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26 Incredible Word Games to Play in the Car (Fun For Everyone)

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Road trip word games are an awesome way to stay entertained during a long drive. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of the 26 best word games to play in the car.

After thousands of miles of road-tripping with friends, I like to think I’ve become a master of car word games. In this article, I’ll share my personal favorites with you, and give detailed instructions on how to play them.

There is a good variety of games here so there should be something for everyone. Pass the time and enjoy the journey with this definitive list of word games for road trips

Time to say goodbye to car boredom for good. If this article isn’t enough for you, we’ve got a full list of the best road trip games too!

Ready to play?

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Best Word Games To Play In The Car

Many of these word games for the car can be adjusted to make them more fun and keep you entertained for those long trips! They’re broken down by category so you can choose the best word games to play in the car that interest you.

Use the contents below to navigate around the article or check out our page on Road Trip Entertainment. All you have to do is click the icons and you can jump to that section of the article.


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Two Players
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Pen and Paper
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Young People
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Word Games To Play In The Car With Kids

Here is a selection of word games to play in the car for kids that will help keep the whole family entertained on a long road trip! Keep the car ride fun and interesting with this classic selection.

1. Think Fast!

A player shouts out a random category and the other players have 5 seconds to call out something in that category. If they fail, then the first player gets to choose another category.


You could shout out “Famous Soccer Players” and another player could win the chance to choose the next category by saying a player’s name first.

If you want to make this competitive, assign one person as the category chooser and the rest of the players compete to win a point for each round. The first to 5 points win.

2. Holiday Memory Game

This is a memory game where each player takes turns remembering a list of items, then adds an additional item to the list. A player is out when they fail to remember the list correctly!


Player 1: I’m going on holiday and I’m taking a watermelon

Player 2: “I’m going on holiday and I’m taking a watermelon and a hairdryer.

And so on…

The game is up when a player cannot remember the list or gets an item wrong.

Variation of the Game

You can also play this game in a different format such as “the casserole game” which takes the format “I’m making a casserole and I’m going to need artichokes, basil, cucumber… etc.

Each person must recite the previous ingredients and the first letter of each ingredient must be in alphabetical order.

3. The Wooden Man

This game is like the holiday memory game and another great example of word games to play in the car. The first player creates a sentence then each player takes turns lengthening the sentence.


Player 1: This is the house of the wooden man

Player 2: This is the house of the wooden man and he likes to play golf

Player 3: This is the big red house of the wooden man and he likes to play golf

And so on…

When someone makes a mistake or fails to remember the sentence they are out!

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4. The Letter Swap Game

This game can be great fun for kids as they try to catch each other out! It can also be fun for long car journeys as you can add lots of different rules.

Decide on a letter that is going to be replaced by another letter in every word spoken.

Then, take turns to try and say a sentence or just incorporate it into the conversation!

An example would be swapping every “I” in your words for an “A”.

This game is hilarious as words start to sound funny – a guaranteed laugh for the kids!

5. Odd Color Car

Each player chooses an odd color for a car at the start of the drive (eg. yellow or orange). Each time a car is spotted in that color they receive a point. The first to 5 points wins the game!

As you’re here, you might also like this article on the best Road Trip Games for Adults.

Word Games To Play In The Car For Adults

Sometimes road trips can drag on a bit for adults too….

Here’s a selection of some classic car word games for adults.

If you haven’t set off yet, you could consider buying Cards Against Humanity from Amazon, a fantastic game!

The game is very simple. In each round one player asks a question using one of the black cards. Everyone else provides the funniest/most awkward answer using one of their white cards!

We also have loads of other great articles on road trips. Be sure to check out this article about the Awesome Things You Should Do On A Road Trip With Friends.

6. The Categories Game

Choose a category, for example, ‘types of car’.

Each player takes turns to name something from that category. If you cannot think of one, then you are out.

To make the game more fun you can also make the players name things in the same order as the alphabet! An example would be Alpha Romeo, BMW, Citron…

Another variation of this game is that the next person’s answer needs to start with the last letter of the previous player’s answer.

In our opinion, this is one of the best word games to play in the car as the categories are endless!

7. The Movie Game

This game is all about movie knowledge!

Player One starts by naming a movie. The next player must name an actor/actress that was in that movie.

The next player must then continue by naming a movie which that actor/actress was also in…. the game continues and a player is out if they cannot think of an answer on their turn!

8. The Compound Word Game

The aim of the game is to take turns finding compound words. The first player would say a compound word such as “anybody”.

The next player would then need to use the word “body” in the next compound word such as “body part”.

The second part of the compound word must be used in the next word! If someone cannot think of a word they are out.

Traveling as a couple or with a buddy?

Check out these awesome Road Trip Games for Two People

Word Games To Play In The Car For Two People (Or More)

Each of these word games for the car requires a minimum of two players. Get the group ready for some competitive fun! They’re all quick and easy, so you should be able to play a few of them during your trip.

9. 20 Questions

This game is an absolute classic!

It’s a deductive reasoning game that can be played with two people or more. One person starts the game as the “answerer” and thinks of a word that they keep to themselves.

This will often be either a famous person, movie, animal, plant, or mineral. The other player(s) then take turns asking questions to deduce what the answer is.

The questions can only be answered with a yes or no. Lying is not allowed.

If the players guess an answer and it is wrong this will count as one of their questions.

The players must deduce the answer in 20 questions or fewer to win the game!

The person that guesses the correct answer becomes the “answerer” in the next game!

10. The Infinite Word

One player starts with a letter. Each player takes turns adding a letter. Each player is trying to think of a word that can be created.

If a player cannot think of a suitable letter, then they are out of the game and the game ends by trying to create the longest word possible.

A competitive version with two people can be that the game ends when one player completes a word.

11. License Plate Word Game (Europe)

In Europe, you can take the 3 letters from a license plate and try to find words that have those letters in them in that order.

For example, if the license plate is DV06 WKG you could have the word “walking”. Each word found is worth 1 point and the game ends when one player reaches 10 points.

Alternatively, you can use the three letters to form a workable sentence. For example, DV06 WKG could be whale kills goat. This can be particularly funny if explicit sentences are created!

For various versions across the world, check out our extended article on The License Plate Game Rules.

12. The Hidden Word Game

Start with a short root word such as “art”. You are then required to find as many words as possible that contain this word within them.

Each word found by a player scores one point and you can continue until no more words can be thought of or set a timer.

This is a tricky road trip word game and will test your skills!

13. Who Are They?

Look at a group of people in another car and take turns thinking of the funniest tale about the origin and story behind that group of people.

Everyone in the car can then vote for who has the best story.

Time to get creative!

14. Car Spotting

Try to identify the make and model of cars that are far in the distance. Agree on which cars to do it with and the first person to correctly identify the car gets a point.

After one person makes a guess they cannot guess again until the second person has guessed. The first to 5 points win!

Word Games To Play In The Car With Pen And Paper

The following road trip word games all require a pen and paper, so make sure you have them available before you start. There are three different games to choose from in this section.

15. How Many Words Game

This game requires a bit more time, but it’s great if you have a long road trip. You’ll need a pen and paper.

Choose a long word with a lot of different letters.

The aim of the game is to create as many words as possible from the original word that is chosen.

For example, if the word “creativity” was chosen then a few examples would be:

  • rate
  • rat
  • tea


Plurals of words are allowed if the original word permits it.

Decide in advance if you want to allow two-letter words or not.

Only use letters from the original word. You can use each letter only the number of times that it appears in the original word.

You can choose to set a time limit and play competitively.

16. Hangman

This game also requires a pen and paper and is an absolute classic!

The game starts with a player thinking of a word and writing down the appropriate number of dashes on the paper.

The aim of the game is for the other player to guess letters from the alphabet and ultimately guess the word. If the player guesses a correct letter it is inputted on top of the dashes.

However, If an incorrect letter is suggested, then a line is added to the creation of the hangman image. If the hangman is completed before the player guesses the word, then they lose the game! The hangman is completed after six incorrect guesses.

17. Mastermind

One player thinks of a secret word with a quantified number of letters, say 6.

The other player then guesses words (of the same length) and is told how many correct letters match in the right position in the word and how many letters are correct but in the wrong position.

The guessing continues until the player identifies the correct word!

Word Games To Play In The Car On Your Own

This list contains the best solo word games to play in the car. Whether you need some precious alone time, or you’re road-tripping solo, these games should keep you entertained. Let us know in the comments which of these car word games is your favorite!

18. Crosswords

A crossword is a word puzzle that takes the format of a grid of black and white squares.

Each white square needs to have a letter filled into it such that words are made in accordance with the clue given for that row or column within the puzzle.

You can find them in newspapers or puzzle books and are a great way to fill some time on a road trip!

19. Word Searches

A word search is a grid filled with letters, often 10×10 or larger. You can find numerous books on these at service stations or online.

A player uses a pen to try and find words within the grid and circle them. The game is over when you find all the words!

Word Games To Play In The Car For Young People

This collection of road trip word games is perfect for young people. 

On a road trip with your friends?

You’ll be entertained for hours.

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20. Consequences

This game is great fun, but make sure to use crude or naughty language is used!

The game works best with 4+ players but you can play with as few as 2 players

How To Play

Each player writes a part of a story on a piece of paper. 

At the end, the pieces are all opened together to reveal a funny story.

The very simple format has 5 lines that are delegated out to players:

 1) a male name

2) “met” then a female name

 3) he said… “ ”

4) she said… “ ”

5) and then…” “

21. Cards Against Humanity

This popular “fill in the blank” card game involves you competing against your friends to make the most offensive/funny statement, by adding a phrase onto another phrase using the cards they are dealt out.

A player is awarded a point when they are the winner of that round by creating the best phrase

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22. Would You Rather?

Take turns to ask “would you rather” questions to each other.

These can include horrific or embarrassing options or involve adult humor.

You can find big lists of funny questions to ask online.

23. The Accents Game

One person says a phrase in a distinct accent. Everyone else then has to try and imitate the same accent.

At the end of the round, everyone votes for who was the best accent. The first to 5 points win.

This is one of the more hilarious word games to play in the car as you see all the examples people come up with!

24. The Singing Game

Someone starts by singing the lyric of a well-known song, then stopping on a specific word. Everyone else has to think of a new lyric that starts with that word and start singing it to continue the game!

For example, “When I wake up, I know I’m gonna be…” someone would need to start singing a lyric starting with the word “be”.

Word Games To Play In The Car For Couples

These car word games are designed just for couples!

On a road trip with your partner?

25. Stripping Game

Every time you spot a car with a headlight out you hit the roof and shout “PADDIDLE!”. The last person to shout out must remove an item of clothing.

26. The Fortunately, Unfortunately, Word Game

One person starts the game by saying a sentence beginning with the word “fortunately”, such as:

“Fortunately, I brought my best underwear.”

The other person tries to think of a funny response starting with the word “unfortunately”, such as:

“Unfortunately, they’re already dirty”.

The first person then responds with another sentence beginning with “fortunately”. The game continues like so.

Check Out: 12 Marvellous Road Trip Games for Couples

Word Games To Play In The Car – Your Turn…

Which was your favorite of our word games?

Do you have any other word games to play in the car?

Either way, leave a comment and let us know!

Disclosure: Some or all of the links in this article may be affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you make a qualifying purchase, but this is at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting The Road Trip Expert.

Image of Iain The Founder Of The Road Trip Expert

Iain Salter

Founder & Editor of The Road Trip Expert

Iain founded The Road Trip Expert in 2019 and continues to manage the website to this day. The inspiration to start the blog came during an extensive road trip around Europe with two friends that spanned several months and involved over 25,000km of driving. He first developed a passion for backpacking in 2014 and has had the pleasure of exploring over 60 countries.


Rebecca Gardner

Wednesday 25th of November 2020

Thanks for the tip to go around and everyone tries to say something in a unique accent. My husband and I want to book a charter bus so we can take a sightseeing trip with our family soon. Your ideas should help us stay entertained on the bus, so I'm glad you took the time to share!


Monday 14th of November 2022

You're very welcome!