Joyriding refers to driving or riding in a stolen vehicle, most commonly a car, with no particular goal other than the pleasure or thrill of doing so or to impress other people. The term "Joy Riding" was coined by a New York judge in 1908.
Joyriders often act opportunistically and choose easy targets (key-on-ignition while shopping, neighbor's car...). Like other car thieves, they can also gain access to locked cars with a flathead screwdriver and a slide hammer, although modern cars have systems to prevent a screwdriver from opening locks. Locks in cars manufactured before the early to mid-1990s were very weak and could be opened easily. The vehicle is started by either hot-wiring or breaking the ignition lock. Ignition systems were much less sophisticated before the early to mid-1990s and easier to bypass. The vehicle is often driven through rural areas or less busy residential areas to avoid police notice, and dumped when it is exhausted of fuel or damaged. Many cases of joyriding end up with the vehicle burnt out with petrol or sustaining serious damage. Joyriding is most often committed when people are with peers, rather than alone.