Why do we drive on the left hand side in the UK?

It’s a question that has long vexed many drivers. Why on earth is it that in the UK, we drive on the side of the road opposite to virtually...

It’s a question that has long vexed many drivers. Why on earth is it that in the UK, we drive on the side of the road opposite to virtually everyone else?

What’s intriguing is that actually, that’s not the case. Plenty of other global countries drive on the left, but you have to be a seasoned traveller to have visited the whole lot, and not all are well-known.

This excellent map shows up some of the details of which countries share the UK desire to drive on the left. Among them are many African states, some territories in South America and a vast number of places in Asia.

The news may come as a shock to those who thought left-hand driving was confined to UK shores alone. But it’s all really very simple.

A great many of the countries which drive on the left today are simply former British colonies, just as, many of the cars for sale in the UK come from former colonies too.

That makes a lot of sense, as once roads are built, and a great many were built by the British, there’s little point in going to the trouble of tearing them all down so you can drive on the opposite side.

A little imagination points to the issue; if you want to change the road infrastructure within a country, you have to change literally every metre of road, every traffic light, roundabout, junction and slip road that has ever been built.

Doing so would be a project of massive scope, and ironically it would probably be one of the most pointless projects in history too.

The simple fact is, for those buying used cars in the UK, or anywhere else for that matter, learning to drive on the opposite side, from time to time, is a really useful skill.

It enables you to explore interesting parts of the world, see different cultures, and learn about fascinating new elements of society as well.

There is no way every road is ever going to be dug up, so we Brits can enjoy the pleasure of always driving on the left. But do shake up your tactics and learn to drive on the right, now and then. You won’t regret it!

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Cars
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