right drive vs. left drive

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by solarsell, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. solarsell

    solarsell Guest

    I'm thinking of importing a Toyota Townace 5-spd, diesel from GB to the US.
    I'm wondering how difficult it would be to adjust to the left drive.With
    right drive you brake & gas with right foot, clutch with left. Is left drive
    the exact opposite (brake & gas with left & clutch right)? That could get
    really mind boggling.
    solarsell, Dec 5, 2006
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  2. solarsell

    DervMan Guest

    No, they have the same pedal arrangement.

    If you have a manual / stick / standard transmission, you may find yourself
    trying to open the door when changing gear. :)

    You'll also find yourself looking in the wrong spots for the mirrors for a
    little bit.
    DervMan, Dec 5, 2006
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  3. solarsell

    Jeremy Brown Guest

    Ask a postal worker what it is like to drive a right hand drive vehicle in
    the US :).

    Also remember that the US has different safety requirements for cars than
    Europe and that to be able to register and drive a car designed for the UK
    market in the US, you may need to make some upgrade to the vehicle.
    Depending on what state, e.g. California or Massachusetts, you may need to
    do some emissions work.
    Jeremy Brown, Dec 5, 2006
  4. solarsell

    Roadie Guest

    The conversion to driving on the "passenger side" isn't all that
    difficult. Mail delivery guys do it all the time. However as others
    mentioned, you should check into how much it will cost to bring the car
    into compliance with U.S. standards for safety and lighting before
    putting the car on a boat. I'm less clear about whether there are
    special emisisons standards for diesel engines, but you should check
    that out as well.
    Roadie, Dec 5, 2006
  5. solarsell

    James Sweet Guest

    It isn't terribly hard to get used to, but it sure feels weird the first
    couple times you ride in or drive one.

    You might have a real hard time getting the car legal in the US. Right
    off the bat you'll need to find replacement headlights since the RHD
    beam pattern is different. Do they make a LHD version of the car for
    other European markets?
    James Sweet, Dec 6, 2006
  6. solarsell

    dave Guest

    Having experienced a mitsu truck import, I'm not too sure why you would want
    to do this. A second hand Caravan would be quite sufficient, and cheaper in
    the long run. You can drive the thing at less than 25 mph and call it a
    farm vehicle. If you want to drive it on the road otherwise will require
    EPA clearance, which is quite pricey. The vehicle will also have to be
    inspected by the state police folks, whoever they call themselves where you
    are at in the US. Should you go ahead with this, let us know how it goes.

    dave, Dec 6, 2006
  7. solarsell

    Henry Guest

    Not to mention activating the windscreen wiper when what you really want
    to do is indicate a turn! :)


    Henry, Dec 6, 2006
  8. My mother had a left-drive 1970 Renault; when I signaled for a right turn I
    turned the headlights off! Ah, but that takes me back. One of my brothers
    rolled the car over on a freeway ramp - unrestrained swing axles on the rear
    of that beast - so the garage replaced the roof with the only one available.
    It became an R-10 with an R-8 roof. One day she parked it and came out to
    find it parked beside an R-8 with an R-10 roof! I recall it also had a hand
    crank for starting if the battery died....


    Michael Pardee, Dec 6, 2006
  9. solarsell

    Elder Guest

    a lot of "European spec" cars can have thier lights aimed to dip
    correctly either by manual adjust or even from the ECU these days. Even
    jap ones. Not sure about the townace though being a people
    carrier/SUV/Minivan type of thing.
    Elder, Dec 6, 2006
  10. solarsell

    solarsell Guest

    I'm beginning to see the obstacles are not insignificant. I was thinking it
    would be sort of like the promotions Volvo and some other Euro makers had
    where you buy it in Europe while you're on "vacation" and bring it home with
    you to the US but I guess this is a different kettle of fish. My goal is to
    end up with a Vege/Diesel van or wagon (or estate or saloon or whatever you
    call it over there). Well, I guess it's back to the VW Vanagon then.
    solarsell, Dec 8, 2006
  11. solarsell

    James Sweet Guest

    It's a different deal. When you buy a Euro delivery car, you're buying a
    US spec car straight from the factory, not a European spec car.
    James Sweet, Dec 9, 2006
  12. solarsell

    Inno Guest

    I was reading an article in the paper last week about an industry in
    South America (Chile maybe?) where they import used cars from Japans
    (right-hand wheel) and tear them apart to move the steering wheel to
    the "normal" side of the car. Photos showed the interior of the car
    completely torn apart.

    I guess these mechanics are quick and cheap enough to make it
    Inno, Dec 9, 2006
  13. solarsell

    DervMan Guest

    Normal side? But in Japan, the UK and a few other regions, driving on the
    left is the normal side...
    DervMan, Dec 9, 2006
  14. solarsell

    - Bob - Guest

    What are you talking about? It's a freakish aberration of nature!
    - Bob -, Dec 9, 2006
  15. solarsell

    DervMan Guest

    It's about time the British invaded and colonised North America and Europe
    to put things the way they should be.

    Oh, wait. As you were. :p
    DervMan, Dec 9, 2006
  16. It's the same deal when trying to import a car into Australia which isn't
    already RHD. Not only that though - there's all the other special compliance
    rules (called ADR's or Australian Design Rules) which all motor vehicles
    must meet based on the year of manufacture, and a few other criteria.

    Craig's Saab C900 Site, Dec 10, 2006
  17. solarsell

    john Guest

    you'll find a fair few places drive on the left....

    Anguilla Antigua & Barbuda Australia Bahamas Bangladesh Barbados Bermuda
    Bhutan Bophuthatswana Botswana British Virgin Islands Brunei Cayman Islands
    Channel Islands Ciskei Cyprus Dominica Falkland Islands Fiji Grenada Guyana
    Hong Kong India Indonesia Ireland Jamaica Japan Kenya Lesotho Macau Malawi
    Malaysia Malta Mauritius Montserrat Mozambique Namibia Nepal New Zealand
    Pakistan Papua New Guinea St. Vincent & Grenadines Seychelles Sikkim
    Singapore Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa Sri Lanka St Kitts & Nevis
    St. Helena St. Lucia Surinam Swaziland Tanzania Thailand Tonga Trinidad &
    Tobago Uganda United Kingdom US Virgin Islands Venda Zambia Zimbabwe
    john, Dec 10, 2006
  18. solarsell

    DervMan Guest

    As I understand, some of the above also feature in the "drive on the right"
    list too, like India, meh.
    DervMan, Dec 10, 2006
  19. solarsell

    Nel Guest

    This story is true, however it is Bolivia importing cars through the
    tollfree zone of Iquique, Chile. Story is this: Iquique is a tollfree
    port, and thousands of used cars from around the world are imported to
    the latin american continent trough this port. Bolivia is in the
    backland of this port, and being the poorest of south american
    countries, Bolivians import cars, mainly to serve as colectivos (cheap
    collective taxis). The cheapest used cars on the market are old run
    down cars from asian countries, the RHD's are even cheaper, because
    there are less markets to sell them to. Probably there's a road law
    forbidding RHD cars, so the Bolivians rebuild them to LHD's in an
    amateuristic way, and drive them till they fall apart. They look
    really funny, with the dash still on the right, but the steering wheel
    sticking onto the interior in the left sid through the (former) glove
    Nel, Dec 10, 2006
  20. solarsell

    MH Guest

    As I understand, some of the above also feature in the "drive on the right"
    That is correct, as in some countries it does not really seem to matter on what
    side you drive... any side is the right side.
    MH, Dec 11, 2006
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