In spite of the pandemic my (almost) 3-year-old is going to preschool and, because of the pandemic, I'm able to drive him there.

Just him and me in the car, his favorite CD playing and little traffic. When we stop in a red light he says:

"Stop papá, STOP! It's red. Rojo!"

And when it turn green, before any cars in front of me start moving he says:

"Go papá, GO! It's green. Verde!"

With also the occasional "Watch papá, WATCH. WHATCH THAT!" if there's a backhoe loader, construction vehicle o big truck, and the "Again again!" to listen to a son over and over and over again.

He is such a backseat driver, but I enjoy driving with him. He is incredibly cute. My father, on the other hand, was a horrible backseat driver. He would rarely be on the back seat like my kid, of course. He would be sitting next to me, the driver, and being continuously:

"Reduce cuando llegues a la rotonda. Frena. Acelera. No le pises tanto al acelerador. Cambia a tercera. Cambiate de carril. No te pegues tanto a ese."

He would get me nervous in the best case and angry at the worst (which in turn would make me to drive worse, getting even more commnents). It was specially annoying and stressful having him in the car when trying to park:

"Gira. Gira todo. Dale. Dobla. Dale más. Para. Gira. Ponlo en punto muerto..."

I think that we all have driven with someone who can't stop giving unsolicited advice or instructions when they are not the ones in control of the vehicle. In English they are called "backseat drivers" (despite where they are sitting in the car, back or front).

I don't think that the literal translation "conductor de asiento trasero" applies to Spanish.

What do call in Spanish that passenger who can't stop giving the driver unwanted advice?

  • 3
    Copiloto insoportable
    – Leo
    Commented Sep 21, 2020 at 20:36
  • I just remembered something being said to someone who is participating in an action or conversation that he is not actually doing, but directing it as if he were doing it. Well this is in Chile, until not long ago the city buses in the morning were really crowded, so much so that people were literally hanging from the bus, clinging to the mirror or another person, and from that situation an expression arises that portrays this fact. "You're hungging up and you want to drive!" Commented Sep 22, 2020 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


Leo's comment seems quite suitable for your expression, but let's try to argument that a bit.

The DLE registers the word copiloto just as "piloto auxiliar". But I think the expression is used more in the context of rallies. In a rally, the co-driver's job is to navigate, commonly by reading off a set of pacenotes to the driver (what lies ahead, where to turn, the severity of the turn, and what obstacles to look out for). This is, the co-driver is constantly telling the driver what to do, while the driver just... drives.

So we use copiloto in standard driving to convey the idea of someone who is telling the driver how to drive. The rest is just sticking the proper adjective to the noun, to specify if the copiloto is a nice one (as your kid) or a terrible one (as your father).

¡Vaya copiloto insoportable que estás hecho!

  • 1
    Se me ocurre también tocapelotas ;D
    – fedorqui
    Commented Sep 22, 2020 at 8:16
  • +1 Seguramente termine aceptándola como respuesta, sobre todo si no hay otras candidatas. La verdad es que esperaba que hubiese algún término especifico. Algo a lo mejor entre ser un copiloto, y ser un cuñado. Aunque quizá los backseat drivers sea cuñados que terminan contigo en el coche...
    – Diego
    Commented Sep 22, 2020 at 11:57

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