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International Drivers Handbooks


Countries that drive on the left


If you are planning to travel and perhaps rent a car it's a good idea to check in advance about which side of the road vehicles drive on. There are more than 50 around the world that drive on the left, and in some countries it's very common, and perhaps scary, when a mix of left drive (driving on the right) and right drive (driving on the left) vehicles share the road.




Left driving countries

Anguilla

Antigua and Barbuda

Australia

Bahamas

Bangladesh

Barbados

Bermuda

Bhutan

Bophuthatswana

Botswana

British Virgin Islands

Brunei

Cayman Islands

Channel Islands

Ciskei

Cyprus

Dominica

Falkland Islands

Fiji

Grenada

Guyana

Hong Kong

India

Indonesia

Ireland

Jamaica

Japan

Kenya

Lesotho

Macau

Malawi

Malaysia

Malta

Mauritius

Montserrat

Mozambique

Namibia

Nepal

New Zealand

Pakistan

Papua

New Guinea

St. Vincent and Grenadines

Seychelles

Sikkim

Singapore

Solomon Islands

Somalia

South Africa

Sri Lanka

St Kitts and Nevis

St. Helena

St. Lucia

Surinam

Swaziland

Tanzania

Thailand

Tonga

Trinidad and Tobago

Uganda

United Kingdom

US Virgin Islands

Venda

Zambia

ZimbabweEnd of Article

Further comments to this article have been disabled.


All Comments (23)

Showing 1 - 23 comments

Rita Simpson,

To Sue: It's not hard driving on the right, just follow the traffic in front (hopefully there are some) and you soon settle down into right hand thinking.

Ken,

Country or state, who cares. Besides, I think in India they drive on the left and right side simultaneously. And sometimes they drive in the middle too.

Andrew,

Am UK and Costa Rican citizen. Have lived at least ONE year in 2 Left side drive countries and 2 Right side drive countries. (UK, Australia, USA, Costa Rica) Now, no matter where I travel to in the world, nor after how long the intervening period, it takes me nothing more than 2-5 minutes to completely swap mentally into the correct driving 'mode'. Personally, if I'm 100% honest, I have concluded that drivng on the Left is a lot more natural. Fine if you have an automatic, but they are 'gas guzzlers'; but manual cars are 100% safer using your left hand to change gear whilst always keeping your principle hand, accepted as most commonly being the right hand, on the steering wheel for all important control of the vehicle. Whether it sounds bizarre or not, the real reason for origianlly changing to driving on the right side of the road is based much more in emotional logic, and not in common sense. Fine for Napolean, and fine also for our American friends who basically wanted to do eveything anything the opposite to the UK. (btw - American don't understand why us Brits like to queue in a line and wait for each other - wow - you should see them at their 'intersections'!! Solution - roundabouts ;-)

doug,

drivers in new zealand hell bent on overtaking so must be easy for tourist to make a mistake and end up on wrong side

sheila,

you forgot kazakhstan

Isha,

Sikkim is not a country. It's a state in India, so please correct. Thanks Isha

KB,

Sikkim is not a country its a state of India, so correct it.

"proper" side driver,

*Came
*Careful

"proper" side driver,

I'm English, while driving in Arizona once I got tired & stopped for a rest, I made the bad mistake of pulling over to the left verge, with no road markings or other traffic I started my journey again & this time I was on the left & luckily swerved out of the way when eventually a pick up truck cane the other way. I felt really bad for doing it. But as others have said it catches you out if your not carefully.
I live near a port in the UK & the road from the port had many deaths from foreign drivers forgetting after getting off the ferry & the roads are full of warnings now.
BUT I found a great cure for when driving in countries who use the wrong side, I just use a sat nav & it shows the correct lane at all times, I done a drive across Europe & it works perfectly.

Vijay,

Hi

Good Job. SO it seems most big contries, both the developed and developing, are americanised to right!

By the way, SIKKIM is not an independent country. Its a state in India. better remove it before ministry of external affairs was informed. :)

sue,

it is so hard to drive on the right side of the road

Ibrahim,

Raj B is right about Sikkim, and Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei are also not considered as independent countries, as they are part of the sovereign Rep. of South Africa, which did try to "independentise" them (along with others) as seperate "republics" or homelands, which were never internationally recognised, and are still part of the "new and improved" RSA. And I am pretty sure, Somalia drives on the right, not the left. Also some countries are left out like Tuvalu (unless they changed also to the right) Cheers.

Raj B,

Hi
Thanks for the list. But Sikkim listed here as a country is actually a state in India. Please have this corrected
Regards
Raj

Falcon,

I know this is an old post and thread - but had to chime in (was Googling for all the countries that drive on the left and found this list) - Excellent -

Further to those that have commented, I'll just add this - I was born in the USA and learned to drive 20+ years on the 'right'... In 2004, I moved to New Zealand and bought a car and about got killed (as a pedestrian) 2x within the first 48 hours of being there... Just 'habit' looking over the wrong shoulder, or looking the wrong way (right!) - Walked right into oncoming traffic - How stupid did I feel??!! (and almost killed) -

BUT - After that, my GF at the time, got a big yellow sign and taped it to my dashboard next to my speedo - saying "KEEP LEFT"!! (still have it to this day:) - and that is all it took... even round-a-bouts are a breeze now...

Now, the most interesting/curious thing is... having driven on the left for so long now - When I go back to the States, I actually PREFER driving on the left!!?? I don't know anything about the whole left brain/right brain thing and how that may play a role - but I LOVE driving on the left.... Sitting on the right, behind wheel, just feels "right"! :)

Now, I will also confess, I've been thru 4 left rear wheels and tyres in 5 years! Takes a bit of time to learn that distance and gauge a corner (curbs are all granite down here!) LOL - so yeah - I love it! Wish the whole world drove on the 'right' side... err, left!

Cheers

Sid,

Driving on the left is an ancient thing which most of Europe did once. It is to keep the horse whip away from the pavement/sidewalk as most people are right handed. Also to carry one's sword or weapon on the side of a potential oncoming threat. Only that anomaly Napolean changed things as he was left handed,lol.One country has recently swapped from right to left in the Pacific as several African on one Asian state did.

Hooray,

For not being the same as the yanks!

neb nosidda,

There is left brain and right brain. They both funtion all-RIGHT

Arjyle,

Ian is absolutely correct. I lived in UK
for over two years, and had "keep left'
totally under control. Then one night
a man went off the road in front of me.
I drove on till the first lane, turned
around and hurried back -- on the right
side of the road -- to help him.

Fortunately there was not other traffic
at that moment, or there'd have been two
accidents.

Admin,

Thailand is one of the few South East Asia countries never to have been taken over by a colonial power. I guess the British influence in the area must have been responsible for the left side driving rules.

Phil,

Please enlighten me as to when Thailand was ever a British Colony?

Gary,

You don't get it Tim. It's not that easy to change sides. The main problem is where to look and when (for example when crossing traffic) and your driving habits.

...and about typing the characters - its to prevent spammers!

Tim Palmer,

If one cannot adapt to driving on a different side of the road, then, one should not be on the road!
Furthermore, why should I have to read characters before submitting this message.

IAN ANDREWS,

Essentially, the remaining left hand drive countries are the former British Empire plus Japan .

There are lots of accidents & deaths involving drivers with perfect driving records - until they tried driving on the opposite side of the road to what they were used to . I have seen some of these accidents .

In my opinion, the problem isn't with remembering to "keep left" or "keep right" because that's only 1 rule to remember. It's the mistakes made under pressure that are the problem - when the habits of a lifetime kick in before the concsious mind intervenes . e.g. swerving the wrong way when cut off, looking the wrong way at an intersection , having attention diverted momentarily when fumbling to find one of the driver's controls or switches.

There should be some compulsory driver training required , possibly including some online simulation, as part of the requirement for an International Driving Permit.


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