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buz
05-11-2013, 10:26 PM
I'm planning a trip across the Atlantic from the US...

After staring at a plethora of bus/train timetables for many hours, and realizing that several places I want to go to are not...as accessible as I'd like them to be, it suddenly hit me that I'm old enough to rent a car now. :p

But. Uhhh...I'm scared. It's a driving-on-the-left sort of place. I have those moments where I'm not really thinking about what I'm doing, and if I go right when I'm supposed to go left, everyone dies.

Or something.

But people do this all the time, yes? I strongly suspect this is one of those times when I'm all concerned about nothing...

unless everyone dies. :P

Does it take long to get used to the switch?

cornflake
05-11-2013, 10:36 PM
I'm planning a trip across the Atlantic from the US...

After staring at a plethora of bus/train timetables for many hours, and realizing that several places I want to go to are not...as accessible as I'd like them to be, it suddenly hit me that I'm old enough to rent a car now. :p

But. Uhhh...I'm scared. It's a driving-on-the-left sort of place. I have those moments where I'm not really thinking about what I'm doing, and if I go right when I'm supposed to go left, everyone dies.

Or something.

But people do this all the time, yes? I strongly suspect this is one of those times when I'm all concerned about nothing...

unless everyone dies. :P

Does it take long to get used to the switch?

People do do this all the time.

However, I'll share the little story of driving with someone who had lived and driven in the U.S. for like two decades. On a trip in the U.S., lost, the person was driving, was frustrated, realized we were headed the wrong way, pulled off the two-lane highway into the first abutting store's parking lot, then turned around and pulled back out - straight into oncoming traffic on the wrong side of the road.

There was this pause like 'why're they alll - ' followed by 'ooooops' followed by screeching (both the car's and the occupant's).

Driving is a bunch of little ingrained behaviours. It requires fairly continual extra concentration to do it 'wrong.'

Also, can you drive a manual? Many, many more cars there are manual, including lots of rentals. Depends on the company, size of the office, what they've got available, etc., but it's not uncommon, ime, to have no other options.

mirandashell
05-11-2013, 10:36 PM
This looks good.

http://www.wikihow.com/Drive-in-the-UK

It's not just driving on the left. If you're hiring a car here, you will be sitting on the other side of the car. Do you drive an automatic in America cos most cars here are stickshift. So you'll need to ask for an auto.

mirandashell
05-11-2013, 10:37 PM
Oh, the traffic lights are different too. The rules that is. Not the lights themselves. And drivers over here tend to be very aggressive in their driving.

cornflake
05-11-2013, 10:40 PM
Also also, if you don't live in a place with roundabouts and you're not used to them, just... give up now. :ROFL:

buz
05-11-2013, 10:42 PM
However, I'll share the little story of driving with someone who had lived driven in the U.S. for like two decades. On a trip in the U.S., lost, the person was driving, was frustrated, realized we were headed the wrong way, pulled off the two-lane highway into the first abutting store's parking lot, then turned around and pulled back out - straight into oncoming traffic on the wrong side of the road.

There was this pause like 'why're they alll - ' followed by 'ooooops' followed by screeching (both the car's and the occupant's).

Driving is a bunch of little ingrained behaviours. It requires fairly continual extra concentration to do it 'wrong.'

What I'm afraid of...:D Everybody lived, right? :) :)


Also, can you drive a manual? Many, many more cars there are manual, including lots of rentals. Depends on the company, size of the office, what they've got available, etc., but it's not uncommon, ime, to have no other options.



It's not just driving on the left. If you're hiring a car here, you will be sitting on the other side of the car. Do you drive an automatic in America cos most cars here are stickshift. So you'll need to ask for an auto.

Thank you for the link! :)

I do drive stick. Every time I get in an automatic I spend a few minutes clawing stupidly at where the stick should be...:p

I also have been exposed to roundabouts, thankfully. Why we don't have more of them, I don't know, but recently a few were put in around here...

But of course they'll be backwards over there. ;)

mirandashell
05-11-2013, 10:43 PM
There is one tip on that website that I suggest you ignore completely and that's:

Don't speed on the motorway.

Ignore it. Really. Everyone speeds on the motorway. Even in the slow lane, doing 70 will hold up a lot of people. And definitely don't do that in the fast lane! That's more like 90 miles an hour.

And yeah, petrol is really really really expensive!

cornflake
05-11-2013, 10:46 PM
Heh, yes. Honestly though, it was just a dopey error due to the person being frustrated at being lost (there'd been more than one 'wait, I think we were supposed to have...' kind of moment in the journey back to the hotel), and glitching. Yet, had it not been a fairly ruralish, quiet area in the daytime - well, I dunno.

On the one hand, could've possibly made it less likely the person would have pulled into the wrong lane, had there been more traffic. On the other, could've done the same thing and splat. It's not like split-second dopiness doesn't ever end up badly.

mirandashell
05-11-2013, 10:48 PM
And after the row me and OH have just had, never tell a man he's wrong when it comes to anything to do with driving.......

buz
05-11-2013, 10:56 PM
There is one tip on that website that I suggest you ignore completely and that's:

Don't speed on the motorway.



I rarely don't speed on the motorway. ;) Although, um, it may be a bit different if I'm perpetually afraid of killing people. I dunno.


And yeah, petrol is really really really expensive!

Yeah...I've been trying to figure out *how* much more expensive renting would be, when I consider how many taxis I'd have to rely on otherwise...:p So the cost may still be rather prohibitive, I'm not sure. Assuming I get over my pisspants fears of reverse-driving...;)

cornflake
05-11-2013, 11:06 PM
Honestly, I'm not light-footed and the speeding over there is INSANE. Which may have to do with the freakiness of feeling like half the cars are being driven by no one (seriously, the number of double takes you do on a motorway is just stupid - unless it's just me can't seem to grasp, heh) but really.

It's like they think of speed limits as fanciful suggestions. Yeah, petrol is bonkers too.

Are you sure there isn't local transit? There are buses run in and between most towns, even the tiniest ones, in my general experience.

buz
05-11-2013, 11:14 PM
Are you sure there isn't local transit? There are buses run in and between most towns, even the tiniest ones, in my general experience.

There's *enough* that I could do it. It'd just be a pain in the ass. :D

I want to visit several historical sites. Some of them are easy to get to. What I'm finding with others is you take a bus (some that run once a day or once a week) to the nearest town and a taxi from there. Since the actual time for sightseeing/frolicking around in ruins on this trip is limited, some of these bus schedules are kind of restrictive...

Anyway. I'm still evaluating my options. :D Just wondering if my fear of driving should be a factor or not. :p

cornflake
05-11-2013, 11:20 PM
Ah, gotcha. Well, try it out. Rent a car here and try driving on the other side of the road when no one's looking. :)

Or not that at all. ;)

Maybe you can work your itinerary to try it there - like set it so that you've got an easier-to-get-to location with a potential rental and a nearby town if you want to bail, up frontish to the others. Try it, see if it's ok or you think it's not wise, then adjust accordingly.

Priene
05-11-2013, 11:33 PM
Does it take long to get used to the switch?

I drove from the UK to Paris a couple of years ago. My most embarrassing moment was trying to explain to a French policeman that I needed petrol and realising I didn't know what the French for petrol was.


Don't speed on the motorway.

Ignore it. Really. Everyone speeds on the motorway. Even in the slow lane, doing 70 will hold up a lot of people. And definitely don't do that in the fast lane! That's more like 90 miles an hour.


I don't speed on motorways, and there is always loads of traffic doing less than the speed limit. Actually, when I come to think of it, I don't speed anywhere at all.

Cliff Face
05-11-2013, 11:49 PM
I don't drive, and I've not really travelled, so my input is understandably second-hand... But my sister went to America once and was going to rent a car. (In Australia we drive on the left too.)

She wound up getting a taxi on the first day, because she knew she'd be horribly jet-lagged, and driving on the wrong side of the road while you feel like you could fall asleep at any moment isn't good.

However, she didn't seem to have any problems after that, as far as I know.

And I'm pretty sure you can find a base-line price for petrol in the UK if you look on Google. :)

Namatu
05-13-2013, 08:05 PM
I want to visit several historical sites. Some of them are easy to get to. What I'm finding with others is you take a bus (some that run once a day or once a week) to the nearest town and a taxi from there. Since the actual time for sightseeing/frolicking around in ruins on this trip is limited, some of these bus schedules are kind of restrictive...I drove in Yorkshire last year. I rented an automatic and found the opposite side of things to be more disorienting than I thought once I got into the car. Not only was everything on the opposite side, but some of the buttons were labeled differently. I requested a tutorial, and then promptly got lost on my first turn, which was down a "two way" street only wide enough for one car. The roundabouts weren't that bad. After the first one (which I had to do twice), I got the hang of it. The car and the opposite-ness of things took more getting used to.

In sum, it was traumatic :chair, but by the end of the week, I was getting more comfortable. Still cringing every time a car came at me from the opposite direction (because the lanes are narrower) and still bouncing off the occasional curb, but I was getting used to it. I only turned into oncoming traffic lanes once, and nobody was there, so aside from my mentioning it here on the public of the Internet, I'm pretending that never happened. :D

If you do decide to drive, get a sat nav (GPS) with the rental to tell you where you're going. I'd still be driving around, utterly lost, without mine.

Because I was driving and focused on staying in the proper lane and avoiding all other cars in my proximity, I didn't get to see much of the area I was driving through. My friend tells me that the most remote location we went to had beautiful scenery on the drive. I remember the nightmarish, blinding fog monster and the teeny tiny bridge barely wide enough to fit the car.

buz
05-13-2013, 10:36 PM
I drove in Yorkshire last year. I rented an automatic and found the opposite side of things to be more disorienting than I thought once I got into the car. Not only was everything on the opposite side, but some of the buttons were labeled differently. I requested a tutorial, and then promptly got lost on my first turn, which was down a "two way" street only wide enough for one car. The roundabouts weren't that bad. After the first one (which I had to do twice), I got the hang of it. The car and the opposite-ness of things took more getting used to.

In sum, it was traumatic :chair, but by the end of the week, I was getting more comfortable. Still cringing every time a car came at me from the opposite direction (because the lanes are narrower) and still bouncing off the occasional curb, but I was getting used to it. I only turned into oncoming traffic lanes once, and nobody was there, so aside from my mentioning it here on the public of the Internet, I'm pretending that never happened. :D

If you do decide to drive, get a sat nav (GPS) with the rental to tell you where you're going. I'd still be driving around, utterly lost, without mine.

Because I was driving and focused on staying in the proper lane and avoiding all other cars in my proximity, I didn't get to see much of the area I was driving through. My friend tells me that the most remote location we went to had beautiful scenery on the drive. I remember the nightmarish, blinding fog monster and the teeny tiny bridge barely wide enough to fit the car.

Hrrrmmm...good data :D

By the end of the week, I'll be flying home...(boo)

I did not consider the scenery. A very good point :D