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Can I Handle Driving a Manual Car in UK?

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Richmond, VA
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1,718 posts
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Can I Handle Driving a Manual Car in UK?

Not in London itself--good god no!

But on the highways and byways?

Thing is I never drive manual in the US, but have in the past and I'm quite comfortable with it.

But left-handed?

American's who've tried it, how did it go? Was it a hassle all the way or was it No Big Deal?

Thoughts and experience appreciated. Thanks!

Essex
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1. Re: Can I Handle Driving a Manual Car in UK?

Come on StickyT, I know that you have been here a few times now.

Driving a LHD Manual is a 'mirror image' of driving a RHD Manual, so it is not so difficult.

HOWever, why stress yourself up?? Just order an Automatic and have done with it!!

Regards

EW

PS, I suppose the extra 'stress' could negate the calories of all those puds you are going to eat!!

Richmond, VA
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2. Re: Can I Handle Driving a Manual Car in UK?

Thanks EW, so right--we're driving straight from Heathrow to the Pudding Club meeting in Mickleton that night!

And with a manual there's always the exercise from shifting gears!

Have gone with an automatic on prev trips but the savings are considerable with a manual, so...

Essex
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3. Re: Can I Handle Driving a Manual Car in UK?

OK - set yourselves a holdiay challenge to master the manual!!

Save your dosh for all those puds - don't forget the Custard!!

You might have a holiday that is more YUMMMMMMMM than ZOOMMMMM

But I'm sure you will enjoy youselves, either way!!

Edited: 15 May 2010, 19:46
Canada
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4. Re: Can I Handle Driving a Manual Car in UK?

Yeah you can do it...

Just need to think for a few minutes and MOST important remember to put in the clutch and change gear as you approach a roundabout.

That is invariably my failing when I'm used to driving an automatic...with sometimes unfortunate consequences...:)

Aubrey, Texas
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5. Re: Can I Handle Driving a Manual Car in UK?

The gear positions are the same. You just use a different hand to shift. If you've already driven on the left and are comfortable with a stick shift, it will be no problem for you.

West London
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6. Re: Can I Handle Driving a Manual Car in UK?

Why would you want to? If you're hiring a car, then get an automatic.

Richmond, VA
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7. Re: Can I Handle Driving a Manual Car in UK?

Well, mainly because it would save about $100 (renting here in US from Alamo).

Not a good reason?

The rates are a little better for manual, and it seems most in the UK do drive a stick shift, so I've toyed with the idea of going manual for several trips already.

But never did, always just went with automatic. My Traveling Companion usually talks me out of it, just for the convenience factor of having an automatic.

Just thought I'd throw the question out to the forum for advice and feedback. It's not really a London-related topic, but I appreciate the responses.

Wichita, Kansas
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8. Re: Can I Handle Driving a Manual Car in UK?

You can do it!

I am a Brit living in Canada & I learnt to drive from the wrong side of the car whilst also coping with the winter snow & ice. You will no doubt have a few funny moments where you attept to change gear with the door handle, and of course forget to change gear occasionally - but you should be able to manage. The accelerator, brake & clutch are in the same order.

I am looking at car hire rates for a trip 'home' this summer & it is a significant difference in cost.

Drive safely!

Edited: 15 May 2010, 22:06
Cardiff, Wales
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9. Re: Can I Handle Driving a Manual Car in UK?

Er - my view is that if you are even asking the question then the answer is NO!!!

If you insist on trying manual, can you let me know your itinerary so I can ensure that my family are not in your way when you flunk the gears at a junction!

Seriously - as the earlier poster said, why worry? You can drive automatic in the UK. Don't put yours and our lives at risk! There is too much to enjoy here without the stress of re-activating your personal memory card.

Hwyl!

Jim

london
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22 reviews
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10. Re: Can I Handle Driving a Manual Car in UK?

I don't see why not ... after 40 years of driving in the UK just recently I dared to hire a car (a manual) in Europe and was petrified how I was going to manage with the car instruments on the "wrong" side at the same time as driving on the "wrong" side of the road ... the first hour or two were OK but I had to think ... then after that I adjusted with little problem ... I just took it easy and it was amazing how quickly I adjusted

so if at my age I can do it, I don't see why you can't