Automobile Culture Differences across Countries

If you have a hobby of driving but are bored with everyday home-office route, it would be great to try the new street route. Try driving yourself to enjoy the fresh breeze and beautiful scenery in the new cities around the world. Surely it will be very challenging to enjoy the experience of driving on uphill, cliff, or desert roads situations. But, there are some things you need to know before deciding to drive yourself in other countries.


Travel companion

Going to a new place will certainly find cultural differences and habits that might make you confused. Here are several things that you need to prepare regarding the driving culture differences:

  1. Right-hand traffic (RHT) and left-hand traffic (LHT)

The terms of RHT and LHT refers to whether the vehicle is on the right or left side of the road. Countries like America, South Korea, and Chine use the RHT system, where the car goes on the right side and it has a steering wheel on the left. Whereas other countries like Japan, Thailand, and England use a reverse system. If you want to visit places that adopt the RHT systems while you are habitual with the LHT system, be careful with this difference.  I have tips on handling this steering difference:

  • Place one of your hand on the transmission transfer levels or hand brake while the other hand holding the steering wheel. In my country, the transmission is on the left side of the driver so if you want to shift the gear, your left hand will play a role in it. While in Korea, it is vice versa. So, it will avoid you from an automatically hand control mistake.


Right side driver seat in Japan
Right side driver seat in Japan
  • Keep in the center line, in my country the slow lane is on the left while Korea is on the right side. By keep driving in the center line you can drive in the normal speed and keep you safe.


  1. Different road conditions
Taxi in Japan
Taxi in Japan


Also, prepare yourself to drive on the road which may be far different from what you normally do. The real example is the road conditions in my country and in Korea that are far different. Street conditions in my country are filled with hundreds of motorcycles, traffic jams that can take hours, and facing a hollow and bumpy road in several places. In contrast to the street situations in Korea: not many motorcycles on the road, traffic jams only at certain points, but sometimes found other driver exceed the speed limits of their cars and drive less patiently. By knowing the road conditions at your destination, you can anticipate better to get a comfortable and safe trip.


BMW owners especially 520D owners got a lot of stress lately.
a traffic jam
  1. Understand other specific habits on your destination

Besides two above conditions, it would be good if you also find out other details. In some countries, there are restrictions on honking horns, but it does not matter elsewhere or trying to learn their insurance systems. By finding out more deeply you can better prepare yourself to get a fun and exciting driving experience!