RightHandDrive.ca/blog Canadian Right Hand Drive News and Thoughts


Right Hand Drives in the News

Congratulations to Dom from the Vehicle Choice Freedom Foundation for getting a spot on CBC radio. Check it out here. I can only say positive things about Dom's HUGE effort.

Also, GregA posted a link to this video on ivoac and I can't help but share it with everyone I meet. Check it out.

I fully disagree with the first minute.  Talking about a right hand drive country is NOT the same  as driving a right hand drive here in Canada. Driving on 'the other side of the road' is wholly different than 'driving on the other side of the car'.  Otherwise, I found it insightful, and a good way to introduce people to the politics surrounding right hand driving.


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Victom’s family calling for ban

Well. I was unfortunately right about this. I suspected the victom's family would be calling for a ban on RHDs, and they are.

I have details about the unfortunate crash in my last post. I want to reiterate that this crash is a tragedy and that it was completely avoidable. But it was just that, completely avoidable - and entirely the driver's fault. Not the fault of the car.

This is VERY bad press for our kind since it happen in the same town that national laws are crafted.


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Fairlady Z in Accident in Ottawa

This story has been in the news a lot lately, and I thought I should say something about it.

The first news article I saw was this one on Yahoo News via the Ottawa Citizen. Long and the short of it is that that a driver of a Fairlady Z (JDM version of a 300ZX) was racing, lost control hitting and killing a man, and critically injuring his wife. The man and wife were at a bus stop minding their own business when it happened.

It's horrible, and I'm not trying to downplay that. But the fact the car was an RHD was a big part of the article. This didn't bother me much, but the follow-up mentioned it too.

This accident had NOTHING to do with the fact the vehicle was a right hand drive. 300ZXs were released in Canada with the same motor and the same amount of power.  In fact, being an RHD the driver would have had better view of the sidewalk, since he was on that side of the car. The driver lost control due to the way he was driving the car, not where he was sitting in the car.

This accident was due to the driver, not the car. And it really bothers me that the handedness of the car even made it in to this article.  I feel that RHDs are viewed negatively in media and that it is unearned negativity.



Website update schedule

Hi all,

Looks like the next four months are going to be pretty busy for me.  So, I'm going to back down to posting new blog posts once every two weeks. If news is breaking, I'll try to get it up as soon as possible - breaking my own schedule.

I already have one lined up for next week, so you can look forward to that.  And a really funny one two weeks after that. If you're in dire need of more reading, be sure to check out the archives. There's some pretty good nuggets back there.

If you'd like to post something, or even become a regular poster, get in contact with me. robg@righthanddrive.ca.


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Manitoba cracking down on RHD Compliance

A friend of mine got a registered mail from MPI (Manitoba Public Insurance) that he was to make an appointment to get his vehicle checked out for 'unsafe parts'.  He had 10 days to make an appointment.  Chances are (though this is still up in the air) is that he will have 30 days to make the necessary changes or they will pull his plates.

He called in to see what they were looking for.  Headlights, seatbelts and compliance issues.

He has a post here, on minitrucktalk.com.

He's got a Daihatsu like me... so clearly I have vested interest.

I'll try to keep things updated.


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Importing a Right Hand Drive into the USA

I realize this is a .ca domain... but I have a substantial amount of traffic from the USA, and don't want to leave them out in the cold. So, today's topic, how to import a Right Hand Drive into the States.

WAIVER: I don't know a lot about this, but I'm sharing what I know.

The USA has an interesting way of banning these vehicles: They are not allowed to be imported. Once imported you can register them. This isn't saying that it'll be _easy_ to register them... some insurers might be completely unprepared to register a Daihatsu Midget. Operator: "Uhhh, that's not in our system".  Be prepared to find someone who knows how to handle edge cases like that.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is in charge of controlling what hits the roads in the States.  Their site is http://www.nhtsa.gov/ and the site we care about is the Importation Requirements page. On the requirements page there are a bunch of interesting documents, and an outline of thing like what you can import easily, who modifies vehicles for use on the road, and so on.

If you're considering importing a RHD, the first thing you should look at is the List of Nonconforming Vehicles Eligible for Importation. On this document you can see which cars are available to import.

The 25 Year Rule

Much like Canada's 15 year rule, the USA has a 25 year rule. From the List of Nonconforming Vehicles Eligible for Importation document

(a) All passenger cars less than 25 years old that were manufactured before September 1, 1989;

I believe this is a sliding window, but if it's not, then the RHD needs new seatbelts that are DOT standard, instead of JIS.

All the vehicles on the list that are RHD are marked as so.  If you do a quick 'find' on the document you can quickly see which RHDs are available for import. Sadly, there's so few I can list them here in short order.

  • Bently Azure - 1998
  • Honda Accord - 1994 to 1997
  • Jeep Cherokee - 1994 to 2001 (Postal Jeeps!)
  • Nissan Skyline - 1996 to 1998 (that's the R33) GTS and GTR

Annnnnd... that's it.

Other things to note on the Rules Site is the Vehicle Importation Guidelines (Non-Canadian). Even if your RHD comes THROUGH Canada, it's not Canadian, and falls under this umbrella. There is a list of "Registered importers who conform vehicles manufactured for sale in Other countries than Canada".  Sounds like a major cash-grab situation.  I haven't heard a review of what they might have to do to get, say, an RX-7 street legal. In my opinion moving the steering wheel is out of the question.

Some extra interesting reading here: NHTSA: Importing a Right Hand Drive Vehicle, though I'm not totally sure what to make of it.

Other ways to import

There are other ways to import too.  You can import a vehicle for racing without much hassle (as per the epa).

Apparently.... if you're military returning from service there's a loophole to get basically ANY vehicle into the States. BUT, I can't find any evidence of this on the web.

Also, if you're not using it on the road it's fine.  Racing falls under this category (kind of... though there's a little more paperwork involved). So, farm vehicles or off-road would be relatively simple.


If you can get the car into the States you can insure it.  Importing it incorrectly or illegally could result in the vehicle being seized. This is rare, but if you're importing something nice it'd sure be nice to keep it.