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Author Topic: Left Hand drive  (Read 5195 times)
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« on: 02 May, 2007, 12:42:22 PM »

Suppose its a bit late to ask the question Shocked but having just bought a left hand drive s3 Fulvia from Italy ,I was wondering if it a bit of a pain driving in UK and Ireland or is it fairly irrelevant.I'd imagine the only problem is overtaking on a narrow road where getting a view ahead could be tricky,but other than that what do you think?
« Reply #1 on: 02 May, 2007, 12:56:22 PM »

My last 3 cars have been LHD (smart City Coupe, smart Roadster and current Lancia Ypsilon).  Having lived in Italy with both LHD and RHD company cars I'd become used to swapping sides and driving close to the kerb.

Yes, it is irritating when you're stuck behind a slow moving tractor, but to be honest it's not a very common occurrence.  I don't think I actually overtake very much, so in that respect it's not a big issue.  My daily commute is along the M54, where it makes no difference if you use your mirrors properly.

The most annoying aspect of LHD is when using the M6 Toll pay booths and at car park barriers, made worse by the fact that neither of my windows open at the moment.  I usually get out and run around the car!

One benefit is that you are always nearer the kerb when you get out.

Rebel Poster
Posts: 989

« Reply #2 on: 02 May, 2007, 01:01:33 PM »

Not a problem at all, I have a S2 Fulvia which I drove from 1984 to 1991 every day and hopefully again soon, you have excellent visibility in a Fulvia just give yourself a good view of the road ahead and check traffic which may be to your right on a dual carriageway/motorway, with good brakes and lively acceleration it should be fine, you will get used it a day or two!  Neil


1973 Fulvia S2 1.3
Rebel Poster
Posts: 989

« Reply #3 on: 02 May, 2007, 01:02:48 PM »

Good point about the car barriers/toll booths - take a passenger!


1973 Fulvia S2 1.3
« Reply #4 on: 02 May, 2007, 02:29:22 PM »

Good point about the car barriers/toll booths - take a passenger!
Or buy one of those childrens beach nets on a bamboo stick Wink
Rebel Poster
Posts: 723

« Reply #5 on: 02 May, 2007, 02:40:48 PM »

I have also had LHD and RHD fulvias.
Fairly useless fact number 1 and a positive point; the heater controls are "somewhat" less likely to give problems in a LHD fulvia than a RHD.If you dismantle both, you see that the design was for a lhd car and for the rhd they simply twisted them through a much more unnatural angle which is why the inner steel wires are more likely to stick and disengage when used in the push direction in rhd models.They all can give problems though and it doesn't help any with the heater valve though once that starts corroding.Happy LHDriving
« Reply #6 on: 02 May, 2007, 05:48:46 PM »

Same comment as everyone else. Overtaking on B roads a bit of a pain at times, and car park barriers. However, the fear that they will go back down by the time you get back in is unfounded - in my experience. I'm on my 4th LHD - Thema 3.0 LX, Barchetta, Kappa saloon and K Coupe. Would buy another LHD without a second thought.
Posts: 85

« Reply #7 on: 02 May, 2007, 08:13:31 PM »

I drove an integrale everyday for 2.5 years. Tickets/Tolls are not a problem - just be ultra cool and get out and walk around. The only time that I felt uncomfortable was when in urban areas and behind a bus that stops for passengers. The only sensible thing to do is keep waaaaay back so that you can have some visibilty if you want to overtake. The alternative is to sit and wait for the bus to move on. Unfortunately both of these actions tend to wind up the drivers behind you who don't understand your predicament. Again its just a case of being cool.  Never take a chance.

m tulloch
Posts: 206

« Reply #8 on: 02 May, 2007, 08:48:56 PM »

Leo, you should be able to get past most things in an Integrale. I know I can!!!
Senior Member
Posts: 195

« Reply #9 on: 02 May, 2007, 09:33:58 PM »

ALL my cars are lefties, as is the wife's car, both my race cars, even the tow truck

Lost count of how many lefties I've been through, but currently own 5 road legal lefties, 2 race car lefties and 4 more lefties non longer for road use

Have not bought a right hand drive car since 1997!

Get out and walk round for barriers/tolls/etc - with the smart I can just about lean across

2000 kappa coupe 20vt
1996 kappa saloon 20vt race car
the "Yntegrale"
1999 Lotus Elise S1
2016 Mercedes CLA45 Shooting Break

Y10 Advisor
Non-LMC Seller
Rebel Poster
Posts: 827

« Reply #10 on: 02 May, 2007, 11:03:45 PM »

I drive a Lybra everyday, and I tend to find that most other drivers stay close to the centre line, while I stay close to the kerb.  I look down the inside when looking to overtake.  I also look 'through' other cars, i.e. look at the road ahead through the windows of the car in front.  The only problem is when trying to pass trucks and the ever increasing number of MPV's and 4X4's.  I just hang back, look at the road ahead, and then accelerate sooner to pass safely.  Saying this, I would now only buy left hand drive out of choice!

Stuart Wilson 11175
1973 Fulvia Coupe 1.3
2000 Lybra SW 2.4JTd
2009 Delta 1.9 Twin Turbo
Permanent resident
Posts: 2671

« Reply #11 on: 03 May, 2007, 11:33:51 AM »

It's an advantage with a double garage and one left and one right hand right car Smiley

Agree about buses - I got caught once and now just hand back !

It's also good for your brain swapping sides - good mental exercise !

Another thing is that the ignition keys are on the inside of the car so less likely to be pinched and if you have anything on the passenger seat that's also more secure !

Reversing takes more getting used to as I look over the other shoulder.

Easier to ask for directions when lost !


Steve Pilgrim

1993 Delta HF integrale Evo II (Hammond's Icon - No.4)
« Reply #12 on: 03 May, 2007, 12:42:27 PM »

All of the above!

I've only found myself scrabbling at the door once whilst trying to change gear. It's remarkable how quickly you adjust to driving on the "wrong side". Overtaking on single-carriageway is challenging, but given that the Ypsi is:
a) a small car with a small engine (comparatively!)
b) really comfy to drive
then my approach is to slow down and enjoy the drive. I find myself driving everywhere with a terrible sense of urgency in my Dedra, but there's a whole different mindset with the Ypsilon.

I'm guessing you'll be taking things easier with a Fulvia in comparison to the Integrales....?!
Rebel Poster
Posts: 950


« Reply #13 on: 05 June, 2007, 12:15:29 PM »

Whats all the fuss about!! JUST DRIVE ON THE RIGHT! Grin Grin  Everyone is pleased to see you and waves!!

Triumph Bonneville t120v 1972
1958 Series 2 Appia berlina
« Reply #14 on: 23 June, 2007, 01:00:01 AM »

I've only just realised that I've owned more LHD cars than RHD.

I'm sometimes concerned about kerbing the EVO especially since the track is really wide - the wheel arches are the same - or near as almost as the wing mirrors!!!! so it can be a bit hairy on really tight, busy London roads but really once you are used to it its no problem. I have learned pass according to the width of my car and take things slowly and had a few lessons with a tape measure and an empty car park.

But 'normal driving' is not much of a problem and I can switch really easily between LHD & RHD and driving in Italy - though I have never driven a RHD car there. You just learn to drive on a different part of the road and being a careful driver, I don't drive too close to other cars anyway. I'm always wary about buses though, even in RHD cars - they are so dangerous and people pull out regardless of where your steering wheel is.

Overtaking bikes is a lot safer for the bikers I've found though.

As for wing mirrors, I have adjusted the one on the right hand side to accommodate the blind spot a little better, as well as using it to see the road behind. A small movement of the head is sometimes required though to get the all the right viewing angles but if I'm performing a manouver I always check everything anyway. A habit you might need to get used to if you are a lazy RHD driver.  I use being stuck in traffic to check as cars approaching me in the right hand lane. That way I can check the blind spot and the get a good view of the road behind and get the mirror just right. A bit of a trick to get right! But very comforting when you get it right. But a quick look over my shoulder just to make sure when changing lanes is absolutly essential and no subsitute to wing mirrors.

'Fanalona' on the other hand has only ever been driven in Italy and my biggest problem was which way to look when approaching a junction - what I've figured is that I first look on the side that the steering wheel is supposed to be for in that country. Its amazing how one doesn't appreciate which way to look when approaching a junction and what a habit it is when you only ever drive in this country.

I hope I've covered most of my experiences driving LHD. The one thing I would finally say is that I most certainly wouldn't allow a LHD car stop me from ownership although I must say I did think about it before I took the plunge.

One trick I am going to try is to get out at supermarket car parks, airports, tolls &c. Thanks for that one a much better idea  Smiley

In any case, I've always had happy motoring and I wish you the same.

« Last Edit: 23 June, 2007, 01:04:03 AM by FanaloneMan » Logged
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