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Left V Right


Staff member
15 May 2002
You may have noticed the weekly poll on the main page is getting peoples views on buying LHD or RHD. At the moment, I think the "rights" are winning - which is exactly the result I would expect. However, in my mind LHD is without doubt the way to go for the following reasons:

Price: Massive savings can be made here, obviously depending on how much the car costs, but I've seen differences of £10K between a later 993 LHD model and a RHD lower spec model

Spec: Cars from Germany generally seem to have a better spec then UK versions. I have also read that the germans don't skimp on servicing as the costs aren't as high as in the UK.

Driving position: Many people say how much better it is sitting on the left as this is how the car was originally designed, switchgear is to hand and the pedals are in the right place, not slightly offset.

There are obvious downsides I guess; may take longer to resell, could be difficult to confirm the cars history etc.

Anyway, I'd be interested in people thoughts on this!

Cheers all,Phil

Migration info. Legacy thread was 1033
Being the owner of an lhd car myself I have a vested interest in sticking up for them. Everything that Phil says above seems true, what I would add though is that the biggest price differential does seem to be on the newer models 996 and 993, there is still some saving on 964s but by the time you are down to 3.2s (as my own car) the difference seems to have all but disappeared. Annecdotally if you talk to any of the dealers who regularly import from Germany they will tell you that prices for 3.2s in Germany have actually started to rise, such is the demand for them over 964s (for all of the reasons that are regularly discussed here), meaning that it is no longer such an obvious bargain to import lhds. (Often Euro-spec is higher than UK, my car has aircon for instance, so direct price comparrison can be difficult or misleading).

As Phil points out, if you buy it cheaper you can expect to get less when it comes to selling time, and it may take longer. That said, anyone who knows what they are looking for (and at !) should have no problem in buying a lhd. The driving experience, which irrationally puts some people off, really is no problem at all. When it comes to joining motorways or anywher where traffic is merging from the right, then it is actually better as the view over your right shoulder out through the rear windscreen and rear quarter-light is excellent. Consequently the view over your left shoulder is a bit tricky because of the seat back, so you need to be a bit careful pulling back in after overtaking especially on motorways (solution - just stay in the fast lane !). People also seem to worry about being able to see round vehicles to overtake, well I'm sorry if you haven't got a clear line of sight then you shouldn't be overtaking in the first place ! Insurance is something that people worry about but I have had no problems in this respect.

Provided you follow all of the usual rules and are able to satisfy yourself of the provenance and quality of the car you should have no qualms whatsover about buying lhd, and who knows you may even save yourself some money at the same time !


ps I notice I have recently been upgrade to 'Gold Member' status - sounds terribly important ! Please insert your own obvious Austin Powers related gag here ............................ ! How long do I have to wait to get another star ? Is it like working in Macdonalds ?

Migration info. Legacy thread was 1036
Morning Chaps

Have to say I'm a LHD convert, initially by accident. I bought a '91' 964 cab while living in Switzerland and brought it home with me. That said, when changing it recently for the only model I wanted more, a 993 cab, I stayed with LHD, German import. The new one was certainly 10 grand cheaper than its RHD equivalent. Spec level was I think up on UK given air con/computer/cruise/10 stack. It also had the 3 rd rear light on the thin spoiler hoop fitted which wasnt standard I believe on the non-s version.

My value experience with the 964 however was much as Jamie described. Big discount Vs comparative RHD when purchased. I owned it for about 5 and a half years, by which time the difference had narrowed significantly to be no more than a couple of thousand or so.

I should point out that whilst Jamie describes driver visibility to be relatively unimpaired, this is not the case with the 964 cab. It was a bit tricky when joining motorways and T junctions because of the mass of roof and tiny plastic rear screen. This meant a lot of leaning at neck breaking angles to peer through the passenger window. The 993 however is a massive improvement on this with a bigger rear screen. With either car obviously, once the roof was down, you can see any direction you want, whilst grinning idiotically and fishing flies out of your teeth.

As for overtaking Jamie is absolutely on the mark, if you dont think you can make 3.6/3.2/3.0 litres work with 'a bit of a run up' then you should'nt be trying to get past at that point.

Incidentally, Admiral were unfased by my driving position. Given that most of us appear to be 'used' rather than 'from new' owners, I think the current spread between LHD and RHD offers great value, and if like me, you're not intending to sell your treasure after a year or two, allows you to own a newer, better spec, than you would otherwise afford. As I mentioned in an earlier posting, remember to take a passenger if you're going to encounter Parking barriers, and that is about the only bugbear I can think of.

Having owned and driven LHD now for over 6 years, I'm more than happy to remain with LHD and unless I get the offer of something better than a 993 (cant think of anything), then I'll be enjoying another bunch of years driving.

Now hows my stars doing? would you like fries with that? how about going large for 30 p?

Migration info. Legacy thread was 1038
Some good interesting comments made there guys, thanks.

Sorry, the power went to my head last night, so I started dishing out stars. Don't get too cocky though chaps - I can take them away just as easy as I gave them out. Mark - all in good time. Jamie - use the power of your stars with care for they provide power beyond your wildest dreams :D

Migration info. Legacy thread was 1039
Be careful, I'll start to get an ego and only talk to people with the same number of stars as me ! I think this should make my 50th post - do I get a prize ? (a 993 would be nice !)

Mark, good to hear that left hand driving has worked out for you, I really think that anyone who refuses to consider it is daft and missing out on a good opportunity to save some hard-earned.

Interesting that we are both insured by Admiral - it proved to be the best quote for me in London by a pretty big margin and as you say they aren't too bothered about lhd - others may wish to take note !!!


Migration info. Legacy thread was 1040
Even though I've got a RHD car I would have had a LHD if the right car came along. Just so happens that the one I got is a stock UK-supplied one.

The price difference means that with LHD for the same money you can get a better car, but I was lucky and found a good (so far, at least) RHD one at a good price.

Even if the Insurance is 100 quid more per year the price differential at purchase will be much, much greater.

Migration info. Legacy thread was 1041
i've had a few left hand drive cars now, the last being a lancia integrale, the present being an american import 3.2.

the only problem i encounter is the drive through macdonalds and the automatic gates in the car parks!

on the road i barley notice a difference. i have to admit to having a go at the door handle in my wifes rhd car now and again when changing gear!

overtaking wise, everyone seems to be spot on, we've got enough power to be able to hang back a bit and then go when it suits.

happy driving!


Migration info. Legacy thread was 1061
This is interesting: It's now 50/50!

So own up - who is it that is clearing their cache and re-voting LHD!!!

Migration info. Legacy thread was 1070
LHD is certainly the way to go. I would say (bold statement coming up) that a lot of the people who disagree have never driven a left hand drive and therefore do not understand that there is little difference. My everyday car is a right hand drive while my 911 is LHD.

I can certainly agree with trying to change gear with the door handle once or twice and I have also got back into the passenger seat of my RHD after paying for petrol. As long as you pretend to hunt around in the glovebox for 20 seconds though people think you did it on purpose but you don't half feel like a T##t.

As far as resale goes, as long as the car is in good condition, previous experiences of selling LHD's have been good. I will always buy LHD as there is a cost saving benefit to be had.

Migration info. Legacy thread was 1073
I think we should be asking our 'Significant Others' if they enjoy sitting on the wrong side - I've heard that some passengers show 'concern' when overtaking...

Al G

Migration info. Legacy thread was 1075
1 small, but possibly confusing issue with German imports is to do with the factory fitted alarm system. When I got my 993, there was only one set of keys and one alarm fob. On taking it to Local Official Dealer (Lindbrook of Tonbridge - and a very helpful bunch!!) for the wiring recall mentioned here recently, I thought I'd ask them to get a new fob and a new key cut. The key is no problem, once you've produced evidence of ownership, passport, childrens passports and the dogs Vet card, but the Fob is a different issue. Most 993's fobs are now obsolete but they can get them. However the alarm management system is only capable of taking 3 fobs coded to it during its life. if any previous owner(s) have already had one done, then when you have your new one coded, it 'bumps the original off'. So only one fob for me and I guess the only way round it is to have a seperate alarm (laserline) fitted or hope that the previous owner isnt sitting there with the spare, ready to pop round in the not too distant and relieve me of my pride and joy!

Any one else out there had this issue with imports and found a resolution?

Go the LHD 53-47 at the mom :)

Migration info. Legacy thread was 1078
Don't know about 'significant others' showing 'concern' in the passenger seat, but I let my 'significant other' drive along the A303 (horible road at the best of times) in absolutely pouring rain as I sat in the passenger seat - 'concern' doesn't get close, it's 'kin terrifying !

Migration info. Legacy thread was 1080
Don't forget that if you are looking for limited edition cars such as the RS variants you are more likely to find a LHD car than a RHD one and when you come to sell it you should be able to advertise across Europe rather than only in UK (or RHD countries). More people drive on the left than the right. In Japan prestige cars are all LHD even if the domestic market is RHD so I guess you can even advertise there.


Migration info. Legacy thread was 1181
I have owned 12 or more LHD drive cars in this country in the last 15 years and the only inconveniences are car parks and trying to overtake on straight roads with high banks that make it difficult to see up the inside of trucks.

The advantages: better driving position, easy exit to the curb, better driving on the continent, which let's face it is the only place you can really enjoy a performance vehicle these days, apart from the track where LHD may just make a bit more aware of the armco on clockwise circuits.

Migration info. Legacy thread was 1183

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