5 Tips for Driving on the Left When You Take Your Australian Road Trip

Most countries in the word drive on the right, including all of those in North America, Central America, and Continental Europe. If you're visiting Australia from one of those countries and want to take a road trip, you're going to have to get used to driving your rental vehicle on the left-hand side of the road. Just follow the 5 tips listed below to keep yourself safe.

1. Go with an Automatic

When you drive on the left-hand side of the road, your driver's seat will be on the right-hand side of the vehicle. This will mean that the gear shift will be on the opposite side that you're used to, so you might not be able to use it as effectively as normal. Getting an automatic is a good idea since this won't be something that you have to worry about.

2. Rent a Similar Car to Your Own

If you have a car of your own back home, try to rent something similar for your Australian road trip. You'll then be more familiar with the sight lines, blind-spots, and manoeuvrability of your rental vehicle. It might be worth shopping around rental agencies to find one that has something similar.  

3. Choose the Right Time

First things first, make sure you have a good night's sleep before picking up your vehicle; trying to adjust to driving on the left after stepping off a long-distance flight could be a recipe for disaster. However, this isn't the only timing issue to consider. If possible, try to pick your car up between around 10am and 4pm. You'll avoid both the morning and evening rushes as commuters travel home, but you won't be forced to drive around in the dark.

4. Start Away from Cities

When you're planning your road trip, try putting locations that are far away from cities at the top of the list. For example, heading along the Great Ocean Road at the start of your trip is going to be easier than spending a few days navigating the streets of Melbourne if you're trying to get used to driving on the left.

5. Take Time to Reacclimatise

Once you return home, remember that you might need an hour or two before the wheel to get used to driving on the right again. You should be able to fall back into the habit fairly quickly, but a few weeks of driving on the left can still throw people at first when their guard is down.