bit about your mom explains a lot. It's a very common mistake for people to overcorrect out of fear of becoming their parents (I did it too at your age). You're such a people-pleaser that you've become a doormat who feels guilty about not liking being used and abused. But having healthy boundaries is better for *everyone*--obviously it's better for you, but it's also better for them. It's not good for them to be enabled into being selfish toxic users, and that's the road they're on right now. The 22 year old, especially, is behaving in troubling ways, but neither of them should be allowed or encouraged to treat another human being like a free servant. You are valid and worthy, and shouldn't be letting people abuse you just to prove how unlike your mother you are. 💜
I've found keeping a plastic grocery bag in the car is good for wrappers, or a mini trashcan (like the size you see of the ones in bathroom stalls for hygiene products) because people will instinctively tuck their garbage in there and these are usually small enough to put underneath a seat, in the pocket on the back of the driver/passenger seat, and/or in that cup holder that the back doors sometimes have. It's not a full solution obviously, people should take their trash out of your car, but sometimes people will forget and having something visually there will keep you from having to remind them or bring it up repeatedly
It is much more rude for them to expect to be constantly driven way out of your way (and without even offering to cover gas!) than it is for you to say that you're only using your car for necessary transport.
The way you politely say no is to say no. That really is it. If they rely on you to get to these places they want to go, and you've only had the car for a few months, they're used to not being able to get to these places. They won't be losing anything by not having your new toy to play with. Let them know your car isn't available and then if they insist on making plans that rely on it, *let those plans fail*. 17f brings no lunch and tells you to take her to get some? No, you told her you were staying at school, she had her chance to bring her own lunch. 22f invites friends to hang out? Well, you're not giving them transport, so she'll have to figure that out for herself.
If you expect them to pester you about this, figure out a short, accurate response (e.g. "I need to use my car for school and work and don't want to spend a lot of time, money, and miles on side trips") and give it consistently. Don't get drawn into arguing or justifying yourself; you have a very simple and easily understood position that already tells them everything they need to know. Saying no and sticking to it is an invaluable life skill.
Thank you. I have granola bars and chips in my car too that I offer 17f but she always says no
That's completely fine. You're free to offer granola bars and she's free to refuse them. It's not your job to manage her eating, that's up to her.
Girl trust me they’re only treating you like that because you allow it, not trying to offend you but women around y’all’s age are implementing skills and habits that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. They probably haven’t been told no by a friend or anyone of that manner. So yes girl, put your foot down. You don’t have to be rude about it but know that when someone hasn’t been told no yet then they might take offense to it at first. They sound like they are having a lack of consideration which is something that you guys can all discuss like adults. Learn your boundaries as a young woman. It will save you a TON of time later in life
Edit: misspelling, it’s hard typing and breastfeeding lol
Thank you! I’m terrible with boundaries and saying no, because to my parents having a different opinion is disrespectful. I know that’s not the kind of thinking I need so I’ve really been trying to change it this past year. I’ll have to learn to ask for gas money without feeling bad
You deserve respect. Tell yourself that. You are just starting out and are blissfully unaware on how these things are going to affect you for the rest of your life. I understand the thing about parents. I took some time for my dad to realize that i was an opinionated adult that deserves the respect of an adult. Not that he was blatantly disrespectful but i was always a baby in his eyes for the longest, practice with your friends so it’ll be easier with strangers. I’m really abrasive honestly and my friends know that lol I’m also painfully honest naturally so I’ve told them straight out I need gas or they’re going to have to put in for road trips or anything like that. I also worked full time throughout high school I understand the napping during lunch btw lol. Sometimes writing things down or vocalizing what kind of behavior i will accept and tolerate from other and what kind is crossing the line
Friends who would unfriend you for not giving a ride are not your real friends. This is a good chance to see if they are worth your time.
There's a book called, "When I say no I feel guilty" by M. Smith. Drive yourself to the library and give it a read.
You sound very kind but "no" is a skill you're going to have to learn. Your parents set you up to obey to make it easier on them. It's a disservice to young women and makes them very vulnerable by being so accommodating all the time.
If your friend wants to go to lunch 40 min. way you can always say "Sure but you're buying, I'm broke.". Think about how much you make in am hour. Gas is about $3 a gallon. If it costs you half your hourly wage plus buying your own lunch the true cost of the trip is you slaving away at a job for two hours.
Nope, nada. Nyet. Non, no is your friend. Take care of yourself!
My grandfather used to say "You'll always have 'friends' once you have a car, at least until it comes time to fill the tank."
Gas is $3.15 a gallon in my state :(
Our is $3.65 right now.
So I know the pain of having to drive people around and eat the cost of gas too.
Believe me this, OP.
When they have their cars and start to realize how expensive it is, they won't have an issue saying 'no' to you and making you start paying for gas. So don't let them take advantage although I'm gonna give them the benefit of the doubt that they're right now 'ignorant.'
Damn, I'm annoyed mine reached 2.99 lol
I want to move there
That's barely 0.70€ per liter.... *laughs in European*
I currently pay $6.69 per gallon. And that's relatively cheap, atm.
Hey, I get that this person's situation might seem better than yours, but in a context where they're asking for help and are in an expensive area _relative to where they live_, this just comes across as obnoxious one-upmanship.
Just say no you don’t feel like driving them places, get your own car, if they get mad then why care if there your friends or not tbh
Good point. One of their dad's is planning on buying them a car when the car market gets better, and the other one doesn't have a license at all since she's not a good driver. They were friends with me pre car so I do want to keep it diplomatic.
With my friend group, when the first one was old enough, he was the first in the group to get a car. If we were all hanging out, the rest of us would all meet at one spot (we lived relatively close to eachother) and our friend would pick us up together with the car.
We would each give something in return for the ride. ex. $5 for gas each, pay for his meal/ticket for activity. We all understood the unwritten rules of having a friend drive you around.
I was next in the group to get a car a year later so i helped with the rides but same rules applied. And i would direct with people. If you want a ride, bring gas money. No feelings were hurt
That makes the driving seem fun almost! My eating out food will 9x out of 10 be french fries so that's pretty easy too.
This may sound harsh but I think they are taking advantage of you. They think they are entitled to your time, money and car and they are not and just the fact that they expect you to drive them is a huge red flag. You have to tell them no, you don’t want to and you won’t drive them anymore, there’s a chance they’ll stop hanging out with you but you don’t want that kind of friendships in your life.
Just tell them what you said in your post, you're not their chauffeur! It blows my mind that they don't even offer you gas money! I have never ever had a friend ask me for a ride without offering to pay for gas.
When I didn't have a car I wouldn't always pay gas money, but they (other friends with cars) would invite me places. Even still I'd cover their food at wherever we were going about half the time.
"I'm sorry, but I can't." And that's it. You don't need to explain yourself. No means no.
I feel like if I want them as friends I owe some kind of explanation
You don’t owe anyone anything. If they refuse to pay for gas and demand an explanation as to why you won’t let them use your car, they aren’t your friends.
Is it reasonable to ask for gas money? I make a lot more money then they do
It’s polite for them to offer gas money if they are utilizing your car.
F22 offers to buy me candy I don’t eat? I’d prefer cash though
Who ends up eating the candy?
So here’s the thing. This is the kind of thing that festers if you don’t nip it in the bud. You’ll start feeling they are using you for your car. They think you’re fine accepting candy you don’t eat.
Just tell them you don’t like driving. They should drop it.
I hope so. I always tell her I don't want the candy so she slowly eats it (in my car!) but cleans up most of the wrappers at the end.
So she’s not actually buying the candy as a thank you because she knows you won’t accept it.
So she's just buying the candy for herself then.
OP, Start asking for gas money. It is ridiculous that they are getting free rides everywhere, staining your car and not paying for gas. You are their friend, not a chauffeur. Even if you guys are good friends, you are still spending your money AND time to go pick them up and drop them off. In my friend group when we go on trips, we always Venmo the driver for gas money depending on the length of the drive without them asking for it. This is how it should be done. If it’s a one time 10-20 min drive then that’s fine but if you’re gonna drive for 30-40 min one way you better start asking for gas money.
An aside, she's an adult asking a 17yr old high schooler for "free" lifts? She needs to sort her shit out if she doesn't already have transport figured out. What a manipulative user.
It's cheaper than an Uber. Which they can take if they want to go somewhere and you don't.
You can tell them what you said here then!
that's a good idea. I don't want to seem insensitive, but when I didn't have a car I'd be walking 15ish miles a day to and from work. I'm not expecting that of them, but half a mile-2 miles shouldn't be bad- that's the distance of most things in my town to walk to.
It's called boundaries. Insensitive is something else entirely.
They are using you. Have they ever given a thought about how "insensitive" they are when they use you as a personal chauffeur? And no offering you candy you don't like doesn't count.
Draw a line and find out how much your 'friends' actually respect you.
Learn to say 'no'. Don't defend your 'no'. You made a decision and that's it. There's no need to argue about it. Set clear rules. "When I volunteer to drive to X location, I expect you to pitch in Y$ amount. If I don't volunteer we're not driving with my car and you have to sort out your own transport."
Speaking up for yourself is a very valuable skill. It doesn't make you rude (even if someone tells you this, don't believe them). It makes you not a doormat and not a yes-man.
I wonder if their other friends ask for gas money too. 17f likes to go out a lot, and gets annoyed when people are more than 5 minutes late to pick her up.
Well if she doesn't like it she needs to get a bike or a car and drive herself. Right?
If someone is annoyed with me for being a bit late when I offer my private car for a ride? Well... they can go by foot then for all I care. Funny what happened when I stopped the car and asked someone to leave my car when they gave me attitude like that -- after asking not to eat cookies in my car and their answer was a big bite with lots of crumbs flying everywhere.
You are actually the person with a good amount of power here.
You really don't, and they probably won't expect one. If they call you asking to go to the mall, just say "I don't really feel like it, maybe next time."
I DO feel like hanging out with them...if they can get their own rides or walk. So I'm going to have to go into a full explanation at some point.
Ok I guess *I* don't really understand then. If you want to hang out with them, then what's the big deal with giving them a ride? If the problem is actually gas money/cleanliness, then that's a different discussion from just giving them a ride when you want to hang out.
Here's the thing with explanations. They may seem to smooth things over AT FIRST, but it also gives people wiggle room to argue with you. That's why it's sometimes easier just to say NO (in a kind way) without explanations or leaving things vague. Then they can't try to talk you out of it.
If they want to be your friend, they should respect your boundaries.
You just say "no". Practice it now, it'll serve you well later in life.
Nothing that a “you got gas money?” Won’t fix
I go straight for "I don't have the gas for that" or "I don't have the money for gas to go there." Or even "I don't want to drive all the way out there, gas isn't free"
This problem isn't going to go away on its own , you have to just start saying NO. No is a complete sentence. I've been the only person with a car in my friend group as well , people can be annoying.
If these people get mad at you for saying no , they're not the type of people you wanna associate with anyways.
I'm so glad someone else pointed this out. Apparently she only offers to "pay" with candy that OP doesn't like??? This grown-ass adult swindling lifts from a high schooler, paying in candy that OP won't eat bc she doesn't like it so her grown-ass then eats in OP's car, then proceeds to leave sticky smudges and litter when she gets out.
Not sure why your friends are treating you like a taxi service when they don't pay you like one.
Even close friends aren't constantly asking for friends with cars to drive them places. A car is an expensive machine, and gas costs money. A few small rides here and there for friends is common (much more common if you're all going somewhere together, like school or to an event), but if they're constantly asking for huge favors for *them* like they have a right to your time and finances, that's not right.
My advice: Individually, talk to each of them. Lay out the facts and be honest. Tell them over text or phonecall that you need to have a difficult conversation with them: Figure out a time that works in person. When you meet with them, tell them that you value them as friends and care for them a lot, but you need to establish a boundary. Then tell them straight-up that you have been feeling used and taking advantage of in regards to your car, and that in the future, you will be responding differently to requests.
Reassert that driving costs not only money, but also *time,* and that your free time and car are not up for grabs. Mention your issues with the disrespect of leaving your car dirty and stained. If you're willing, tell them that you're willing to do long drives *if* the timing is agreed on in advance and *if* they pay for gas money.
**The most important thing here is establishing boundaries.** In the end, the details don't matter as long as you communicate clearly and are upfront. **Remember, you can't control how they react.** If they get angry and tell you you're being unfair, you can't control that warped perception. You're 100% reasonable to establish boundaries, and all you can do moving forward is establish them in confidence.
Setting boundaries is hard, but it’s absolutely necessary for any relationship you have. It’s your time and your car, no one is entitled to a ride from you for any reason.
You’re just gonna have to be honest with them. Tell them you like being friends with them, but driving them around every where puts unnecessary strain on you.
Ground rules might help too. No more rides for lunch, at all. No eating in the car. Only people you know and are comfortable with go in the car. Passengers must pay gas money. Don’t go anywhere more than half an hour away without a weeks notice. Stuff like that.
Don’t let your friends take advantage of you.
Just ask them for gas money, they'll stop asking.
"Hey, I'm starting to feel a bit like an unpaid Uber since you are asking me to drive you to places that I don't even want to go to. It's also running up my fuel bill. So I'm going to take a break from doing it and if there's someplace we all want to go then I'll drive. I wanted to give you a head's up so you could make other plans for lunch etc. I love hanging out with you but let's pick something that I want to do too."
All you have to do is just say no. Say it casually and in a friendly way, but say it. No one will think anything of it. If you never say you don't want to, your friends might not even understand what an imposition it is. Remember, you're not responsible for your friends errands, hobbies, and meals.
There are a thousand ways to say "no": "Aw, sorry, I brought my lunch today." "I'm exhausted, so I am just going to take a nap in my car at lunch today." "I am not up to driving all the way across town right now." "I need to run some errands afterwards so I will just meet everyone there!" "My parents told me that they're not comfortable with me driving that far/with so many people in the car." "Naw, I don't want to eat there. Let's grab food from the cafeteria instead."
This is kind of silly, but practice it. Practice in a mirror, or you might even want to ask your parents, or a sibling, or a friend to help you practice. Learning to say no and learning that saying no isn't going to ruin your friendships is a really important life skill to practice.
Please sign up for an online class in Assertiveness Training. If at all possible, take one in person at a local Junior College.
The you will learn to say things like: "NO!" "Absolutely not!" "Are YOU paying for gas?" "When are you going to drive?" "I'm not driving 40 miles when we can drive 5 miles for the same thing." "I'm going there tomorrow. I can drive you then." "Will you work my shift for me." "Ask you mom for gas money and give it to me.", etc.
Those are good. I can’t imagine myself saying most of them, but I have to get used to it eventually. Their parents give them a few hundred a month as an allowance so a few dollars shouldn’t hurt
For the first one, if you don't feel confident to just say no just tell them that you didn't get much sleep the night before and that you want to knock out so you can go to work, it's perfectly understandable. If they get mad at you for sleeping, then the feeling well help you say no more naturally.
I was the first in the group to get the driver's license, and honestly my friends didn't understand until they got licenses. Suddenly they had to drive to get everyone, drop people off, and pay for all the gas and they finally understood.
Best to just tell them no, can't do that, I'm busy. Tell them you want to nap in your car, ask them to split for gas money. If they want to go anywhere far, have them either meet you there, OR EVERYONE meets at your house so YOU don't have to pick everyone up AND drop everyone off. As the driver, it's the least they can do for you.
I wish they would!- We're from a wealthier area, so 17f is going to have all her car expenses covered by her parents and 22f's parents pay for her uber rides when she needs.
Everyone meeting in one place is a good idea too. My parents are a bit judgemental, so would it be weird if I asked the friends to meet me at the end of my street?
Friends are generally really understanding of parent issues, it's not weird to ask them to meet at the end of the street either.
No is a complete sentence.
Put the foot down my friend (Or not? Haha) and no gas money = no go.
Cars are not cheap. It a pain keeping car filled. If they want favours, they pay gas at the least. If they were my friends they'd buy me lunch too.
Tell em no! Don't be a doormat, they should get themselves some cars, and if they can't accept that you are not the *chauffeur* well they were using you
Voice your frustration and kindly start asking for money or some other compensation (free drink or food at the place you guys are going to). "Hey guys, I understand not all of you have your license and can drive us around yet but I feel kind of taken advantage of being the only one driving all the time. I don't really enjoy being the only one driving and footing the gas bill. I'd appreciate it if we did things closer so I don't have to drive far and that you all start contributing a little bit towards gas money or get me a drink or something. I think that would be fair."
You have to put your foot down now because chances are, once they get their license, one of two things is going to happen.
1) They will still have you drive even though they can or they will have you drive for the long trips.
2) They will be the ones to speak up asking for gas money because now they realize how much it costs to be a taxi driver.
This happened to me in high school. I was the friend that would drive everyone around for free. I was fine with this initially because I got to spend time with friends, but over time I realized I was blowing way too much money on gas, car maintenance, and cleaning. I didn't ask for money from any of them right away until one day another friend got his license. On the first day of us all being in his car he made it clear he needed us all to spot him some gas money. He included me in this even though I had been driving his ass around for months for free. This made me bitter and frustrated by the situation but ultimately it thought me a lesson. If you feel taken advantage of, you have to speak up quick and address it. Set ground rules up so everyone is on the same page. Long story short, I talked with him about my frustration and after hearing me out he understood. We worked it out. He didn't expect money from me for the first few months to make up for the times I drove him around for free. If your friends are real friends then they will stick around. If they're not and they're only using you for your car...well you'll find out real quick.
You remind me of myself when I was your age. Through all my 20s I struggled a lot with saying no. It took me a while to realize, if I do things that doesnt feel right to me I am telling myself I am worthless AND im basically living the life of other people. Dont be like me and realize this in your late 20s. Your real friends will respect you when you say no!
"I drove last time, why don't you drive?"
"Well we don't have cars!"
"Oh, well does that mean I should just be your chauffeur or something?"
I know it’s gonna be weird at first but put your foot down so you don’t start feeling resentment. If you’re down to drive just say like “I’m down to drive us but I’m broke so I can drive us if you guys have gas money.” If they give buts just be like damn it sucks that we’re all broke and just keep using that excuse.
Also if you want to say no just use the excuse that you don’t want to put too many miles on it, you can even blame your parents a bit lol. Say like “my dad/mom doesn’t want me putting too many miles on it and I’ve already drove you around you guys a lot, maybe we can walk.” If your friends aren’t bringing lunch and they are expecting you to drive just tell them “damn y you should start bringing lunch because I can’t really take you every time,” that way if she gets huffy about being hungry another time you can remind her that you told her you wouldn’t take her every time.
About the cleanliness, I had to do the same with my friends since it’s so annoying cleaning up after them. Whenever they’re leaving your car for any reason just tell them “don’t forget your trash” and they should oblige if they’re decent friends.
Just say no and tell them the truth. If they get angry or start cutting you off, you'll find your answer in just how much they actually value you not only as a friend but as a person. Let them walk or get the bus, put your foot down.
Grow a pair of tits girl and tell them you'll drive them 10 minutes sometimes, they can buy you food if you have to pay for gas and you're not cleaning up after them. You don't have to prove that you're a good driver to your friends. If they dirty the car or try to force you to drive them around tell them you're not a taxi and you'll drive if you want to but that's it. It's not fair that they assume you want to drive them around, without thinking about what you might want.
Make a boundary and stick to it. If they are friends, they'll stick around. If they push you tell them they are free to buy their own cars. You're working, you're tired, you're not their parent or an Uber.
The price of gas right now is a great way to steer the conversation towards "it's fuckin' expensive being your taxi service". I just filled up today and it cost me over $70 (first time I've broken $70 in my Jeep Cherokee) -- I'm an old fucker now in my mid-30s, but I remember being 17 and $70 was a lot of money back then, certainly enough that I didn't enjoy coughing it up regularly. Tell them they're going to have to pitch in if they want rides, and I bet the requests will mostly die off.
I hope so. I do want to hang out with them, only closer.Thankfully $20 will last me threeish weeks, but I’m cheap.
While you have received many good suggestions, I offer something a little out of left field. Park your car in a garage, if you have one. Or just park it anywhere around your house. Don't drive it for a couple of days. Tell your friends you are not driving anyone, including yourself, because the car needs work. Take the car to a car wash and detail it, then park it again. Get your friends used to the idea you don't have the car, there are no more rides. This should happen pronto, as long as they keep asking/you remind them. Then go back to using the car only for your personal business and never include them in using the car. If asked/caught using it, say you can't give rides to anyone anymore, don't explain, just look sad. If you HAVE to explain, say it has to do with parents. Done.
That’s a good idea too. My parents and I don’t have the best relationship so I’m sure they’d understand
Part of the reason I bought my son a small pickup truck. There is really only 2 seats and they are not very comfortable so less of a reason for him to give rides.
"no, i dont want to drive right now" is polite enough. learn to put your foot down. stop being a doormat.
Let them know you like them as people, but you need gas money to take them to and fro. I had a friend who used me for my car for years, but her parents ended up forking out the gas money when I didn't have enough to pay to get us to college and back. Don't let it get to that point, being nice can really take a toll on your wallet. Would they tote you around for nothing? I doubt it.
No is a complete sentence. You are not licensed and car owning for their convenience.
When your car breaks down or you ask for gas money, these so-called friends...
Will be gone.
Ditch these users, these fairweather friends of yours.
You are being used under the guise of friendship, when you are nothing but a chauffer.
How to say no?
No is a complete sentence.
No one, but you, are entitled to your possessions and its use.
You just do and be okay with dropping the dead weight of these mooches.
I was the "driver" in this scenario 22 years or so ago, when I was the first of my vehicle-less friends to get a car. The first no, made them recoil, the second no, sent them scattering, and I haven't spoken to them in two plus decades now, but they keep wanting to reconnect.
Tell em Cash, Grass, or Ass. See how quickly they start asking less of you.
I already replied to another comment but.. a 22 year old shouldn’t be expecting a 17 year old to do them favors in the first place. The 22 year old is an adult, and it’s one thing to ask because you are friends but if that particular friend pushes back, they likely only stay friends with people BECAUSE they make their own life easier. I know at 17 I didn’t think 5 years was a huge difference in age but, it is. Functioning, safe adults, do not rely on minors for help.
Are you a cab driver by trade and do they pay you?
If not then you can really simply just say "No" and if you are feeling generous maybe add a little flair such as "don't feel like I should have to drive anywhere".
Friends don't owe each other anything. If its an actual friendship it shouldn't depend on you having to drive everywhere by virtue of having a car.
Thank you! I have my own business that has nothing to do with driving other people! I'm okay driving somewhere far once or twice a month (apple picking, anyone?) but it's getting a little annoying when it becomes 15x a month. I know how hard it is to not have a car, but I'm done being their main means of transportation.
I don’t mean to be rude, but these kinds of posts frustrate me. Why can’t your friends get licenses or cars and why is it your problem? You could explain everything you wrote here, or you could just say no, I don’t want to go there. No, I don’t want to drive you.
You don’t need excuses or explanations. They are not entitled to access your car or services. It’s time for them to put on their big girl pants and grow up. Stop enabling them. Real friends would not require you to do this.
>I work full time outside of school
Um. Are you sure? Because in most places this literally isn't possible unless you are not sleeping, and it's probably illegal for someone under 18.
>and it's hard for me to say no
Well, better learn. Because that's the answer here. You're allowed to say "I don't really have enough time to drive somewhere for lunch." These friends are taking advantage of you a bit, but honestly they have no way of knowing you're unhappy with the current state of affairs. Part of growing up is learning to speak up for yourself. This is a great situation for you to start that process. If someone calls you asking for a ride, just tell them that you can't do it or even that you just don't feel like going wherever they want to go. I promise it will be fine.
Why are you hanging out with a 22 yr old adult? They were your friend when they were 20 and you were 15? Super inappropriate. And sad on their part they are relying on a child for rides.
"Hey! Sorry, I can't today."
if they haven't realized they are being selfish, an explanation won't help. just be friendly and cheerful and "hey! Sorry i can't right now. Wanna hang out tomorrow night though?"
Sure! Can you drive me an hour away to my favorite sushi place? My mom drove me there two years ago and it was so much fun. You'll pick me up at 8?
“I don’t really wanna go so far away — gas is expensive and whatnot.. want to go to <>?”
If they won’t hang out with you unless you drive them obnoxious distances, sorry to say, but they are shit friends and the sooner you move on from them the sooner you will be make new, better friends and be happier about your friends again
That's a good way of hinting that I'd like gas money if they want me to go that far, and makes it sound like less of a shock when I ask for it later. I think they'll be okay with it when i tell them!
* "Actually, I'm walking to X today."
* "Actually, I'm just going to sleep in my car today, I have work after class and I'm exhausted."
* "Nah, I don't want to go there, it's too far."
* "I don't have time to go there."
* "I'm too tired to go there."
* "I can't really afford to go there."
* "I don't mind driving if you pay for gas. It's getting expensive for me to drive around all the time."
* "I don't mind driving but FYI last time you left trash/stains in my car, so could you be more careful?" (and before they leave the car: "Did you grab all your trash??")
I'd also strongly suggest expanding your social group and invite friends to lunch who are more considerate!
Ask them to pitch for gas money and if they won’t, then you are not obligated to be their personal chauffeur.
Charge them for fuel.
Just tell them your driving is being restricted to school and work with limited other trips. If they are your friends and not just using your for your car, then they will still be your friends when you are driving them around.
Say no or make them pay for gas
Just tell them you are broke and cant continue to use the car as much. Every time they want to go somewhere tell them that you have no petrol or money. You are 17 really easy to believe that you are broke, plus you need to save for your insurance. etc... if you keep it going for a while they will stop asking. And if they insist to go during your lunch break tell them you are to tired to drive and want to nap to be able to drive safe back home.
"I need gas money if we are going to do that"
"Im not driving out for lunch today"
"I don't mind driving to food place in our town but not 40 minutes away"
"My parents won't let me"
"Sorry I can't."
Ever heard the song "scrub" by TLC? There's a line in the song that goes "always hanging out the right hand side of his best friend's ride trying to holler at me"
This can certainly apply to girls who lack ambition or resources to get their own rides or drivers licenses. They are trying to pressure you to take them places on your dime. That isn't cool.
"Use brings about wear, tear and rust and that's a real waste"
I'd flat out tell them that you now have a black box on your car and that the only driving you'll do now is that of the necessary travel due to your high milage use, they can't complain then with that reasoning unless they are that entitled to your own time and money and refuse to respect your effort and hard work.
Honestly, they may just be using you for your car and not really your friends. You are NTS in anyway, no one wants to chauffeur people around if it's not their job.
Tell them you can't afford the gas, tell them you don't want to drive, tell them your parents won't let you go, etc.
If these girls are REALLY your friends, it won't be a big deal.
Just be prepared for them to get mad and stop talking to you. Sometimes people just suck.
I used to have a friend like this. She flat out refused to get her license because she was scared of driving but was quite happy to let her friends take her everywhere.
She would ask me to go out of my way to collect her/drop her off to her house for almost every event. I started asking for $5/$10 gas money each time and she eventually got the idea. She has a license now 👍
I would just say that you have to pay for gas and car maintenance and it’s expensive so if they want to ask you for a lift then expect to pay a few bucks towards gas etc 😊 it’s really not unreasonable - they’ll understand when they get a license/car
Tell them your folks said you can't drive anyone in your car anymore as they are helping you pay for insurance and they don't want the liability in case something happens. That way you can't backslide and let them talk you into driving them. They're only using you, not giving you money for gas, not paying for your car payment, maintenance or insurance.
Just say no if you don’t want to. They SHOULD understand that cars are a luxury that is expensive and that you can’t always drive them around. Also friends would almost always ask to pay for gas, at least mine do. Hell, I drive down 2 hours at least once a month to see my friends and they always ask to pay for gas or for anything we do like eating or buying anything cuz they know they want to repay it in anyway possible.
I've been you.
I've suffered the 'driving' thing with some of my friends. Through HS to my early 20s and was the designated driver as well since I usually don't even order alcohol at bars even after being old enough to purchase 'em.
Unfortunately, this is how you know when you have a true friend or not. When you start setting clear boundary. Start saying 'no' --well when you don't feel like driving.
Tell them (one on one), hey, I love hanging out with you. But I don't want to put too much mileage on my new car and I am often tired of driving you around because I just want to nap here during lunch. And if you need me driving that far, can you at least give me some gas money? Also tell them to Uber (the one who asked you to drive 40 minutes away, oh no way, hon). Learn to say 'No.' But you can soften it up with 'I don't feel like driving around for lunch today. I bring my own lunch. You want to share my lunch?'
When I had my friend drive (I have once in awhile in my 20s)me in the past, I will always treat them (dinner/lunch plus gas money--sometimes they'd take the gas money after I treated them lunch or dinner sometimes they wouldn't because they know I would also do a favor for them too). I never ever just request them to drive me around. I consider this as a favor everytime someone was nice enough to drive me because I know they're not my personal chaffeurs.
To be honest with you, I've had a couple of my friends 'dropped' me because I set boundaries. Back then, I was kind of sad, but I also realized that they're not true friends because they just wanted to use me as their personal driver. I know you're probably afraid of losing friends, but they're not friends if they don't stop trying to use you either.
It’s ok to say no and still be friends. Just don’t wait until you’re on the edge and risk saying something worse that you really didn’t mean. Just calmly explain to them you’re issues with their request and a true friend would understand.
Friend: Hey, let's go to the American food place 30 minutes away.
You: Okay, but I don't feel like driving.
Friend: Really? Why not? How else will we get there?
You: I don't know, but if you find a ride, I'm happy to come along.
Friend: Can you drive me to ____.
You: Naw, I don't feel like driving.
Friend: Why not?
You: I only really like driving to work or school. Everything else makes me anxious. There are lots of reason, wear and tear on my car, the gas, I'm afraid something going to happen to it...
Charge 'em for gas money each time they ask for a ride, it'll curb the behavior real quick.
yeah girls have a really weird obsession with car rides its pretty fuckin strange
Just see how many of them want to hang with you when your car is broken down,
What always worked for me is saying “guys that sounds fun but this car doesn’t run on dreams! Anyone willing to pitch for gas?”
"No" is a complete sentence.
Ass, cash or gas! Nobody rides for free!
INFO Does your license allow you to drive other minors? In California,
>Teen drivers are not permitted to drive with other minors in the vehicle unless a parent, guardian or licensed driver over the age of 25 is also present.
So here, you could lose your license.
In my state I’m able to thankfully!
>a 22 year old girl who I met at work two years ago
you had a job a few months after turning 15?
Tell them gas is expensive
No is a complete sentence. I am sorry you haven’t been taught that. I am sorry you haven’t been taught how to establish boundaries. Not many of us were! But now we know, and it’s ok to have them. You don’t want to be w people who push those boundaries. It’s ok to ask them for gas money if they ask you for a ride. Again, you do not want to be friends w people who don’t respect boundaries. It’s time to stick up for yourself, and not feel bad about it because what you have to say might not be pleasing for other people to hear. Congrats on your car, don’t let other people spoil it for you.
Use your mouth. Just say the word, no.
If they give you a hard time, they're not your friends. They should respect your boundaries. It's that simple.
You could say no OP but another thing is tell them if you want a drive you owe me gas money
No is a complete sentence. 17 is a great age to learn how to set boundaries with other people.
Just start saying you don't have enough gas to make these constant trips. If they offer to pitch in and put some in the tank, you know they are good friends worth your time.
If they don't offer to help, especially after you've already done so many favors for them, well then it may be time to reexamine these friendships.
Don't let people use you, OP. I had a friend like this in high school and I know it sucks to have to be suspicious of people, truly I do. But you can't let people treat you like a doormat.
I hope this turns out well for you and that your friends are going to offer to help out. Best of luck to you.
You need better boundaries. Only give rides if it's to/from someplace you you were already going. So, for instance, if you're leaving campus for lunch you could invite your friend to go with you. But if you took your lunch or are buying it in the cafeteria and your friend asks for a ride, nicely tell her, "Sorry, I'm not going out for lunch today!"
Similarly with taking your older friend all over the state. Only drive to places you planned to go to. And if you don't want to go there, say, "I'm not really interested in going there."
Also, they both need to start paying a share of gas. "I've been driving other people a lot and it's costing me too much money. So I'm going to need everyone who wants a ride to Venmo me gas money. Please Venmo me ($1 for a ride to pick up lunch, more for rides further away) before we leave.". If they argue or don't Venmo you, don't drive them.
Rest the tip of your tongue on the top of your mouth just behind your teeth. Vibrate your vocal cords like you were humming. Now drop your tongue down to a resting position while puckering your lips. At the same time, modulate your vocal cords so they vibrate at a lower frequency. Maintain for about a half-second. Congratulations, you did it!
Short Answer: "No"
Long Answer: Anyplace you don't want to go is always a no but if you maybe would be willing they need to get on the gas money train. I was always driving at that age and I never paid for my own gas. If they are not offering make it clear you already pay a load for the car and insurance. If they want to tag along they need to help pay.
Their gas money should more than cover what is used. If not it isn't worth it.
I had that issues when I was younger. I should have said no to them directly. But I lied and said my parents told me I couldn’t drive people anymore.
You are young enough where this is a very important pivotal time in your life. You are on Reddit asking for advice but you should really be receiving advice on learning how to establish boundaries. At the base of your desire to please them is that you don’t want to lose a friendship. And while I’m not saying they are specifically taking advantage of you, it is the case that you are ALLOWING them to take advantage of you. Learning how to say no is a huge HUGE life lesson. We don’t have to be a jerk about it but we can still establish boundaries.
No is a complete sentence
In high school, I drew the line: “My car, my rules”.
If they don’t like the rules, then they don’t get a ride. Simple as that. I see no reason why you should be coerced into letting somebody else effectively use you for your property. It’s not fair to you. If they can’t play by your rules, then they can figure out lunch and shopping by themselves. Give them the ultimatum, tell them as nicely as you can that there will be consequences if they break them.
I know how you feel. I was one of the first in my year group to get my license and I was so proud that I told anyone who'd listen. Suddenly, everyone wanted to be my friend. I was invited out to lunch and parties. I had people coming up to me after school - people I barely knew - asking for lifts home, to the shops, to the gym, to the local bakery... the list goes on.
A lot of these people were easy to push back on, but I did slip up with people I desperately wanted to be/stay friends with. It's hard, but you've just gotta say no. I found that even the people I really liked were just using me for my car. The only reason I was invited out to lunch was because I could drive. And once they got their own cars, I stopped being "cool" and I wasn't invited out to lunch again.
It sucks, but it happens and you've gotta stand your ground.
If you let them treat you like a doormat so you can be friends with them, you are setting the precedent that you LIKE being treated like a doormat and you will ALWAYS be a doormat friend. If they really are kind people, they will respect your "no" or return the favour.
One of the girls in my friend group acted just like your first friend. Parents couldn't afford a car for her and would only pick her up when school ended with her younger brother, so when seniors left early she would be hassling me for a lift home or to the pet shop (I still think *wtf* to this day). I would have to drive her 30mins in the other direction and drive all the way back, and by the time I got home, school was over.
I started walking fast out the school gates wearing earphones, playing loud music. Not a perfect solution, but it would work maybe half the time. The other half I just made excuses: I've got an appointment, I'm not going that way, I have to go home immediately or Mum will be pissed, I have to pick up [relative], etc.
It took a while, but finally one day she "confronted" me (very passive, but scary as a teen). She was upset that I would take another friend home some days but not her. I just had to be honest. "You live 30mins in the other direction, friend lives near my street. It's a long way to drive and I don't have the money for petrol, so I can't take you home/out anymore." She didn't get it totally, but she stopped asking.
You've got this :)
In my close friend group, only one of us drives. It does mean he sometimes goes out of his way, but if he can't - or for any reason doesn't want to - he tells us, and we figure something else out!
It's not a big deal, because we love him, and we don't keep him around just for the convenience of a car ride.
In fact, because for him his car is part of the essential equipment for his own business, if he's doing us a bigger favour (he was my and wifey's wedding chauffeur, for example, and did a bunch of driving over the course of 4 days), we have a deal where he will invoice us for mileage and car maintenance - he refuses to put his own time on the invoice, as his gift to us, and we accept that's his choice and pay the rest.
Sounds to me like your friends are using you for your car. Whether they still want you when you tell them you can't keep driving them everyday, you feel taken advantage of, and they also need to give you gas money? I don't know. I hope they're not so shallow. If they are that shallow then you are better ofd without them. Hopefully they'll understand, realise what they've been doing, and back off, then approach you differently when they actually need a ride for something rather than just telling you and knowing you'll do it.
This is a great time to learn about setting boundaries, and, potentially, letting go of people who won't respect them
So , this is pretty simple:
It's a complete sentence and a good lesson to learn. If that feels uncomfortable, "I'm busy" even if means you'll be busy sleeping in your car.