Which Countries Drive on the Left - A Handy Guide!
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Which Countries Drive on the Left - A Handy Guide!

"No one likes to drive on the wrong side of the road so we have compiled a guide of which countries drive on the left and which drive on the right so you don’t get caught out..."

Most countries which were British colonies still drive on the left hand side of the road including huge land masses such as India, Australia and Southern Africa as well as the Caribbean. Europe generally drives on the right hand side apart from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Malta and Cyprus. Guyana (formerly a British colony) is the only country in South America to drive on the left.

The other two thirds of the countries in the world drive on the right including the USA, China and Russia. Canada used to drive on the left but changed to the right to make border crossings with the USA more manageable.

The reasons for these distinctions are historical. British horseback riders used to ride on the left hand side of the road, thus keeping their right arm free to offer greetings to passersby or, if needs be, draw their sword. However, in The USA teamsters used to sit on the left hand horse while driving a wagon and therefore keep their right hand free for whipping the other horses. They decided to start driving on the right so that they could see the passing wheels of other wagons and avoid collisions.

Countries Which Drive on the LEFT

Which Countries Drive on the Left
Drive on the Left in; Drive Smart Guide to Country
  • Australia
  • Caribbean Islands*
  • Channel Islands
  • Cyprus
  • Japan
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Isle of Man
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Malta
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • UK
So wherever in the world you are driving in your rental car, make sure you know before you take to the roads what side of the road to drive on, and if you are not sure, make sure you ask at the car hire desk!

Posted: August 16, 2009 by Global Administrator | with 9 comments

Comments
Kenneth Morris
The Romans first introduced driving/riding on the left and this was the case throughout their whole empire. This was recently established as fact due to the realisation being discovered from a North England Roman quarry. The wheel ruts where light and shallow on the left going into the quarry and deep on the right coming out of the quarry.

When Napoleon came into power, thinking that the left-hand driving was an English thing that was adopted throughout Europe, he changed it to driving on the right. The ironic thing is that Napoleon was fanatical about the Roman Empire.

Due to vehicles being manufactured for left and right hand driving, the indicators, horn locations etc. are not consistent from one manufacturer to another, and this leads to confusion in the seconds of blind panic, resulting in unnecessary road accidents.
8/15/2016 10:09:27 PM
blair
Bermuda should be added
1/10/2016 5:20:44 PM
Vincent
Forgot Sri Lanka
1/4/2016 5:09:12 PM
Carson
Macau drives on the left as well!
11/30/2015 4:03:06 AM
prabesh
Nepal is also a country which drivers on the left
11/12/2015 6:04:35 PM
someone who can read
you forgot Australia
Caribbean Islands*
Channel Islands
Cyprus
Japan
Hong Kong
India
Isle of Man
Ireland
Jamaica
Kenya
Malta
Malaysia
New Zealand
South Africa
Singapore
Thailand
UK
11/15/2014 4:40:39 PM
Lisa Tarr
You forgot many of the Caribbean islands
6/30/2014 5:44:50 AM
Davy
You forgot Cyprus
2/15/2014 1:05:39 PM
Brian
nice map!
1/16/2014 1:14:20 PM
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