Tips, Tricks & Trends

Where Do People Use Right-Hand Drive?

There was a time when I was a rural US Postal Mail carrier. At that time, I became very familiar with the need to have right-hand drive vehicles – mailboxes are on the right side of the road. But aside from the parcel delivery services and automotive collectors, there’s very little need to have a right-hand drive vehicle in the United States. But, every once in a while, something on Youtube or television will have a right-hand drive car appear. So, that begs the question, what countries require a right-hand drive system to drive on the left side of the road?

Right-hand drive cars are available in the United States

The view of the road from inside a right-hand drive vehicle.
View of coach from interior of right-hand drive vehicle | Tim Graham/Getty Images

The United States has left-hand drive vehicles to drive on the right side of the road. However, vehicles over twenty-five years can be imported to the country. Those vehicles can also be right-hand drive. Aside from mail carriers, though, there really isn’t a need for the vehicles. But, if importing one, or driving one for the postal service is not enough, there are conversion kits available to swap the drive side. They can, however, be very rudimentary.

In many other nations, however, you will find cars that are made for right-hand drive straight from the factory. So, the integration is proper and of high quality, versus a kit that might be dependent on the mechanical skill of the shade-tree installer. Common for many of those nations that require the steering wheel on the right is a connection to the United Kingdom. If the country has been a UK territory or colony, the likelihood is high that right-hand drive is the norm. Some of those nations follow.  

Australia and New Zealand use right-hand drive cars

Australia and New Zealand are nations that are famous for their car culture. They are also famous for having right-sided steering wheel vehicles, and driving on the left. As mentioned before, this comes from their historic UK influence. 

The island nations of the Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman and the Falkland

These islands have all had some influence from England. As such, they also have adopted the right-hand drive systems, left lane driving system as their own. 

Fiji drivers use right-hand drive

Fiji is another popular vacation destination. The country that has a strong British influence as well. So, it follows that their automotive preference is also like the United Kingdom. Fiji uses right-hand drive vehicles to drive on the left.

RELATED: Why We Drive on the Right (or Wrong) Side of the Road

India, Japan, Cyprus, South Africa, and Malta

The nations of India, Japan, Cyprus, South Africa, and Malta all have the requirements of right-sided steering vehicles and left lane driving. Interestingly, Japan has never been a part of British rule. However, the country received technical aid in building its railway infrastructure from Britain. So, the influence was none-the-less felt and eventually led to Japan becoming a right-hand drive nation. 

In all, nearly a third of the world drives with a right-sided steering system and left lane driving. So, the list above is by no means comprehensive. It is a shortlist that only outlines a few of the larger nations or popular vacation destinations. A fuller list is available. You can click here.