All the Countries That Drive on the Left Side of the Road

By: Mitch Ryan  | 
London may be one of the first cities that comes to mind when you think of places where people drive on the left, but much of the world drives on that same side of the road. querbeet / Getty Images

Left-side or left-hand traffic may seem backwards for most U.S. drivers, but it's nothing new; in the 17th and 18th centuries, it helped control the flow of horse-drawn carriages on London Bridge. These laws set the trend for many of the world's countries that drive on the left side of the road.

Most countries drive on the right side of the road, which makes sense since most people are right-handed. Many of the lefty-accommodating countries are former British colonies before that have since won their independence. Before renting a car abroad, it always helps to check the driving standards for your destination.


Right-hand traffic actually predates the British Empire by several centuries. Historical findings have proven that this method dates back to Roman times when wagon drivers organized their own traffic system for economic reasons.

Which Side Is the Steering Wheel on to Accommodate Left-Hand Traffic?

When driving abroad, you'll notice that most countries with left-hand vehicles will place the steering wheels on the right side. This driver's seat placement is necessary for a left-hand drive car (LHD car) because it allows drivers to react better to oncoming traffic and see important road signs and speed limits.

Travelers from right-hand-traffic (RHT) countries may find it challenging to adapt to the inverse nature of LHD cars and speed limit signs posted in km/h instead of mph in a European country. However, with some practice (and hopefully some patience from other drivers), switching sides will become easier during your road trip.


Another important difference between right-hand drive (RHD cars) and left-hand drive vehicles is that several pairs of wipers are designed to move moisture from right to left instead of left to right. This operation allows vehicles driving on the left side of the road to shed moisture away from the driver's side.

Many newer wipers use hand-free sensors to trigger movement as they detect the first few raindrops. However, if your LHD car has levers on the sides of the steering wheel, always test them before beginning your road trip as the lights and wipers may be on the opposite side (compared to your own car at home).

The following is a list of some of the left-hand traffic (LHT) countries that are also some of the most popular tourist destinations around the world.


6 European Countries That Practice Left-hand Driving

  1. Channel Islands (including Guernsey and Jersey)
  2. Cyprus
  3. Ireland
  4. Isle of Man
  5. Malta
  6. United Kingdom (including England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)


14 African Countries With Left-side Road Traffic

  1. Botswana
  2. Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland)
  3. Kenya
  4. Lesotho
  5. Malawi
  6. Mauritius
  7. Mozambique
  8. Namibia
  9. Seychelles
  10. South Africa
  11. Tanzania
  12. Uganda
  13. Zambia
  14. Zimbabwe


16 Asian Countries That Drive on the Left-hand Side of the Road:

  1. Bangladesh
  2. Bhutan
  3. Brunei
  4. East Timor
  5. Hong Kong
  6. India
  7. Indonesia
  8. Japan
  9. Macau
  10. Malaysia
  11. Maldives
  12. Nepal
  13. Pakistan
  14. Singapore
  15. Sri Lanka
  16. Thailand


12 South Pacific Countries Where You'll Drive a Left-hand Car

  1. Australia (and its territories, including Christmas Island, Cocos Islands and Norfolk Island)
  2. Fiji
  3. Kiribati
  4. Nauru
  5. New Zealand (and its territories, including Cook Islands and Tokelau)
  6. Niue
  7. Pitcairn Islands
  8. Papua New Guinea
  9. Samoa
  10. Solomon Islands
  11. Tonga
  12. Tuvalu


21 Other Countries and Territories That Practice Left-Hand Driving

  1. Anguilla
  2. Antigua and Barbuda
  3. Bahamas
  4. Barbados
  5. Bermuda
  6. British Virgin Islands
  7. Cayman Islands
  8. Dominica
  9. Falkland Islands
  10. Grenada
  11. Guyana
  12. Jamaica
  13. Montserrat
  14. Saint Helena
  15. Saint Kitts and Nevis
  16. Saint Lucia
  17. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  18. Suriname
  19. Trinidad and Tobago
  20. Turks and Caicos
  21. United States Virgin Islands