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Left hand drive hire car - will I be ok?

(16 Posts)
shaggedthruahedgebackwards Fri 06-Oct-17 23:40:16

We have a family trip to France booked later this year and it's looking distinctly likely that DH won't be able to join us as he can't have the time off work.

My main concern about going without him is that I would be the driver for the duration of the trip and I'm especially scared about driving the hire car from the airport to our destination.

I am a competent and experienced driver when in the UK but I have an irrational dislike of driving on the 'wrong side of the road'. I will drive in France on long trips to give DH a break but I'm always slightly on edge. I've only ever driven our own car in France before when we have gone via tunnel or ferry. When we have flown and hired a car, DH has always driven.

Will I be ok driving a LHD car, having never driven one before straight from the airport (which is on the outskirts of a city so roads quite busy)?

It will be daylight thankfully when we arrive

ShatnersBassoon Fri 06-Oct-17 23:43:21

You'll be fine. It just takes a bit more brain effort, and you'll keep touching the door when you want to change gear, but it's really not as scary as it seems.

Migraleve Fri 06-Oct-17 23:43:52

Yes. I spent weeks worrying about this and it literally took 3 gear changes to adjust to it!

Purpleball Fri 06-Oct-17 23:44:06

I did this the first time a few years ago. I’d recommend taking a sat nap with you that has the maps on. It’s helpful for exits off motorways, roundabouts and generally getting about. Means you can concentrate on driving and not finding where you’re going

Purpleball Fri 06-Oct-17 23:44:30

*satnav!

notacooldad Fri 06-Oct-17 23:44:50

You will find that you will adapt really quick.
It's easier to drive in a left hand car in a country that is set up for left hand drive than driving your own! ( I have found anyway)

shaggedthruahedgebackwards Fri 06-Oct-17 23:46:49

Thanks all that makes me feel a lot better

Luckily we've done this trip several times so I am reasonably confident with the route it is just driving the car that terrifies me!

Teds77 Sat 07-Oct-17 09:28:37

Some how it just makes sense to be in a left hand drive car when you are left hand driving - you'll be fine.

I always find the first half an hour or so the more stressful - possibly because you are leaving an airport with lots of roads etc - so just make sure you have the first bit of your first journey planned out. So take map or route print outs or just take a few mins to zoom out on satnav and familiarise yourself with the journey.

Teds77 Sat 07-Oct-17 09:29:14

Sorry - just read your update. If you know the route you will be absolutely fine!

somewhereovertherain Tue 10-Oct-17 05:40:47

You’ll be fine remember steering wheel to the white line.

Nowwhyareyoucrying Tue 10-Oct-17 06:28:01

Always keep your passenger on the pavement!! Great advice from Grandpa Nowwhy grin

It's fine, apart from getting in the wrong side and touching the door for the first few gear changes. Follow the traffic and concentrate on quiet roundabouts.

donajimena Tue 10-Oct-17 06:31:34

nowwhy another good one to remember is that the driver should always be in the middle of the road (when on single track) much easier having a left hand drive

aliceinwanderland Tue 10-Oct-17 06:34:27

I always drive the car park at least 3 times before hitting the road! Probably look a little insane but I need that time to adapt , especially if driving on the other side of the road.

shaggedthruahedgebackwards Tue 10-Oct-17 11:37:43

Thanks for the extra tips

Unfortunately the area where you collect hire cars at Geneva airport is a multi story with a one way system and very narrow spaces between rows or parked cars so doing a few laps of the car park first probably not possible!

GrockleBocs Tue 10-Oct-17 11:41:47

Bizarrely I find it easier to drive a LHD car abroad on busy roads than quiet roads because it gives you visual cues. I would suggest an auto or semi auto over manual to remove the issue of trying to change gear with the arm rest though

JigglyTuff Tue 10-Oct-17 11:42:15

I know that very car park! You'll be fine honestly - the car park will be the worst bit of it. Once you're out on the road, particularly on the motorway bit, your brain will quickly adjust to the slow lane being on the right rather than the left.

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