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Giving Rides to Strangers (and guarding against physical attack)


Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
Redmond, WA
I'm in Doug_G's camp. I give lots of rides at events. I don't generally give rides to strangers that just come up to me on the street and ask for rides (though I haven't encountered much of that); I tell them where the Tesla store is. But if they are polite and ask a lot of questions that show real interest in the car, and haven't been in an EV before, and I have time...heck yeah! If I think they have the means and possible intent to buy (and look like they are careful with other people's stuff...watch how they get in, manage their feet, etc), I may even let them drive. A few of them have said they were going to go home and make a reservation.

By the way, if somebody pays you to give them a ride...your insurance may not be covering you. (Depends on the policy).

Al Sherman

It's about THIS car.
Nov 29, 2012
Batesville, IN
Back in the 70's I picked up hitch hikers all the time, did whatever drugs they had, and took them as far as I was going, or they wanted. It was fun. But I was pretty dumb. Nowadays, though not scared in the least (including the lifetime CCP with the large caliber firearm) I don't think I would ever let a total stranger in my car under these circumstances. I would be extremely angry with my wife if she did, and she knows this. I don't think people are bad. I just think I'm smarter and the world has moved on from those days.


2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D
Dec 26, 2011
Eugene, Oregon
I don't think that I'd give a ride to a complete stranger in the context you're describing. I suppose, in the right context I might. I'm thinking something like: I'm dropping my kid off at school, another parent, who I don't know, dropping off his or her kid off sees the car and asks for a ride. Feels like a totally different thing to me. Oh, and Bonnie, do what you're comfortable with and nothing more; you're way more bad*ss than I!


Well-Known Member
Nov 26, 2012
WPB Florida
To the ladies out there-
Please give a lot of rides. Carry a gun. If there is any hint of rape, please place two rounds in the heart (assuming they have one) without damaging the car's interior.
Rape; there is no excuse.


Roadster + Sig Model S
May 17, 2009
The thread didn't start out this way but since physical assault is now the focus, it was moved to Off topic.


EVs are here to stay
Nov 22, 2006
New York
I would only give rides to those I know. Violence, car-jacking and robbery can happen to anyone. In some instances, having a weapon may be a deterrent; but you have to ask yourself, how fast can one reach for it? If the other person is already prepared and has their plan in action, you may be in a bad situation. I agree with Bonnie, I would not want my daughter giving rides to strangers in ANY car. From my perspective as a man, I would never approach a female asking for a ride. It is not just about rape either. Women are subjected to physical violence at rates higher than men and many times these crimes go unreported.


I play a nice person on twitter.
Feb 6, 2011
Columbia River Gorge
I think we all agree. Violence is wrong. Women are subjected to it at a higher level. We need to show more common sense than men (which luckily is easier for us :) ).In an attempt to bring this back ON topic, let's talk about the circumstances where we WOULD give rides to people we don't know. (And yes, I have a CCW permit and the hardware to go with it. But I'd prefer NOT to put myself in situations where I'd need it. That's one (small) reason as to why I have dogs.)

So ... when I say I'd never give a stranger a ride, I mean the guy who wanders up in the parking lot wanting a ride. But if I'm at an EV event or if I'm at work and someone in a neighboring building comes over and says 'OMG I love that car', then yes. I'll give a ride to someone I don't know.

How about you?

Rodolfo Paiz

Fidelius Family Office
Nov 19, 2012
Miami, FL
I give lots and lots of rides. But no way on God's green Earth am I giving rides to complete strangers. Emphasis on the "complete" part... if it's the parent of my daughter's friend at school, then I know who it is and can quickly come to know where they live and a whole lot else if needed. I may not know them personally, but they aren't a complete stranger. I prefer to trust people and I believe in the overall basic goodness of the human race. I certainly do not live in fear.

But there is no way to know from surface evaluation whether someone is good or evil, OK? The nicest, best-dressed, most soft-spoken, distinguished-looking older gentleman can be a thief, a killer, and a liar... and I've known several people whose appearance and presentation would make most of us ensure that firearm was quickly accessible yet have hearts of gold and would give their own life for yours. I'm perfectly able and willing to defend myself; but my ability to do so while I'm driving is significantly curtailed, especially if my "passenger" has the element of surprise. Whether armed with a firearm, a knife, martial-arts skills, or any combination of the above, my odds of losing the battle if attacked by a passenger are too high for comfort. To quote Bonnie: Just. Not. Gonna. Happen.


Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv
Jun 21, 2012
Start by showing them the remote app - how it shows exactly where you are, how fast you're going, and tell a small fib about how it keeps track of where the car has been for the last 200 miles. If their interest wanes, they probably weren't thinking of good intentions.

Seriously, I only give rides to strangers when there are people around. It's a good balance that "gets the word out" but also helps to maintain my safety.

I can understand why others wouldn't want to, and I especially understand why women would be extra concerned about their safety giving test rides to men who are strangers.
What is everyone's thoughts on rides to people under the age of 18? All it takes is for them to say you did something inappropriate and YOU'R screwed! You'r guilty under proven innocent - and good luck with that happening. I haven't had any instances of my friend's children wanted a test ride - but - I would let the parent drive and child ride before I would take the child alone.


Mar 13, 2010
I heard of one guy getting his new Model S and auctioning a 3 day loan of his S for his child's school. Good cause, but I wouldn't trust someone with my new Model S for 3 days. It did fetch $1,000.


SpaceX Moderator
Jan 31, 2012
Santa Fe, New Mexico
A buddy of mine (yes Bonnie, he's a redneck) was driving up the road and someone was hitchhiking ... he, with his dog by his side, stopped and gave the guy a lift ...

Soon after climbing in, the dog was growling at the guy. Few miles go by the guy starts asking to "borrow" some money, buddy tells him its a ride ... nothing more. Dog growls more and shows teeth ... Guy keeps asking. Buddy tells guy to get out as he's slowing down... guy calms down a bit, and as my buddy speeds up hiker starts getting belligerent. My buddy pulls out the .45 his dogs is laying on and tells his guest to exit the vehicle ... which he does promptly at around 65mph ....

He left behind the knife he was sitting on ...

Your story reminds me of the short story by Larry Niven, "The Deadlier Weapon." A guy with a knife tries to carjack a driver. The moral of the story is the guy with the knife didn't stand a chance because the driver had a car. It is the deadlier weapon.

Of course the story was written in 1968. Nowadays, with airbags and such, the story might not be as true as it used to be. :)


Active Member
Dec 20, 2010
On the second day of owning my S, I was driving around my neighborhood, actually going to visit a Sig owner about a mile away, and twice in the matter of a few minutes, passed a father playing ball in the street with his 2 boys. I could tell they were enamored with the car, so I told them I would be back in about 20 minutes, and and offered them a ride if they were available then, which they very much appreciated.

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