Etiquette rules regarding seating in a car on social occasions are different from seating in business situation. The social rules for car travel are especially important when a man is opening the door for a woman and when couples are seated in a car. Savvy individuals who wish to climb the ladder of success know the rules and carefully adhere to them.
In social situations, good manners require a well-bred man to assist a lady into the car from the curb side before walking around the car to let himself in. Ladies, everyone knows you can open your own doors, but some of you are missing the point. Before 5:00 p.m., you can be a lioness in the office. After 5:00 p.m., however, you might do well to lighten up, turn yourself into a kitty cat, and stop robbing your man of his manhood. Men, don't be clueless! Being attentive is a subtlety not lost on a classy woman. Even a simple gesture such as opening the car door for her sends a message that you believe she is worth being treated like a princess and you are proud to be seen with her. If you must, fake it until it becomes part of you.
How couples seat themselves when traveling together is an indication of their social class. When two men and two women of the working class are traveling together, the two men sit in the front seats of the car, and the women take the back seats. In the middle class, one couple sits up front, and the other couple sits in the back. Upper- class people choose a different arrangement. The woman of one couple sits up front with the male driver of the other couple, while her companion sits with the driver's female partner in the back seat. The man in the back seat defers to the woman by giving her the seat of honor -- passenger side rear. The assumption of this seating arrangement is that a couple spends a good deal of time talking with one another. A mixed seating arrangement encourages cross-conversation, thus fulfilling the purpose of being with others -- to exchange scintillating conversation, news, and ideas with everyone.
Does all this sound a bit pretentious? Perhaps, but if you are interested in joining the social club, you need to adapt your manner and your thinking to the rules of acceptable behavior regarding car manners as in all areas of etiquette.