"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
, 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 that drive on the LEFT
See our full list of Drive Smart Guides here.
Drive on the Left in;
Drive Smart Guide to Country
- Caribbean Islands*
- Channel Islands
- Hong Kong
- Isle of Man
- New Zealand
- South Africa
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
Need to know which countries drive on the left because you are hiring a car abroad?