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Switching to right hand drive

Switching to right hand drive

Old Jun 3rd 2011, 11:02 pm
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Default Switching to right hand drive

I rarely drive in the UK, and I'm bad with sticks, but I think this would be a necessity when I move to US. I'm kinda freaked out by the thought of having to switch from left hand drive to right hand drive, and having to go through driving test to get a drivers license. Anyone share the same fear when they first drove on the opposite lane in the US? Any useful tips? Or am I being over paranoid, and it's not that scary once I'm behind the wheels? Cheers.
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Old Jun 3rd 2011, 11:05 pm
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Default Re: Switching to right hand drive

Originally Posted by cranes View Post
I rarely drive in the UK, and I'm bad with sticks, but I think this would be a necessity when I move to US. I'm kinda freaked out by the thought of having to switch from left hand drive to right hand drive, and having to go through driving test to get a drivers license. Anyone share the same fear when they first drove on the opposite lane in the US? Any useful tips? Or am I being over paranoid, and it's not that scary once I'm behind the wheels? Cheers.
If you rarely drive in the UK then it will be less of wrench compared to someone who drives in the UK a lot, won't it?
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Old Jun 3rd 2011, 11:08 pm
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Default Re: Switching to right hand drive

Get an automatic transmission car - the majority of cars here are, and you won't have to worry about a stick at all. There's no such thing as an "automatic only" driver's license, either.
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Old Jun 3rd 2011, 11:09 pm
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Default Re: Switching to right hand drive

Originally Posted by tonrob View Post
If you rarely drive in the UK then it will be less of wrench compared to someone who drives in the UK a lot, won't it?
But I do sit on the passenger seats many times , and it's wired in me to look left, then right, then left again...
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Old Jun 3rd 2011, 11:10 pm
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Default Re: Switching to right hand drive

Originally Posted by avanutria View Post
Get an automatic transmission car - the majority of cars here are, and you won't have to worry about a stick at all. There's no such thing as an "automatic only" driver's license, either.
Yeah, I'll definitely get an automatic. Too bad they don't have automatic only drivers license, unlike in Aus.
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Old Jun 3rd 2011, 11:14 pm
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Default Re: Switching to right hand drive

Originally Posted by cranes View Post
Yeah, I'll definitely get an automatic. Too bad they don't have automatic only drivers license, unlike in Aus.
Why? There's no distinction here. If you can drive ANY car well enough to pass a test, then you can drive ANY car period. (And some RVs and fire engines, in fact!) You can test in an automatic and drive regularly in a manual, or vice versa.
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Old Jun 3rd 2011, 11:18 pm
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Default Re: Switching to right hand drive

Originally Posted by avanutria View Post
Why? There's no distinction here. If you can drive ANY car well enough to pass a test, then you can drive ANY car period. (And some RVs and fire engines, in fact!) You can test in an automatic and drive regularly in a manual, or vice versa.
Really? For some reason I thought the US drivers test had to be done with a manual car. Thanks for correcting me! The driving test doesn't sound so bad now.
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Old Jun 3rd 2011, 11:23 pm
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Default Re: Switching to right hand drive

Don't dwell on it...just get in the car and do it...it's easy.
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Old Jun 3rd 2011, 11:27 pm
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Default Re: Switching to right hand drive

The test will vary from state to state, I found it fairly easy, and from what I have read here, it sounds like that is the case across the country.

I drove around for a while with my wife, to make sure I did not get in to any trouble. Started off in a park car park, so I did not have to worry too much about other traffic, when I felt confident with the car (which was bigger than I was used to), I ventured out in to traffic.

First problem I had was on a visit back to Britain when I found myself on the wrong side of the road (not driving, stopped at a junction and I was wondering why the other guy was not going, but I was where he wanted to be)

Get an automatic, they are more or less standard here. pass your test in it, and as others have stated, you are good to drive either.
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Old Jun 3rd 2011, 11:29 pm
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Default Re: Switching to right hand drive

Originally Posted by cranes View Post
Really? For some reason I thought the US drivers test had to be done with a manual car. Thanks for correcting me! The driving test doesn't sound so bad now.


That would certainly be one way of keeping over 90% of US drivers from getting a license ...
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Old Jun 3rd 2011, 11:35 pm
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Default Re: Switching to right hand drive

Originally Posted by md95065 View Post


That would certainly be one way of keeping over 90% of US drivers from getting a license ...
Agreed! I only know a couple people who drive manuals. My brother is one and I think he only learned it because he wanted to get a Jeep.
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Old Jun 4th 2011, 1:19 am
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Default Re: Switching to right hand drive

Originally Posted by cranes View Post
I rarely drive in the UK, and I'm bad with sticks, but I think this would be a necessity when I move to US. I'm kinda freaked out by the thought of having to switch from left hand drive to right hand drive, and having to go through driving test to get a drivers license. Anyone share the same fear when they first drove on the opposite lane in the US? Any useful tips? Or am I being over paranoid, and it's not that scary once I'm behind the wheels? Cheers.
OK, British autos are Right Hand drive and drive on the left side of the road. US autos are Left Hand drive and drive on the right side of the road.

As mentioned by others, very few manual shift cars in the US anymore. In fact, manual shift cars are hard to find.

FWIW, the UK is the only country where I will rent only an automatic -- on top of being on the "wrong" side of the road, I don't want to be shifting with the left hand. [I'm told that it is easy to spot an Expat woman driver in the UK -- they have broken fingernails on their right hands].
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Old Jun 4th 2011, 7:22 am
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Default Re: Switching to right hand drive

Originally Posted by cranes View Post
Any useful tips?
(for the most part) always make sure you as the driver is in the middle of the road and your passengers are at the kirb!
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Old Jun 4th 2011, 2:39 pm
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Default Re: Switching to right hand drive

I moved to the US from the UK and made a signifcant error by driving on the wrong side of the road. This occured when pulling out of a parking lot at night with no cars around to remind me. So just watch out for that.

Originally Posted by cranes View Post
I rarely drive in the UK, and I'm bad with sticks, but I think this would be a necessity when I move to US. I'm kinda freaked out by the thought of having to switch from left hand drive to right hand drive, and having to go through driving test to get a drivers license. Anyone share the same fear when they first drove on the opposite lane in the US? Any useful tips? Or am I being over paranoid, and it's not that scary once I'm behind the wheels? Cheers.
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Old Jun 4th 2011, 5:15 pm
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Default Re: Switching to right hand drive

Originally Posted by cranes View Post
Any useful tips?
If your passenger screams, it's a reasonable indication you have done, or are doing, something seriously wrong.
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