Drive Smart

Which Countries Drive on the Left or Right?

The most important rule of the road concerns which side to drive on. A large proportion of accidents in the world happen for this reason, with more and more people choosing car hire as the way to navigate a foreign country. Famously actor Matthew Broderick was involved in a bad collision when renting a car in Ireland because he forgot that they drive on the opposite side of the road.

Most areas of the world which were formerly British colonies still drive on the left hand side of the road including Australia, the Caribbean, India and South Africa. Japan also drives on the left. Europe generally drives on the right hand side apart from Cyprus, Ireland, Malta and the United Kingdom. Guyana and Suriname are the only countries in South America to drive on the left. If you plan to rent a car in the UK or any other country that drives on the left and you usually drive on the right, you should take extreme care for the first few miles until comfortable with driving on the other side fo the road.

About 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 United States of America more manageable.

The reasons for driving on different sides of the road are historical. British horse riders used to ride on the left hand side of the road, thus keeping their right arm free to offer greetings to passersby or draw their sword. But in the USA Teamsters (who drove animals) used to sit on the left hand horse while driving a wagon and therefore keep their right hand free for whipping the other horses. In order to avoid collisions they decided to start driving on the right so that they could see the passing wheels of other wagons.

Some of the other major countries not previously mentioned which drive on the left are the Bahamas, Bangladesh, the Cook Islands, the Falkland Islands, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Zimbabwe. See the table and image below for a full list of countries that drive on the left or our full size map here.
Which countries drive on the left or right ?
Antigua and BarbudaAustralia
Cayman IslandsCyprus
GuyanaHong Kong
IrelandIsle Of Man
NepalNew Zealand
Northern IrelandPakistan
Papua New GuineaSaint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoa
SingaporeSolomon Islands
South AfricaSri Lanka
St LuciaSt Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and TobagoTuvalu
BonaireBosnia and HerzegovinaBrazilBulgaria
Burkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroon
CanadaCanary IslandsCentral African RepublicChad
CongoCosta RicaCroatiaCuba
CuracaoCzech RepublicDenmarkDjibouti
Dominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl Salvador
Equatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopia
Faroe IslandsFinlandFranceGabon
MallorcaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritania
MontenegroMoroccoNetherlandsNew Caledonia
NicaraguaNigerNigeriaNorth Korea
PortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunion
RomaniaRussiaRwandaSan Marino
Saudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSicily
Sierra LeoneSlovakiaSloveniaSomalia
South KoreaSouth SudanSpainSt Maarten
UzbekistanVanuatuVatican CityVenezuela

Drive Left Or Right in Africa

Drive Left Or Right in Caribbean

CountryDrive Left Or RightDrive Smart Guide to Country
AntiguaLDriving in Antigua
ArubaRDriving in Aruba
BahamasLDriving in Bahamas
BarbadosLDriving in Barbados
BonaireRDriving in Bonaire
CuracaoRDriving in Curacao
DominicaLDriving in Dominica
Dominican RepublicRDriving in Dominican Republic
GrenadaLDriving in Grenada
JamaicaLDriving in Jamaica
MartiniqueRDriving in Martinique
Puerto RicoRDriving in Puerto Rico
ReunionRDriving in Reunion
St LuciaLDriving in St Lucia
St MaartenRDriving in St Maarten
St Vincent and the GrenadinesLDriving in St Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and TobagoLDriving in Trinidad and Tobago
HaitiRDriving in Haiti
AnguillaLDriving in Anguilla
Cayman IslandsLDriving in Cayman Islands
GuadeloupeRDriving in Guadeloupe

Drive Left Or Right in Central America

CountryDrive Left Or RightDrive Smart Guide to Country
BelizeRDriving in Belize
Costa RicaRDriving in Costa Rica
El SalvadorRDriving in El Salvador
GuatemalaRDriving in Guatemala
HondurasRDriving in Honduras
NicaraguaRDriving in Nicaragua
PanamaRDriving in Panama

Drive Left Or Right in East Asia

CountryDrive Left Or RightDrive Smart Guide to Country
ChinaRDriving in China
Hong KongLDriving in Hong Kong
JapanLDriving in Japan
South KoreaRDriving in South Korea
TaiwanRDriving in Taiwan

Drive Left Or Right in Europe

Drive Left Or Right in Middle East

CountryDrive Left Or RightDrive Smart Guide to Country
BahrainRDriving in Bahrain
IsraelRDriving in Israel
JordanRDriving in Jordan
KuwaitRDriving in Kuwait
LebanonRDriving in Lebanon
OmanRDriving in Oman
QatarRDriving in Qatar
Saudi ArabiaRDriving in Saudi Arabia
SyriaRDriving in Syria
UAERDriving in UAE
YemenRDriving in Yemen

Drive Left Or Right in North America

CountryDrive Left Or RightDrive Smart Guide to Country
CanadaRDriving in Canada
MexicoRDriving in Mexico
USARDriving in USA
GreenlandRDriving in Greenland

Drive Left Or Right in Oceania

CountryDrive Left Or RightDrive Smart Guide to Country
AustraliaLDriving in Australia
FijiLDriving in Fiji
New CaledoniaRDriving in New Caledonia
New ZealandLDriving in New Zealand
Papua New GuineaLDriving in Papua New Guinea
SamoaLDriving in Samoa
VanuatuRDriving in Vanuatu
GuamRIGHTDriving in Guam

Drive Left Or Right in Rest of Europe

CountryDrive Left Or RightDrive Smart Guide to Country
AlbaniaRDriving in Albania
AndorraRDriving in Andorra
AzerbaijanRDriving in Azerbaijan
BelarusRDriving in Belarus
GuernseyLDriving in Guernsey
Isle Of ManLDriving in Isle Of Man
JerseyLDriving in Jersey
KosovoRDriving in Kosovo
MacedoniaRDriving in Macedonia
MoldovaRDriving in Moldova
MontenegroRDriving in Montenegro
RussiaRDriving in Russia
SerbiaRDriving in Serbia
TurkeyRDriving in Turkey
UkraineRDriving in Ukraine
Bosnia and HerzegovinaRDriving in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Drive Left Or Right in South America

CountryDrive Left Or RightDrive Smart Guide to Country
ArgentinaRDriving in Argentina
BrazilRDriving in Brazil
ChileRDriving in Chile
ColombiaRDriving in Colombia
EcuadorRDriving in Ecuador
ParaguayRDriving in Paraguay
PeruRDriving in Peru
UruguayRDriving in Uruguay
VenezuelaRDriving in Venezuela
BoliviaRDriving in Bolivia

Drive Left Or Right in South Asia

CountryDrive Left Or RightDrive Smart Guide to Country
IndiaLDriving in India
PakistanLDriving in Pakistan
Sri LankaLDriving in Sri Lanka
BangladeshLDriving in Bangladesh

Drive Left Or Right in Southeast Asia

CountryDrive Left Or RightDrive Smart Guide to Country
CambodiaRDriving in Cambodia
IndonesiaLDriving in Indonesia
MalaysiaLDriving in Malaysia
PhilippinesRDriving in Philippines
SingaporeLDriving in Singapore
ThailandLDriving in Thailand
VietnamRightDriving in Vietnam
VietnamRDriving in Vietnam

World Driving Guides

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How Many Countries Drive on the Left

75 Countries drive on the left which include Cyprus, United Kingdom, Ireland, Jamaica and Kenya

How Many Countries Drive on the Right

165 Countries drive on the right which include Albania, Aruba, China, United States of America and Canada

Why and when did Canada change from left hand drive to right hand drive?

As travel by road across border from the United States to Canada is so easy, Canada changed driving on the left to the right-hand side in the 1920’s to ensure driving from one country to another did not cause driving issues. Newfoundland did not make the change until 1947 and then joined Canada in 1949.

What side of the road do you drive in Hong Kong?

Unlike China,  Hong Kong drives on the left which has been an inherited influence from being a former British Colony. Therefore, great care should be exercised when crossing borders into China when the rules of the road switch to right hand drive.

What side of the road do you drive on in Thailand?

Although never a British Colony Thailand drives on the left side of the road the same as in the UK. The first car in Thailand was a present to the King of Thailand from the British Royal Family and was therefore built for driving on the left.

Do all States in the USA drive on the right?

All states apart from the Virgin Islands drive on the right. Each State in the USA instigates its own traffic rules applicable to that state, however most rules are similar throughout the States.

Do you drive on the left in the Virgin Islands?

Unlike the rest of the USA driving is on the left in the US Virgin Islands. It should be noted that the vehicles are American built and as such are made for right hand driving so it will feel a little strange at first.

Have any countries switched from driving on the left to the right?

Sweden in the 1960's switched from left to right hand driving and also Iceland in 1968.

Samoa in 2009 changed in the opposite direction from driving on the right to now driving on the left which was done as both Australia and New Zealand both drive on the left.

When did Sweden change from left hand drive to right hand drive?

As Sweden borders Finland and Norway along with easy cross border access to other countries in Europe it changed driving from the left to the right in 1967.  This change was made to help avoid  road traffic accidents and confusion etc. when driving across borders.

Which side of the road do your drive on in Australia?

Driving is on the left-hand side in Australia, adopting the same left hand driving rules as the UK from when it was a British Colony.

Why does Cyprus drive on the left?

Cyprus under the influence of the British drive on the left-hand side of the road. Many of the rules and laws of the land are based on British influences.

Does the Turkish occupied area of Cyprus drive on the Right?

No, the occupied area of Cyprus by Turkey still drives on the left, the same as the rest of the Island of Cyprus. Turkey itself however drives on the right.


Visitor Comments

  • 16/04/2020


  • 15/07/2020

    justice manhando

    what are the advantages of LHD or RHD? And why do countries differ?
  • 09/09/2020

    Chris Newbould

    Philippines not decided yet? It's the right, if you didn't know.
  • 02/09/2020


    The U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Thomas, St.. John, St. Croix) in the Caribbean do drive on the left side. Some other former british colonies in the Caribbean like the British Virgin Islands (Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anguila) as well as Antigua, Anegada, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Dominica etc. most probably do too.
  • 20/08/2020


    IBRAHIM UMAR FAROUK - Nigeria switched to driving on the right forty years ago - true.
  • 07/08/2020

    Damian Fernandez

    The Malvinas Islands (Falklands) are not a ''major country'' LOL
  • 06/08/2020


    You’re information is unfortunately indeed incorrect. RHD/LHD(Right Hans Drive/Left Hans Drive) refers to which side the steering wheel is on, whilst RHT/LHT(Right Hans Traffic/Left Hans Traffic) refers to whichever side traffic flow resides. The geographical information was correct, albeit lacking quite a few countries, the terms we swapped. Although that is the case. This article was rather informative indeed.
  • 30/09/2020


    The united arab emerates drives on the right add that please and Bahrain also drives on the right add that please
  • 03/10/2020

    lava dewan

    This is lava dewan 4om Bangladesh. We are also drive on LEFT side of the road & RIGHT side on Drive. Please Please make an entry.
  • 14/08/2020

    Paul Wild

    The UK also has winding motorways. The reason is to stop people falling asleep on long journeys. Driving in the UK is better than mainland Europe. People are courteous and give way politely. The left hand drive is just the British doing it their own way.
  • 22/04/2020

    M A Muqsith

    I am from Bangladesh. We drive on left side of the road. Please make an entry.
  • 01/05/2020


    Hong Kong and Macao are not countries.
  • 15/05/2020

    Kim Sheckell

    In South Sudan they drive on the right side of the road.
  • 26/06/2020


    Wording is not normal. If the steering wheel is on the left the vehicle is named LEFT HAND DRIVE. So you people have it totally backwards. If the steering wheel is on the left hand side of a vehicle, then that vehicle drives on the right side of the road. Just simply Google'll find that your terms are incorrect. 'A left-hand drive vehicle has the steering wheel on the left side, and is designed to be used in countries where people drive on the right-hand side of the road.'
  • 27/06/2020

    Bonnie rinfret

    Bermuda. Drives on the left.
  • 06/07/2020


    Why Nigeria is not included in your list ? pls, correct and updates your list
  • 05/02/2020

    Abdul Wahid

    Pakistan has left driving please correct your list
  • 18/01/2020

    Muhammad Suleman Khan

    Pakistan has RHD working please correct your list
  • 31/12/2019


    US Virgin Isles drive on the left - all road markings are as per USA. Majority of cars appear to be left hand drive. East Timour also drive on the left. Philippines drive on the Right (Since late 1940's).
  • 27/12/2019


    Glad to see that India has a regulated side of driving, cause if you go there it seems like it's of no need. Everyone drives on whatever side they want.
  • 16/12/2019


    Helpful feedback: you left out a big one on your list, although it is color coded correctly on the map. Indonesia drives on the left. Thought you’d like to know. Thanks
  • 17/11/2019


    Philippines drive on the left.
  • 29/10/2019


    Driving on the other side of the road is hard for the first hour, easier the second hour and really ok after that. However my main gripe about American roading is the "off ramps" that seem to be constructed to look like the continuation of the road, never had this problem in Australia, its a setup thing, and the city roads with their markings are non-symmetrical, ie the exiting lane has a straight through lane and a turn left lane. It produces a three lane road and when I am turning left into that setup it seems to cause me issues. The split highways are great. I think that going from Right Lane driving to Left Lane driving is easier, as I think it is easier to drive on the Left[ Australia Britain etc] Most peoples dominant hand the right is on the steering wheel, the most important instrument, the left hand the least dominant is "left" to do ancillary tasks.
  • 13/10/2019

    John Paul Solis

    Nepal drives on the left side.
  • 26/10/2019

    Mujeeb u tehman marnas

    I am from pakistan. Here in pakistan roads for right hand drive roads.
  • 07/09/2019

    Eh_Eh Kokonut

    You are missing Macau which like Hong Kong, is a SAR of China. They also drive on the left unlike China.
  • 24/02/2019


    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!
  • 20/02/2019

    Stanley Gates

    If you have Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the UK, why do you not have England?
  • 12/02/2019


    Tasmania is not a country. We are part of Australia
  • 02/02/2019


    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.
  • 29/01/2019


    Papua New Guinea drives on the left of the road
  • 26/01/2019

    Leo Sitorus

    Indonesia also drive on the left side.
  • 26/01/2019

    Leo Sitorus

    If you go to Indonesia, you will drive on the left side as well.
  • 26/01/2019


    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.
  • 25/01/2019


    Guyana is the only country in South America to drive on the left. < Wrong! Suriname also drives on the left.
  • 31/12/2018

    Emily Jacobson

    What about turning right on red in Mexico? Legal or not?
  • 12/09/2018


    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.
  • 01/06/2018


    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.
  • 29/04/2018


    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...
  • 16/04/2018


    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.
  • 12/04/2018


    Nepal is a sovereign country. Also Drives on left...Not part of India.... Biches
  • 07/04/2018


    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!!!!
  • 06/07/2017

    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).
  • 27/06/2017


    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..
  • 16/06/2017

    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
  • 06/06/2017


    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)
  • 21/03/2017


    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.
  • 26/02/2017


    Suriname, which borders Guyana, also drives on the left. It was a British then Dutch colony.
  • 25/02/2017


    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.
  • 12/02/2017


    I believe that in the late 1800's the USA also drove on the lest
  • 01/02/2017


    Mauritius is former brit colony and still have their cars have their steering wheel on the right side and not the wrong side ;)
  • 14/01/2017

    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!
  • 22/12/2016


    Indonesians also drive on the left.
  • 07/12/2016


    Football is played on the left too, fun fact
  • 07/12/2016


    Forgot Bangladesh and Italy z.
  • 04/12/2016


    Thank you everyone
  • 06/11/2016


    Tanzania also
  • 06/11/2016


    They have forgotten Pakistan
  • 06/11/2016


    They also forgot Pakistan 😳
  • 16/09/2016


    You forgot Burma/Myanmar and I think Sweden used to
  • 15/08/2016

    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.
  • 10/01/2016


    Bermuda should be added
  • 04/01/2016


    Forgot Sri Lanka
  • 30/11/2015


    Macau drives on the left as well!
  • 12/11/2015


    Nepal is also a country which drivers on the left
  • 15/11/2014

    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
  • 30/06/2014

    Lisa Tarr

    You forgot many of the Caribbean islands
  • 15/02/2014


    You forgot Cyprus
  • 16/01/2014


    nice map!