What Countries Drive on the Left Side

In America, drivers use the right-hand lane to drive in, but there are several countries that drive on the left side--so Americans planning to visit another country and renting a car there need to know what laws apply.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, driving on the left-hand side of the road has a historic value to it. In centuries past, before automobiles were ever created, everybody walked or road horses on the left side of the road so as to keep their right hand free to fight off enemies by sword, since most people are right-handed.

Also, it was found easier to mount a horse from the left side; it would have been difficult to mount a horse from the right side since the sword was worn on the left-hand side of the body. Because the horse was mounted and dismounted on the left side, people rode the left side of the road to dismount easily in heavy horse traffic.

Australia

With many similar driving laws to the UK, Australians also drive on the left hand side of the road. In fact, if you are traveling to Australia from the UK you don't even need to obtain an International Driver's Licence, as long as your UK license is in English.

Law enforcement in Australia does not take kindly to those who break speeding laws, and repeat offenders are can lose their license, pay hefty fines or even receive jail time.

In Australia, kilometers are used instead of miles, and the general speed limits are as follows: urban areas are 50 kph (approximately 30 mph), country areas are 100 kph (approximately 60 mph) and most major roads are 110 kph (approximately 68 mph).

Complete List

The following countries have laws in place that all residents and visitors must follow, including driving on the left hand side of the road with a right-hand-drive vehicle: Anguilla, Antigua, Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bermuda, Bhutan, Botswana, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Dominica, Fiji, Guyana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Lesotho, Macau, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Africa, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Saint Helena, Kitts, Nevis, Lucia, Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad, Uganda, UK and the Virgin Islands.

It is important to familiarize yourself with the driving laws of the country you plan on visiting if you are going to drive a vehicle at any time during your stay.