Left hand drive for the inexperienced
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  1. #1
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    Default Left hand drive for the inexperienced

    My sister (the one who had the Clio) is in Corfu, Greece at the moment lucky thing. She's just text messaged me and said she's hired a Peugeot 206 to take some friends to some beaches on the other side of the island to where they are.

    Should be a hoot She's driving cos she's the only one who can drive a manual I always told her it was a worthwhile thing to drive manual cars!

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    What are other people's experiences with driving left hand drive cars? My first was in a leased Peugeot 206 1.4 - picked it up in London on the Eurodrive program - I was 18 and couldn't get a "normal" rental car for a decent rate. Straight out onto the M25 at morning peak hour. Interesting

    Derek

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    my only expereince with driveing overseas, is in bali a few years ago, i cant remeber wether it was left hand drive or right hand driver (i think there the right hand drive) but anyway it was intresting all the same. driveing in indonesia, you really have to go especially at intersections, because if you don't they won't let you in. another fun thing about driveing in indonesia is the fact that tnone of them seem to care about pedestrians or bicycles, it amazes me that i never saw an acident over there

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    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    I have driven a few cars thru europe and the balkans but they have all been autos.
    The most scariestthing is the underground car parks esp in frankfurt airport....and CDG in Paris....

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    1000+ Posts alan moore's Avatar
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    I have just come back from Europe and found I reached for the doorhandle, instead of the gearshift occasionally for the first couple of days.
    The little rule I was told was "Loose left Tight right", when turning out of T junctions and the like. Following other cars was OK, but you can slip up when by yourself on the road. Going around roundabouts the wrong way is a little strange at first.
    Driving a LHD in England though caused no real problems, only at tollbooths, particularly as the old R19 I was driving had a non operating passenger window.
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    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Originally posted by orestes
    My only experience with driving overseas was in Bali a few years ago.....
    Ahh... yes, right hand drive there, I think...

    Pretty much means that the only reason you posted in this thread was to get your spelling errors fixed.

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    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Originally posted by orestes
    My only experience with driving overseas was in Bali a few years ago.....
    Ahh... yes, right hand drive there, I think...

    Pretty much means that the only reason you posted in this thread was to get your spelling errors fixed.


    I had a LHD 204 to drive around in Marseilles and other points on the Riviera... I'd heard previously that the greatest risk was when you turned at an intersection, but I had no real problems anywhere.

    Except, of course, for the guy that pulled alongside and told me I'd finish up on my head because I drove too fast...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell
    Ahh... yes, right hand drive there, I think...

    Pretty much means that the only reason you posted in this thread was to get your spelling errors fixed.
    So you posted this point twice just to rub it in?

    An interesting place to have driven LHD would be Sweden in 1967, when they decided to swap their driving sides of the road.

    It went remarkably smoothly too.

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    i drove a little fiat uno 1.5FI 5 speed around switzerland

    it went pretty well

    i found it pretty easy to drive around and it was good in the snow country as well

    the only time i had a little trouble was on a 3 lane highway and i was in the wrong lane so i was told and had to move over to the slow lane

    i was in the left hand lane but i was doing 120km/h at the time with 4 adults in the car but people were getting upset that i was in the overtaking lane driving normally
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    I drove a Renault Scenic for 5 months around Europe. From France, through Belgium, Germany, to Denmark, back down through Germany, Czech Republic, through Austria, Switzerland, Italy, then ferried across to Greece. Drove from Greece to Turkey. Drove all through Turkey.. then ferry back to Italy, back up to France. I felt quite at home on the other side of the car after a couple of weeks of driving.
    Made a few other trips since that trip.. Vauxhall people carrier in Spain, Ford Focus in Portugal, 206 deisel in South France. (Mind you I asked for French cars on all occasions, but you end up with anything when you pick them up!)
    I've driven the 205 over to Belgium as well for the weekend. Have to rely on the wife to tell me if I can overtake or not, which of course is never!!
    MayheM

  10. #10
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    Apparently in Ireland at the end of the month they are changing the rules so all cars drive on the right hand side of the road. If that works well for a couple of months then they'll get all the other vehicles to do it too (OK, it's a VERY old joke, but I had to use it).


    Having just driven 4500km in France I can honestly say I had no real probs. You just have to get your mind used to the different angles of view and remember you are supposed to be close to the left hand line (if the driver) and get used to left hand turns mostly - especially long sweeping turns. Having to drive out of the UG carpark at Gare du Nord then the 60km to Chantilly in Saturday traffic was somewhat of a challenge but you just have to condition your mind that there is no other way to tackle it.

    French drivers are usually pretty strict about keeping to the slower lanes if they are not overtaking, but a little more use of indicators for lane changes would be useful. Some seem to think if you leave the left hand indicator on and stay in the left lane you have some sort of priority over anyone in front. Apparently this is now illegal but the Gendarmerie seem oblivious to it.

    I also found the British and French drivers far more corteous than Aussie drivers. I can't recall one incident of road rage although I am sure on a couple of occasions I must have tempted people.

    The hardest thing to adapt to in France is the meagre traffic lights. We are very spoilt here with the Xmas trees we have at intersections!
    The cost of autoroutes seems haphazard and it depends on which company is running the road as to how much you pay. Some sections are very cheap others frighten you!

    I enjoyed it overall.
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  11. #11
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    I drove in Europe for 4 months and I found it fine. I actually made more mistakes when back in the UK then when we first ferried across to Holland. Driving on the right just felt more natural to me which was odd because I learnt here.

    I did cheat by having a RHD car that we bought in London (was fun overtaking trucks.... ). Drove my cousins 20V Passat in Germany (set the cruise on 220 kph ) - LHD cars aer weird, they felt like they were lopsided and unbalanced (optical illusion type thing), but apart from being REALLY careful not to scrape the right side, it was fine.

    Learning to drive a LHD car and drive on the right at the same time would be tricky though!! Its the roundabouts that stuffed with my head the most though....
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  12. #12
    Member plasmapug's Avatar
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    Hey all,

    One of my LHD experience is in a hired Ford Ka driving in Germay from Stuttgart to Freiburg. Some of it was on the autobahns and we got the poor sucker to 170kph (I am trying to get my mate to send me the photo of the speedo!!!). Sure it took 10 minutes to get to that speed and it was screaming and as unstable as anything, but we had to try. We didn't stay at that speed for too long, too scarey, but so is being mowed down by BMWs and Mercs.

    Anyway, apart from having to concentrate very hard at an intersection, my biggest problem was keeping the car in the middle of the lane. On a RHD, you get used to having your body positioned on the right side of the lane. Subconsiously, I was doing this in a LHD drive car. My mate was getting rather pissed of that I seemingly wanted to drive off the side of the road, him first .

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  13. #13
    Fellow Frogger! 604 tragic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeKa
    What are other people's experiences with driving left hand drive cars?
    Derek
    I have driven lots & lots of LHD cars over the years ( in Corfu too). Your sister shouldnt have any problems, just take it easy at first.

    One thing I found that is that the only times I have 'got it wrong' was at night, when tired. &/or in very quiet conditions. Like coming out of a petrol station by yourself when there are no other cars around. But you quickly realise!!

    When you are with other people or there are other cars around, they remind you loudly whats what.

    Tell your sister & mates to drive up the mountain to the lookout on top - fantastic view across to Albania, turn inland past Ipsos.
    So many projects - so little time.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pug307
    An interesting place to have driven LHD would be Sweden in 1967, when they decided to swap their driving sides of the road.
    ...which, coincidentally, was about the time that Volvos first gained their reputation for crash worthiness...

  15. #15
    Fellow Frogger! French-frog's Avatar
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    Well if you want my opinion, it is unnatural to drive on the left side of the road. Especialy with the gears on you left. Well since I've been up there in Scotland I got use to it but stilll....

    And trust me when you want to make a stop and go that's a lot better when you have the 1st and 2nd gear next to you.

    For me, when I moved up to the UK I have needed a week to get use to it.
    Vive la France !

  16. #16
    Fellow Frogger! Filldebin's Avatar
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    Default Sweden LHD

    In relation to Sweden changing the side of the road that the people drove on, it actually gets better than just the changing of sides. Swedes, as most people know, are somewhat obedient and tend to do as told (that is aīchanging). In the 60s, they had a referendum as to whether or not cars should still be driven on the left hand side as in Australia or go over to the right hand side as in say France; they chose to stay as it was, but the gumnut was against the results and said they were going to change anyway.
    This really was the only correct decision because-- and here is the highlight-- the cars were already Left Hand Drive cars.
    The Sirry Irriots had been driving on the wrong side of the road all the time in relation to their position of the steering wheel in the cars. Can you imagine having to ask the passenger if there was an oncoming car before you could go out and overtake in your own country with cars built for that country? Not bloody likely matey.
    However, there were no deaths or accidents reported from the first day of the changeover.
    Having driven up here for several years and then visiting Australia again, I realized how naturally and easily I could drive on the left hand side of the road again, it just felt right.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeKa
    My sister (the one who had the Clio) is in Corfu, Greece at the moment lucky thing. She's just text messaged me and said she's hired a Peugeot 206 to take some friends to some beaches on the other side of the island to where they are.

    Should be a hoot She's driving cos she's the only one who can drive a manual I always told her it was a worthwhile thing to drive manual cars!

    What are other people's experiences with driving left hand drive cars? My first was in a leased Peugeot 206 1.4 - picked it up in London on the Eurodrive program - I was 18 and couldn't get a "normal" rental car for a decent rate. Straight out onto the M25 at morning peak hour. Interesting

    Derek

    I seem to drive on the "other" side at least once a year and it is easy. Just remember to keep the passenger side toward the gutter and she can't go wrong. If she has never driven there before, perhaps she might just want to follow the car in front for the first couple of KMs to get the hang of roundabouts, crossroads etc. At intersections, "Tight right, loose left"

    Cheers

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