International Driving Customs

BY Beth Williams

The question of which side of the road people drive on in various countries arises from time to time which is why the below list came about.  This is a fairly comprehensive list which has been compiled by multiple contributors over the years.

The reasons for choosing one side of the road over another, as well as the reasons for the original choice and the motivations for changing sides is not known. In Europe and the Americas, it seems that left-hand driving was originally the general rule; this was legislated by papal decree in or about 1300. France changed to the right under Robespierre as a gesture of independence from the popes, and when Napoleon later conquered much of Europe, the conquered countries were made to change sides and they never went back. The United States of America drove on the left when they were British colonies, and gradually changed sides of the road beginning in 1792. Driving preferences of most countries which have been colonies of European countries can be traced back to their colonial masters — for example, most former British colonies drive on the left, with the notable exception of the USA.

The USA once drove on the left. Most people in the USA don’t realize this, but the United States of America drove on the left when they were settled by Europeans — they were, after all, British colonies and of course adopted British driving practices. The native Americans already on the continent presumably either had no preference established and/or were not involved in the decision.

Well enough about the history – now to why you came to read this article.

Great International Driving Tips Resource

Learn about local road rules when visiting a new place or foreign country by visiting the website of the national transport authority. If you’re planning to rent a car in Europe, AA publishes some great advice. Also, ask the car-rental company about any unusual road rules you should know about (in New Zealand, for example, left-turning traffic must give way to opposing right-turning traffic, which is completely counterintuitive for American drivers).



Drive on the right-hand side of the road (and mostly the driver sits on the left side of the car).


Drive on the left-hand side of the road (and mostly the driver sits on the right side of the car).

R, L

As above, but unconfirmed reports, unsure, or guesses.

Unknown to me so far.


Pretty much uninhabited or no convention established.

R Afghanistan
R Albania
R Algeria
R Andorra
R Angola
L Anguilla
L Antigua and Barbuda
R Argentina
R Armenia
L Australia
R Austria
R Azerbaijan
L Bahamas
R Bahrain
L Bangladesh
L Barbados
R Belarus
R Belgium
R Belize
R Benin
L Bermuda
L Bhutan
R Bolivia
R Bosnia and Herzegovina
L Botswana
R Brazil
L Brunei
R Bulgaria
R Burkina Faso
R Burma
R Burundi
R Cambodia
R Cameroon
R Canada
R Cape Verde
R Central African Republic
R Chad
R Chile
R China, People’s Republic of (Mainland China)
R Colombia
R Comoros
R Congo
L Cook Islands
R Costa Rica
R Croatia
R Cuba
L Cyprus
R Czech Republic
R Denmark
R Djibouti
L Dominica
R Dominican Republic
R Ecuador
R Egypt
R El Salvador
R Equatorial Guinea
R Eritrea
R Estonia
R Ethiopia
L Fiji
R Finland
R France
R French Guiana
R French Polynesia
R Gabon
R Gambia, The
r Gaza Strip
R Georgia
R Germany
R Ghana
R Gibraltar
R Greece
L Grenada
R Guadeloupe
R Guam
R Guatemala
L Guernsey
R Guinea
R Guinea-Bissau
L Guyana
R Haiti
R Honduras
L Hong Kong
R Hungary
R Iceland
L India
L Indonesia
R Iran
R Iraq
L Ireland
R Israel
l Isle of Man
R Italy
R Ivory Coast
L Jamaica
L Japan
R Jordan
R Kazakhstan
L Kenya
l Kiribati
R Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of (North Korea)
R Korea, Republic of (South Korea)
R Kuwait
R Kyrgyzstan
R Laos
R Latvia
R Lebanon
L Lesotho
R Liberia
R Libya
R Liechtenstein
R Lithuania
R Luxembourg
L Macau
R Macedonia
R Madagascar
L Malawi
L Malaysia
l Maldives
R Mali
L Malta
R Marshall Islands
R Martinique
R Mauritania
L Mauritius
R Mexico
R Micronesia, Federated States of
R Moldova
R Monaco
R Mongolia
R Morocco
L Mozambique
L Namibia
l Nauru
L Nepal
R Netherlands
R New Caledonia
L New Zealand
R Nicaragua
R Niger
R Nigeria
R Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan)
R Norway
R Oman
L Pakistan
R Panama
L Papua New Guinea
R Paraguay
R Peru
R Philippines
R Poland
R Portugal
R Puerto Rico
R Qatar
R Reunion
R Romania
R Russia
R Rwanda
L Saint Kitts and Nevis
L Saint Lucia
L Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
R San Marino
R Sao Tome e Principe
R Saudi Arabia
R Senegal
L Seychelles
R Sierra Leone
L Singapore
R Slovakia
R Slovenia
L Solomon Islands
L Somalia
L South Africa
R Spain
L Sri Lanka
R Sudan
L Suriname
L Swaziland
R Sweden
R Switzerland
R Syria
R Taiwan (Republic of China)
R Tajikistan
L Tanzania
L Thailand
R Togo
L Tonga
L Trinidad and Tobago
R Tunisia
R Turkey
R Turkmenistan
l Turks and Caicos Islands
l Tuvalu
L Uganda
R Ukraine
R United Arab Emirates
L United Kingdom
R United States
R Uruguay
R Uzbekistan
R Vanuatu
R Venezuela
R Vietnam
L Virgin Islands (British)
L Virgin Islands (US)
r Wallis and Futuna Islands [Fr.]
r West Bank
R Western Sahara (ex Spanish Sahara)
R Western Samoa
R Yemen
R Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)
R Zaire
L Zambia
L Zimbabwe


Right Side Drivers Left Side Drivers
Afghanistan 22,664,136
Albania 3,249,136
Algeria 29,183,032
Andorra 72,766
Angola 10,342,899
Argentina 34,672,997
Armenia 3,463,574
Austria 8,023,244
Azerbaijan 7,676,953
Bahrain 590,042
Belarus 10,415,973
Belgium 10,170,241
Belize 219,296
Benin 5,709,529
Bolivia 7,165,257
Bosnia and Herzegov. 2,656,240
Brazil 162,661,214
Bulgaria 8,612,757
Burkina Faso 10,623,323
Burma 45,975,625
Burundi 5,943,057
Cambodia 10,861,218
Cameroon 14,261,557
Canada 28,820,671
Cape Verde 449,066
Central African 3,274,426
Chad 6,976,845
Chile 14,333,258
China, Mainland 1,210,004,956
China, Taiwan 21,465,881
Colombia 36,813,161
Comoros 569,237
Congo 2,527,841
Costa Rica 3,463,083
Croatia 5,004,112
Cuba 10,951,334
Czech Republic 10,321,120
Denmark 5,249,632
Djibouti 427,642
Dominican Republic 8,088,881
Ecuador 11,466,291
Egypt 63,575,107
El Salvador 5,828,987
Equatorial Guinea 431,282
Eritrea 3,909,628
Estonia 1,459,428
Ethiopia 57,171,662
Finland 5,105,230
France 58,040,988
Gabon 1,172,798
Gambia, The 1,204,984
Gaza Strip 923,940
Georgia 5,219,810
Germany 83,536,115
Ghana 17,698,271
Gibraltar 28,765
Greece 10,538,594
Guam 156,974
Guatemala 11,277,614
Guinea 7,411,981
Guinea-Bissau 1,151,330
Haiti 6,731,539
Honduras 5,605,193
Hungary 10,002,541
Iceland 270,292
Iran 66,094,264
Iraq 21,422,292
Israel 5,421,995
Italy 57,460,274
Ivory Coast 14,762,445
Jordan 4,212,152
Kazakstan 16,916,463
Kuwait 1,950,047
Kyrgyzstan 4,529,648
Laos 4,975,772
Latvia 2,468,982
Lebanon 3,776,317
Liberia 2,109,789
Libya 5,445,436
Liechtenstein 31,122
Lithuania 3,646,041
Luxembourg 415,870
Macedonia 2,104,035
Madagascar 13,670,507
Mali 9,653,261
Marshall Islands 58,363
Mauritania 2,336,048
Mexico 95,772,462
Micronesia 125,377
Moldova 4,463,847
Monaco 31,719
Mongolia 2,496,617
Morocco 29,779,156
Netherlands 15,568,034
Nicaragua 4,272,352
Niger 9,113,001
Nigeria 103,912,489
North Korea 23,904,124
Northern Mariana 52,284
Norway 4,383,807
Oman 2,186,548
Panama 2,655,094
Paraguay 5,504,146
Peru 24,523,408
Philippines 74,480,848
Poland 38,642,565
Portugal 9,865,114
Qatar 547,761
Romania 21,657,162
Russia 148,178,487
Rwanda 6,853,359
San Marino 24,521
Sao Tome 144,128
Saudi Arabia 19,409,058
Senegal 9,092,749
Serbia 9,979,116
Sierra Leone 4,793,121
Slovakia 5,374,362
Slovenia 1,951,443
South Korea 45,482,291
Spain 39,181,114
Sudan 31,065,229
Sweden 8,900,954
Switzerland 7,207,060
Syria 15,608,648
Tajikistan 5,916,373
Togo 4,570,530
Tunisia 9,019,687
Turkey 62,484,478
Turkmenistan 4,149,283
Ukraine 50,864,009
United Arab Emirates 3,057,337
United States 265,562,845
Uruguay 3,238,952
Uzbekistan 23,418,381
Vanuatu 177,504
Venezuela 21,983,188
Vietnam 73,976,973
Wallis and Futuna 14,659
West Bank 1,427,741
Western Sahara 222,631
Western Samoa 214,384
Yemen 13,483,178
Zaire 46,498,539
Anguilla 10,424
Antigua and Barbuda 65,647
Australia 18,260,863
Bahamas, The 259,367
Bangladesh 123,062,800
Barbados 257,030
Bermuda 62,099
Bhutan 1,822,625
Botswana 1,477,630
British Virgin Islands 13,195
Brunei 299,939
Cook Islands 19,561
Cyprus 744,609
Dominica 82,926
Fiji 782,381
Grenada 94,961
Guernsey 62,920
Guyana 712,091
Hong Kong 6,305,413
India 952,107,694
Indonesia 206,611,600
Ireland 3,566,833
Jamaica 2,595,275
Japan 125,449,703
Kenya 28,176,686
Kiribati 80,919
Lesotho 1,970,781
Macau 496,837
Malawi 9,452,844
Malaysia 19,962,893
Maldives 270,758
Malta 375,576
Mauritius 1,140,256
Mozambique 17,877,927
Namibia 1,677,243
Nauru 10,273
Nepal 22,094,033
New Zealand 3,547,983
Pakistan 129,275,660
Papua New Guinea 4,394,537
Saint Kitts and Nevis 41,369
Saint Lucia 157,862
Saint Vincent 118,344
Seychelles 77,575
Singapore 3,396,924
Solomon Islands 412,902
Somalia 9,639,151
South Africa 41,743,459
Sri Lanka 18,553,074
Suriname 436,418
Swaziland 998,730
Tanzania 29,058,470
Thailand 58,851,357
Trinidad and Tobago 1,272,385
Turks and Caicos Islands 14,302
Tuvalu 10,146
Uganda 20,158,176
United Kingdom 58,489,975
Virgin Island 97,120