Advice needed - Driving in the US

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  1. I am of on my holiday in 3 weeks time and this year I really want to drive in the US. I am from the UK. Been to the US many times but always get taxis every where. I want the freedom of being able to drive myself. I have driven for many years in the UK, but have never driven an automatic, or driven on the other side of the road, or driven a car with controls over the other side, and have no idea about your road signs. I am going down to Naples in Forida so not really busy.

    Does anyone have any adivce. Do hire companys give you a quick lesson in driving in the US.
  2. Driving on the other side isn't hard to get used to. From what I can tell, all the controls are the same too, just on the other side. For example, our pedals are: Clutch, Brake, Gas (from left to right) on a manual, and Brake, Gas (left to right) on an auto....just like yours.
    It's really just a matter of getting a few minutes behind the wheel and familiarizing yourself with everything. Rent your car, then get in and confirm where everything is, then take it for a spin in the parking lot for a few minutes. Once you're ready, be on your way.
    The signs are fairly self explanatory, except everything will be in miles and not kilometers, but then again, so will your gauges on the dash.

    Oh, one more thing...make sure your headlights are filled with American fluid and not metric. You can get arrested for using metric!

    Kidding! (there's no such thing as headlight fluid)
  3. I haven't driven abroad before myself so I don't really have any advice apart from watch out for roundabouts! Being from the UK it's almost instinct to go the wrong way round them :p I think they must go to the right instead, so you have to watch from the left? My Dad always gets them wrong.
  4. :lol:
  5. Charles ! You terrible man!! I just got really worried....:p
  6. rental car companies do not give driving lessons but they should for visitors - thats a great idea!
    I would go to the department of motor vehicles in Florida and pick up and drivers handbook that outlines all the laws and tell you what all the signs mean. Also, in addition to everything being on the left side here, (but drive on the right) there are very few "round-a-bouts" (mostly on the east coast really). At an intersection the first driver there has the right away unless you both arrive at the same time, then the driver to the right of you has the right away. Will you know anyone in Florida who can get you a drivers handbook ahead of time?
  7. I think you can get them online...lemme check.

    *edit* yep, they have them: *edit*

    Also, all roundabouts have YIELD signs for on coming traffic into the roundabout. Just yield to anyone coming around the circle and wait til it's clear. Once you're in the roundabout, you have the right of way. Finally, for god's sake, learn how to navigate a 4 way stop. People pull up and all of a sudden turn into blathering idiots figuring out who has the right of way.
  8. ^^ ugh, those 4-way stops turn me into an incensed beotch every time!

    Oops, back on topic...great advice already given here and enjoy your time in Florida!!
  9. Is it legal for people from other countries to drive in the U.S. without a U.S. license? Just wondering how that works.
  10. Of course it's legal. Matter of having a current driver license from the origining country and it's mandatory for the driver to buy car insurance at the rental.
  11. I think you'll be fine. I just visited Florida and the driving conditions there are wonderful and stress free as compared to where I live (nyc). Just to share a little story, my dad came back from visiting my native country and once he started to drive here again, I caught him driving on the wrong side of the road on a 2 way street while I was in the car with him. So in terms of driving for the first time here, just try to be aware of what side you're on lol

    And I was lurking in the fendi forum months ago and read about you're tulle spy. Are you finally going to pick her up? Congrats on that gorgeous bag!
  12. I always wondered about that too. I was told it's not legal anymore since 9/11. Now you're required to have an international license. I haven't read or checked up on it but that's just my understanding. Possible all that info I heard is just nonsense.
  13. I have done the switching back and forth - between the US and Australia on holidays and such. As suggested, drive around the parking lot or somewhere fairly quiet first and I am sure you will be fine. It takes a bit of getting used to to be on the other side of the car and I find I turn the windshield wipers on instead of the turn signal on occassion.:shame: Be careful with turns, this seems to be where it's easy to get turned around and finding yourself on the wrong side of the road.
  14. my advice is simple:-

    Automatic is simple compared to stick shift!

    I grew up in England then moved to NYC when I met my husband... you will be fine! trust me!

    I dont think you need an international license just to hire, thats if you actually want to stay.

    good luck x
  15. You'll be fine. If you already drive a manual then an automatic will be quite easy for you. The hire car will not be giving you any quick driving lessons, but what i find helps is to give a few laps around the hire car parking lot before you leave so you get the hang of driving on the other side of the road before venturing into real traffic. Also, another interesting thing is that if you don't pay attention, you'll end up driving smack in the middle of 2 lanes as your body being used to sitting on the other side of the car while driving will try to regain that position subconsiously. It'll probably take you a few minutes to get used to it tops :smile: