7 Tips for Driving on the Left Side of the Road

You’ve had it with London, Dublin, Edenborough, and other major metropolitan cities of left side driving countries. You want to venture beyond where trains and buses can take you and pave your own path, on your own schedule, into the countryside. Alas, you hold back for fear of driving on the left side of the road. It sounds so awkward, so foreign.

The truth is, it really isn’t. If you follow these 7 tips for driving on the left side of the road, it’ll feel natural in a matter of hours.

Rent an automatic

Even if you’ve been driving a manual since you were 16, this is one of the few times in your life when you will want to drive an automatic. Don’t worry. You won’t lose any street cred amongst fellow motor heads. Tales of conquering the left side of the road unscathed should be enough to earn yourself a new level of respect.

The main reason why you want to spend the extra cash on an automatic is hand placement. Driving a manual on a left side of the road is more of a lesson an ambidexterity than vehicle operations. While the driving position shifts from the left to the right side of the vehicle, the gearshift stays in the center. Thus, right-handed people will be shifting with their non-dominant hand. If you’re left handed, maybe give it a go!

Get in on the right side of the car

Start simple. If you’re the driver, get in on the right side of the car. If you’re the passenger, get in on the left side of the car. This may sound basic, but there’s nothing basic about driving on the left side of the road. Besides, nothing is more embarrassing than when the rental car agent hands you the keys, and you get in the wrong side while they’re watching you. True story: no excuse can hide that mistake.

Stay out of city centers

When I rented my first left side driving car, I was in Cape Town, South Africa. I didn’t default to picking the car up at the airport. First, I wanted to see how far the airport was from the city and how congested the roads might be. Luckily, the airport is a distance from the city. However, I wasn’t above taking a taxi to rental car facility in a less congested area of Cape Town.

Likewise, I only rented the car for segments of the trip that were outside of Cape Town. When I was in the city, it was easier to rely on public transportation, taxis, or my own two feet. The chances of an accident from forgetting which side of the road to drive on only escalate when in more congested areas of town.

SHARE ON

Advertisement

The Most Common Scams from Around the World

There’s nothing like traversing the world and exploring new countries and cultures, but sometimes the experience is spoiled by dishonorable people preying on uninformed travelers. If you make an effort to learn about the classic scams, you’re unlikely to fall victim to them and can just enjoy the positive side of your trip. To help, here’s a list of common scams around the world for you to get acquainted with.

How to Make Friends During Your Trip

One of the biggest fears of people who want to embark on a solo trip is being alone. They think meeting new people will be a struggle, and if they can’t find a partner to travel with, they just cancel or postpone their adventure. The truth is that with a little bit of planning and initiative, it’s actually harder to be alone than you think. The travel community is extremely welcoming and one doesn’t need to try hard to be part of it.

This Is the Fastest Way to Get through Customs

No one enjoys lines, and custom lines are some of the worst. The hundreds of confused flyers with paperwork in hand is daunting, but what if I told you that you can bypass that line for free – without paying for Global Entry? Whether you travel internationally 30 times a year or once a year, you’ll love the app. The Mobile Passport Control app speeds up the process of filling out and processing your U.S. immigration paperwork. This little-known app gets you your own line, away from the crowds, and lets you get to baggage claim that much quicker – likely before your baggage!