Which Countries Drive on the Left - A Handy Guide!

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.

Which Countries Drive on the Left or the Right

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

 
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 42 comments
Kellie Hodge
Posted: August 16, 2009 by Kellie Hodge | with 42 comments
About the Author -

Travel writer, customer service guru, Kellie knows the ins and outs of car rental and always happy to share her knowledge on our blog. Favourite country to visit: Spain.

Countries that drive on the LEFT

Drive on the LeftRegionDrive Smart Guide to Country
AnguillaDriving in Anguilla
AntiguaDriving in Antigua
Antigua and BarbudaDriving in Antigua and Barbuda - coming soon
AustraliaOceaniaDriving in Australia
BahamasCaribbeanDriving in Bahamas
BangladeshDriving in Bangladesh
BarbadosDriving in Barbados
BhutanDriving in Bhutan - coming soon
BotswanaDriving in Botswana
BruneiDriving in Brunei - coming soon
CyprusEuropeDriving in Cyprus
DominicaDriving in Dominica
EswatiniDriving in Eswatini - coming soon
FijiOceaniaDriving in Fiji
GrenadaDriving in Grenada
GuernseyRest of EuropeDriving in Guernsey
GuyanaDriving in Guyana - coming soon
Hong KongEast AsiaDriving in Hong Kong
IndiaSouth AsiaDriving in India
IndonesiaSoutheast AsiaDriving in Indonesia
IrelandEuropeDriving in Ireland
Isle Of ManRest of EuropeDriving in Isle Of Man
JamaicaCaribbeanDriving in Jamaica
JapanEast AsiaDriving in Japan
JerseyRest of EuropeDriving in Jersey
KenyaAfricaDriving in Kenya
KiribatiDriving in Kiribati - coming soon
LesothoAfricaDriving in Lesotho
MalawiDriving in Malawi - coming soon
MalaysiaSoutheast AsiaDriving in Malaysia
MaldivesDriving in Maldives - coming soon
MaltaEuropeDriving in Malta
MauritiusAfricaDriving in Mauritius
MozambiqueAfricaDriving in Mozambique
NamibiaAfricaDriving in Namibia
NauruDriving in Nauru - coming soon
NepalDriving in Nepal - coming soon
New ZealandOceaniaDriving in New Zealand
Northern IrelandEuropeDriving in Northern Ireland
PakistanSouth AsiaDriving in Pakistan
Papua New GuineaDriving in Papua New Guinea - coming soon
Saint LuciaCaribbeanDriving in Saint Lucia - coming soon
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesDriving in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - coming soon
SamoaDriving in Samoa - coming soon
ScotlandEuropeDriving in Scotland
SeychellesDriving in Seychelles - coming soon
SingaporeSoutheast AsiaDriving in Singapore
Solomon IslandsDriving in Solomon Islands - coming soon
South AfricaAfricaDriving in South Africa
Sri LankaSouth AsiaDriving in Sri Lanka
St LuciaCaribbeanDriving in St Lucia
St Vincent and the GrenadinesCaribbeanDriving in St Vincent and the Grenadines
SurinameDriving in Suriname - coming soon
SwazilandAfricaDriving in Swaziland
TanzaniaAfricaDriving in Tanzania - coming soon
TasmaniaAustralasiaDriving in Tasmania
ThailandSoutheast AsiaDriving in Thailand
TongaDriving in Tonga - coming soon
Trinidad and TobagoCaribbeanDriving in Trinidad and Tobago
TuvaluDriving in Tuvalu - coming soon
UgandaDriving in Uganda - coming soon
UKEuropeDriving in UK
WalesEuropeDriving in Wales
ZambiaAfricaDriving in Zambia
ZimbabweAfricaDriving in Zimbabwe

Comments
Stick
On St John USVI, vehicles drive on the left side. Driving: "shoulder to the shoulder" is the tip for U.S. Drivers. The steering wheel is on the left side, as you are accustomed, but you drive on the other side, on the left.
The problem is that they are real USA- spec'd vehicles. Including the headlights -- which for driving in the USA, they tend to illuminate the right shoulder rather nicely. Flip this around, and now at night, the oncoming vehicles are harshly using this "shoulder illumination" to glare into your eyes. They may as well drive with the high beams on, because the on-coming vehicles' headlights are way too bright. It would be much smarter to either use Euro-spec'd headlamps designed for the UK, or just plain use UK spec'd vehicles. Imagine driving "shoulder to the shoulder", especially if/when everyone has been out having a bit of the local rum-punch!
2/24/2019 7:43:33 PM
Stanley Gates
If you have Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the UK, why do you not have England?
2/20/2019 9:06:15 AM
Ed
Tasmania is not a country. We are part of Australia
2/12/2019 10:18:37 AM
Lisa
In Suriname (South America) former Dutch colony they also drive on the left side. Have you ever been in South America? There are more countries where they drive on the left side.
2/2/2019 3:03:59 PM
Alice
Papua New Guinea drives on the left of the road
1/29/2019 4:16:33 AM
Leo Sitorus
Indonesia also drive on the left side.
1/26/2019 11:19:59 AM
Leo Sitorus
If you go to Indonesia, you will drive on the left side as well.
1/26/2019 11:18:28 AM
Lucho
Andrew, just because the right hand is most people’s dominant hand it’s easier to do variety of things with it including shifting the gears. Yes, the left hand is not dominant but it’s not hard to use it for one single thing - steering. I’ve been living in the UK for a year and a half now and just started to drive. It’s all about getting used to each way of driving.
1/26/2019 12:37:03 AM
Kevin
Guyana is the only country in South America to drive on the left. < Wrong! Suriname also drives on the left.
1/25/2019 6:43:19 AM
Bob
Wondering why the list is almost but not quite in alphabetical order? Were these names translated at some point? I count 4 countries out of order.
9/12/2018 1:00:55 PM
Martin
I'm sure there have been road accidents caused by not remembering you're in a country that drives on the other side of the road. It would be good if the one-third decided to join the majority in driving on the right side of the road.
6/1/2018 4:24:08 PM
Andrew
Dennis, I was recently in Spain and had to drive on the right using the gear stick (proper name for whatever you call it) and it is no easier at all, in fact it was harder because of muscle memory and me reaching for the door handle rather than the gear stick to change gears! I personally think it is much safer having your right hand permanently on the steering wheel using your left hand to change gear as this is the majority of peoples dominant hand...
4/29/2018 8:06:01 PM
Steve
There are some very naive people commenting here. It's way too late for countries with sophisticated road networks to switch sides. It would likely cost well into the 10s to 100s of billions dollars to do so. All major highways would need to be massively modified with respect to off and on ramps. Traffic light systems, roundabouts, and so on. Then there's the problem of stupid people who can barely drive properly on the roads as it is, forcing them onto the other side would cost lots of lives.
4/16/2018 1:02:37 PM
Aviatornp
Nepal is a sovereign country. Also Drives on left...Not part of India.... Biches
4/12/2018 5:45:26 PM
Dennis
I think that the leftys would have switched by now because it is easier to drive a stick shift with your right hand shifting especially if you are right handed!!!!
4/7/2018 8:21:38 AM
someone who can count
The 2 main numbers on the map should be inverted: as Wikipedia states, 163 countries and territories drive on the right (mainland Europe & Co), and 76 on the left (UK and such).
7/6/2017 1:28:59 PM
Emile
In fact, when riding a horse was the norm, a horseman when meeting another one of the way would stay on the right side of the road to keep his shield to the incoming "threat" and be ready to use his sword with his right hand, if need be..
6/27/2017 11:48:09 AM
E. Roberts
Napolean was an egotistical tyrant who was left handed. He forced everyone else to ride on the right so that his left arm was facing any potential enemy.
Nothing to do with England. Though they weren't stupid enough to be conquered by him
6/16/2017 7:45:46 PM
Ian
Connor said:
"couldn't imagine how to possibly have the same turning experience in a left hand side driven vehicle in a left hand lane"

But they don't!! In countries that drive on the left, the steering wheel is on the right hand side of the cars. In Australia, for example, you cannot even register a left-hand drive vehicle (with a few rare exceptions for historic vehicles)
6/6/2017 4:52:10 AM
Jacob
To Connor
I drive on the right hand side with my steering wheel on the left hand side, and honestly couldn't imagine how to possibly have the same turning experience in a left hand side driven vehicle in a left hand lane.... It's just not right, the uk and so many other countries need to update to be driving on the right hand side.
3/21/2017 10:58:45 AM
Joanna
Suriname, which borders Guyana, also drives on the left. It was a British then Dutch colony.
2/26/2017 4:52:08 PM
Connor
I drive on the left hand side with my steering wheel on the right hand side, and honestly couldn't imagine how to possibly have the same turning experience in a right hand side driven vehicle in a right hand lane.... It's just not right, the states and so many other countries need to update to be driving on the left hand side once again.
2/25/2017 12:18:02 AM
Geoff
I believe that in the late 1800's the USA also drove on the lest
2/12/2017 8:53:01 PM
DS
Mauritius is former brit colony and still have their cars have their steering wheel on the right side and not the wrong side ;)
2/1/2017 6:26:49 AM
Bill Davidson
Good thing we invented motorcycles. Now when we switch the brakes and gas around from left to right we shall have a great big mess - and for stick shifts - three card monte. We shall all be left-handed - at last a Universal Victory for mankind!
1/14/2017 5:16:42 PM
Cal
Indonesians also drive on the left.
12/22/2016 1:00:41 AM
Haaan
Football is played on the left too, fun fact
12/7/2016 2:54:58 PM
Habib
Forgot Bangladesh and Italy
z.
12/7/2016 2:50:07 PM
Adel
Thank you everyone
12/4/2016 6:12:44 AM
Wayne
Tanzania also
11/6/2016 8:50:53 PM
Ali
They have forgotten Pakistan
11/6/2016 9:45:34 AM
Ali
They also forgot Pakistan 😳
11/6/2016 9:44:34 AM
Radman26
You forgot Burma/Myanmar and I think Sweden used to
9/16/2016 12:14:50 AM
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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