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can i drive british car in london with US drivers licence?

Travel Forums Europe can i drive british car in london with US drivers licence?

1. Posted by xjessie007 (Budding Member 22 posts) 7y

hi, i am going to london and have just us drivers licence. can i rent a car there and drive it there? they still have steering wheel on the wrong (right :) ) side, right?

2. Posted by BedouinLeo (Inactive 698 posts) 7y

Hello there. Of course you can drive any car in the EU on your USA licence, just as I can drive any North American car on my UK licence. Our steering wheels are on the right hand side and we drive on the left, the same as many other countries around the world. We are not unique with that statistic.

3. Posted by xjessie007 (Budding Member 22 posts) 7y

i know you are not unique. i was joking :) it must be scarry to drive on the left side if i have never done it before no?

4. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

Some people manage alright, but some others never get the hang of it. Each year there are accidents on UK roads caused by European drivers (who are used to the right side) and accidents on European roads caused by UK drivers, simply because they are so used to driving how they have been taught and have trouble switching. You can never know until you try.

5. Posted by s96024 (Full Member 106 posts) 7y

I think a lot of those accidents are europeans driving left hand drive cars on our roads. If you come and rent a right hand drive car you should be fine. Take it slow until you get used to it, especially roundabouts. You can drive on your licence for a period of 12 months after which you must have passed a uk test.

6. Posted by BedouinLeo (Inactive 698 posts) 7y

There really is so little (if any) difference between driving a left hand drive car on the right and a right hand drive car on the left. Accidents? The UK and Germany have very low accident rates compared to other countries in both Eastern and Western Europe. The best advice is to keep a bigger distance than you might normally do back home, be a little more patient, drive a little slower and keep an eye on all 3 mirrors a lot more. I drive cars all over the world and accidents are caused by impatience more than anything else, in every country regardless of which side of the road cars are driven on.
In Budapest its not unusual to see taxi drivers driving on the pavement (sidewalk) up a no entry road the wrong way. Ive seen taxi drivers in Sydney just cruise through red lights as traffic has r.o.w. in the other direction and from side to side. There are great drivers and mad ones everywhere.

7. Posted by fabyomama (Respected Member 560 posts) 7y

Apparently, most mistakes are made when you're pulling out from somewhere like a petrol station. I nearly hit an ambulance in France that way. Still not sure whether that would have been lucky or not.

But you'll get used to it faster than you think, except central London is not the best place. You'll have a difficult time. Easier to park up and go in by tube.

Try not to get flustered, no matter what happens - or who's swearing at you. ;)

[ Edit: Edited on 29-Jul-2009, at 14:31 by fabyomama ]

8. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

Agree with fabyomama, London is not the place to rent a car and drive it around the city. Central London is an old town, navigating there is difficult. Most of the roads where designed when all people travelled on foot or horseback, that means many narrow one-way streets that twist between old brick houses. A few years ago London was horribly congested, so they introduced a steep inner city toll and encouraged people to use the public transport system. If you have ever been in Manhattan, NYC you have some idea what traffic in London is like.

BTW, it is very easy to get an International drivers license. Just contact the AAA and ask.

[ Edit: Edited on 29-Jul-2009, at 23:40 by t_maia ]

9. Posted by bertles86 (Inactive 108 posts) 7y

The city is 100% one-way, don't bother with a car at all just jump on the tube or walk. Most the main tourist sites are walkable...