What is it like to drive a UK right-hand drive car on the Continent?

It's good fun after a while.

My experience is the opposite of this. Driving a left handed car in a nation where others are right handed.

Its totally disconcerting at first. You'll find yourself moving towards the wrong half of roads. Especially after a turn.

Do note the position of your petrol tank cap.

An unknown feature in most cars is that the fuel gauge will have an arrow pointing toward the direction of the cap.

A little thought and a little effort should make it seem like a minor inconvenience.

+ points:

You'll find it easier to pick up friends and family. Or if you're alone, some company for the night.

Murphy's means that they'd stand on the wrong side for you in your own country. But on the correct side in others

You'll want to keep double the gap between yours and the one ahead.

Wimmen like unusual wheels. And won't mind trying it.

The hard part is unlearning all that when you return to the UK.


On your own, quite difficult. You tend not to overtake much. Once you have a passenger in whom you have trust and a deal of practice it's really no problem.
 
However, we gave a Dutch couple a lift in our car and they insisted on sitting in the back after the first few miles, We then gave them a lift in the UK and I don't think they have stopped shaking yet.. It's not so much the R hand drive as the sheer bloody mindedness of the average UK driver - until you understand the rules. Drive down the Mall at rush hour and after that the Parisian peripherique is a doddle
 
From bitter experience my advice is never to drive in Milan R or L drive without AT LEAST 5 litres under the bonnet, supercharged, and a 0 to 60 time less than 5 seconds. Spears sticking out of the wheel hubs are good.
It's a bit awkward at first, but you soon get used to it. On dual-carriageway roads you tend not to notice, since traffic is coming from behind you and as long as you have a left-hand mirror it's fine.

On single carriageway roads, your view is a bit more restricted as you're closer to the edge of the road. Rather than relying on a passenger's judgement (you're driving, not them) it's best to hang back to obtain a better viewing angle to the left, and use the view up the right-hand side of the vehicle you're following to see when it's clear. In a relatively small vehicle such as a car, sometimes leaning over a bit can make the difference. One solution I've seen is to use a small forward-facing mirror on the left side of the dashboard as a sort of periscope.

For improved visibility to the left at junctions, it can be useful to set the passenger seat slightly behind the driver's, so your view isn't obstructed by your passenger's head.

I've driven left-hand drive vehicles in the UK too, and it's the same principle in reverse.

My first left-hand drive car was a French one from Belgium, a 204 Peugeot. Bought in London with British plates, I was driving through Belgium and at a traffic light I found myself alongside an identical car, but this other one was right-hand drive with Belgian plates!!!

I recall the insurance in England for a LHD car was 25% higher. But the reverse was not true in France (the French insurers would not anticipate a RHD car).

Here's an important tip for oblique T-junctions (and it applies to LHD cars too)... try to approach at 90 degrees (but signalling correctly) to get a full view both ways.


I've done it many times, it takes a while to get used to but once you have a few miles under your belt it becomes second nature.

There are sometimes the obvious issues with line of sight at difficult or unusual road junctions, but most of the time other road users recognise from your license plate that you are not "local" so they will often take that into consideration when you are manouvering.

The other obvious issues come to light in car parks or at toll booths, where if you are driving alone you usually find yourself on the wrong side of the car to insert the car park exit ticket or to pay the toll booth attendant, this usually ends up with a dance around to the other side of the car and plenty of apologetic waving and gestures to the folks in the queue behind you.
It's pretty much the same as driving in the UK.  Your vision is slightly compromised due to being behind the vehicle on the "blind" side and when approaching roundabouts you give priority to the left as opposed to the right also when exiting a junction you would still look both ways but just be mindful vehicles are on the opposite side of the road to what you are used to.
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