Driving in Scotland

Which side of the road do you drive on in Scotland?

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Do you drive on the left or the right side of the road in Scotland?

In Scotland we drive on the left side of the road, along with the rest of the UK. We are often asked why we drive on the left, the opposite side of the road to Europe, America and most other parts of the world.

And why do you drive on the left in Scotland?

There are lots of reasons why we do so. Most are related to the days when people travelled on horseback with swords. Swordsmen would wear their sword in a scabbard on their left. Scabbards were rather large and stuck out to the side. Keeping to the left of the road would avoid them hitting passersby. It also meant their right arm was closest to the middle of the road, in case they met an opponent. Almost everyone used the left side of the road in those days. Over time, different countries had their own reasons for switching to the right. The UK, however, has held on to this tradition.

Driving in Scotland and the UK

If you are travelling here from a country that drives on the right, bear this in mind when deciding how you will get around here. If you are bringing your own car, your drivers seat will be on the left, closer to the edge of the road than the middle. This can make it more difficult to judge your position in the road. If you hire a car here, the drivers seat will be on the right, which might feel strange. Some travellers are happy and comfortable with the switch and get used to driving on the other side of the road very quickly. Others prefer to use public transport. Scotland is a well connected country with good bus and rail links. If you are travelling to remote areas, always check the transport options in advance.