Driving on the right hand side of the road can be a worrying transition for visitors arriving from the UK or Ireland (or Thailand, Japan, India or Australia). Here’s how to switch sides painlessly.
If you’re at all nervous about driving on the wrong side of the road, then don’t hire a car immediately upon arrival. The airport is one of the most confusing and dangerous stretches of road on the island, and still isn’t signposted clearly enough for comfort. Instead, get a taxi, relax after your flight and pick up a hire car closer to your destination later.
Google Earth is a brilliant tool for getting to know the way local roads work. If you’re a beginner on Lanzarote roads, practice the more challenging aspects of the route, such as roundabout and turn-offs first.
If you’re really nervous, consider hiring a driving instructor who can show you the ropes. Alternatively, a friend who drives may be willing to give you a few pointers.
It can feel strange using your right hand to change gear, but you soon get used to it. You’ll also quickly adapt to looking in differently placed mirrors. The most important thing to bear in mind is the side you’ll be looking when you approach roundabouts or junctions – traffic comes from the left here.
You’ll soon discover that driving on the other side of the road isn’t the hard bit – it’s the decisions you make when turning or choosing lanes. At any time when driving involves more than following a lane, make sure you’re alert and fully conscious of the side of the road you’ll be using.
Finally, don’t worry. Lanzarote drivers are usually patient and understanding with visitors who are getting used to things.