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I have driven all my trucks on the right side of the road in the US. I will be traveling to a country/ies where cars are driven on the left side of the road.

Other than getting driving lessons, what would be an inexpensive way to comfortably acquire this skill ?

Edit : Stick shift/Manual Transmission. Country : Bangladesh

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How would you rate your driving skills? If you are a confident driver in the US you will manage that. Just do it. –  PERSONA NON GRATA Jun 20 '13 at 19:44
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it's not so difficult. Last month I drove a car in Scottland and there was no problem. Just drive carefully at the beginning and repeat the whole time "drive on the left side". You can also listen to Beyonce - Irreplaceable (to the left, to the left...) –  Dirty-flow Jun 20 '13 at 19:47
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OK, I see. Here the problem is not driving on the "wrong" side of the road. The problem would be the same if they were driving on the right side. –  PERSONA NON GRATA Jun 20 '13 at 20:13
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I've done it several times myself, and my experience is that driving on the left comes natural after a day or two. What helps is having someone with you to remind you occasionally (so you leave the parking lot on the right side), and to have a local car with the steering wheel on the other side. I also always rent automatics. –  Krist van Besien Jun 21 '13 at 6:37
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@MarcelC. 90% of men rates their driving skills to the best 10% of men :). Just saying :) –  Bernhard Jun 21 '13 at 12:09

2 Answers 2

up vote 15 down vote accepted

I actually don't think that driving lessons would help you. The cheapest trick is just to just do it. Thousands and thousands of drivers cross either the tunnel connecting the UK and France or the different ferries, daily. In both directions it seems to work out just fine. They only need to temporarly adjust their lamps.

In some countries with neighboring countries driving on opposite sides (e.g. UK/France, Suriname/French-Guyana) there will be signs reminding you on what side to drive, at least on the primary roads driving away from the border.

enter image description here enter image description here source: Wikipedia

The trick is to drive carefully and just follow the traffic and you will be fine. Problems arise when you are alone. At least with me especially on secluded scottish roads, it happened more then once that I ended up on the right side of the road, but still, when with enough caution I was always in time to correct.

I also don't drink at all when I am driving in the UK, although the UK isn't as strict in the amount of alcohol allowed as in other parts of Europe (0.08% vs 0.05%-0.02%).

With respect to the steering wheel or the pedals, those are the same no matter where you drive. In the beginning you might end up switching gear in the door or starting the windscreen wipers when changing lanes, but that is only sort of funny.

The main advice is:

enter image description here source :Wiki commons

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Just do it, it is, I guess. Everytime I see a video of 'driving in Dhaka' my heart's skipping a few beats. Not only is driving on the other side a challenge, but also driving in that city/country. :( –  happybuddha Jun 20 '13 at 20:14
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@happybuddha As I said above, the real challenge here is driving in Dhaka and not driving on the left side. –  PERSONA NON GRATA Jun 20 '13 at 20:40
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Where did you find the Australia sign? Australia doesn't have any land borders, as far as I know... –  Nate Eldredge Jun 21 '13 at 3:36
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If you take your car abroad, the biggest issue are drive-ins, toll booths and parking lots. If you get a local car, it's not entering your car on the wrong side - over and over again. –  uncovery Jun 21 '13 at 4:51
    
@NateEldredge Oops my bad, didn't do the attribution. Fixed it, thanks for noting. –  andra Jun 21 '13 at 10:29

When I learned to drive in the UK after years of driving in Europe I found four main issues:

  1. The traffic rules (junctions and roundabouts) - this was actually the easiest thing to learn. If there is traffic on the road, you just follow other cars. Otherwise you need to remember it is basically same as in Europe, just opposite.
  2. The position of the car in the lane - the trick here is to always align the car to the edge with the steering wheel, so look at the left side of the lane in Europe and right in the UK. Once you know the trick, it is easy.
  3. Mirror positions - this is something that took me longest to adapt to. Initially I was feeling like during my first drive without the driving instructor in the car - I just had no idea what happens behind and to the sides of the car. Here I can just advise practise.
  4. Gear stick - its on the left, as opposed to the right. It takes time to learn it, I don't think it is a major issue though.

I don't think you need lessons, just start driving more carefully than normally.

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Thank you Grzenio. Those are good points. –  happybuddha Jun 26 '13 at 12:24
    
Some of this is different if you take your car with you, rather than hiring a local one when you arrive! –  Gagravarr Jun 26 '13 at 14:43
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The big problem in Nagladesh, as opposed to UK, is the roadsigns. In the UK, we have a million helpful roadsigns (due to our health&safety culture) that it is impossible to get it wrong (nearly). No other countries have as structured a roadsign layout. –  Rory Alsop Jun 26 '13 at 17:29

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