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Dreaming of Driving – Interpretation and Meaning

So often in life, things slip out of our hands, and we feel like we’re losing control. Or sometimes we give our power over to others, allowing them to make our decisions and take on our responsibilities. Either way, we internalize these feelings of control and stuff them away in our subconscious. Sometimes, these feelings come out in dreams of driving.

This kind of dream has a wide array of details, nuances, and interpretations. Driving a car relates to feelings of control, responsibilities and how you operate life. It may suggest a need for organization or that you should involve yourself more with life.

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Driving can indicate:

  • Authority
  • Domination
  • Emotional Stability
  • Freedom
  • Maturity
  • Power
  • Responsibility
  • Self-Reliance

Therefore, it’s important to take in the context of the dream by dissecting the pieces. The act of driving is your management of some aspect of your life. The car symbolizes your mode for achieving goals or your body. Who is driving will also be important in understanding what the dream is trying to say.

Driving a car dream meaning

You Are Driving in the Dream

When you’re the one driving, this can be either exhilarating or the stuff of nightmares, depending on the context. It depends on how well you were driving, the number of people in the car and your speed.

  • Driving alone mirrors the loneliness you feel in conscious reality.
  • If you’re driving safely, you take good command over your life. But it can denote you’re about to make a major change. This will be particularly true if you change directions or make a turn in the dream.
  • If you weren’t driving well, it’s a sign of low self-esteem and a potential detrimental change.
  • Driving fast is your subconscious telling you to slow down and enjoy life. Alternatively, it can denote your lack of responsibility. If driving fast resulted in losing control, it’s a reflection of how you make decisions without thinking about consequences.
  • When the vehicle floats or moves slow, it can either imply you’re going in the right direction, or you have to be more efficient.

Someone Else Is Driving in the Dream

Girl driving a car

When another person is driving, someone else is controlling your life or something is out of your control. The interpretation of this will depend on whether you know the person or not. It can also mean someone is deceiving you, a stranger will impact your life, or a person in your circle will behave inappropriately by overstepping their boundaries. If they were driving too slow, you’re too impatient with others in life. However, the person driving could be a reflection of a deeper aspect of yourself that you deny or don’t address.

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Where you sat in the car while the other person drove will also have meaning. Seeing yourself in the passenger seat can suggest you are either allowing others to control your life or you’re stuck in the past. If in the back, you’re an audience member to your own life and not an active participant. If you can’t move while in the back, you need to break free from whatever is preventing your control.

Driving in a Taxi or Rideshare

If you are an Uber or taxi driver, it could relate to feeling overwhelmed with responsibilities. It can also portend a disappointment or that someone is about to betray you. There’s also the potential for it to mean that you rely on the wrong people and it’s a warning against blind trust.

Another possibility is that you’re trying to control others. This will be contingent on how many people are in the car with you and the events that unfold. Hiring a driver may signify that you’re burdensome to others and rely on them to solve your problems or take on your responsibilities.

Traffic Lights and Street Signs

Traffic lights or street signs in a driving dream are often seen as notices from your subconscious. A red light or stop sign indicates you should stop with your plans or the way you go about life. Green lights are giving the go ahead. Construction and detour signs mean you need to reorganize your priorities.

Arriving at a Destination

If you reached a destination safely, it indicates you’re on the right path. But, if you were stuck in traffic or experienced a delay, your unconscious is saying to look for another way to achieve your goals.

Getting lost while driving or experiencing frustration not reaching your destination means you’ve lost your way, or you feel lost inside. It’s a good idea to consider what could be causing you frustration in real life.

Appearance of the Vehicle

If the car was an older make and model from childhood, you might be struggling with this period in your life. A well-maintained classic hot rod running smoothly is a sign all is going well and in ways you idealize. When the car is an unkempt jalopy about to fall apart, you’re not holding life together very well.

Driving a bus can indicate leadership; you like to have authority. If you are in the bus but someone else is driving, it can indicate you lack originality.

Time of Day

Driving during the day shows you have a clear path ahead. When at night, especially without lights, you may be clueless about your future and feel blind in some respects.

Gender of the Dreamer

The type of car and what it means will depend on the dreamer’s gender. For instance, women dreaming of a big car with a huge engine may desire protection or have some other insecurity. But, when a man dreams of the same, he has a deep desire to protect those he loves.

Women who dream of a car in a feminine color, like pink, indicate a yearning for love and romance. Men dreaming of soft-colored cars are likely already in love and harboring romantic feelings.

Road Conditions

The way the road looked, and its layout will have a significant meaning as well:

  • Straight and narrow roads signal that everything is going well.
  • A bumpy road indicates changes are coming or obstacles are about to surface that you must overcome.
  • A dark road says you should spend more time considering your future.
  • When you’re on a road you know well, it implies that you keep repeating the same mistakes.
  • A foreign and unfamiliar road denotes a lack of plans.
  • Seeing crossroads means you have a life-changing decision to make.

Other Cars Around

When there are other cars, they could represent various aspects of your life.  What happens with these other cars will be significant.

Parked Cars

Feeling stuck between parked cars is how you feel in waking life and have difficulty in moving forward. But it could be your mind and body wanting a break if you’ve been working too hard. When you can’t remember where you parked, you’re uncertain of which steps to take next. Women who have this theme may experience disappointment in love.


car crash

Being in any kind of crash means your subconscious wants you to slow down before you actually crash in real life. If you were hit by another car or you hit something, it could signal battling ideas for control.

In the event another car rear ended you, it could indicate someone from the past will resurface and they still have influence over your life.

When someone else gets into the accident, and you know the person, you could harbor feelings of resentment. Your unconscious is bubbling over because you don’t express it in waking life.

In Brief

There are many more details that can happen in a driving dream, but these are the most common. The interpretation will correlate with what we experience and how we go about operating our lives. This includes feelings about other people, the control we have over things and our sense of responsibility.

While having a dream about driving a car can indicate any number of things depending on the details, it’s important not to get stressed or worried about the possible meaning of the dream, but to instead consider what changes you could make in your waking life to address any potential issues.

If the dream keeps returning and causes you distress, it might be a good idea to talk to a professional and seek help.

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Apsara Palit
Apsara Palit

After completing her post-grad in Values, Ethics and Indian Culture, Apsara is sharing her knowledge of symbolism, mythology, history and culture through her blogs. Apsara lives in India and believes in getting a first-hand understanding of culture through travelling.