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Vancouver Auto Chat 2016 VAC Community Head Moderator: Raid3n

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Old 06-12-2019, 10:54 PM   #1
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Is learning to drive manual in a RHD car a bad idea?

I've been eyeing some JDM cars with manual transmissions on CL lately but I've never driven neither RHD nor manual transmission before. I'm wondering if it would be too steep of a learning curve to do both at once. I'm familiar with how a manual transmission works, just never got the chance to drive one before.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:33 PM   #2
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blinkers are typically on the right stalk

ask yourself if you would learn how to use chopsticks for the first time with your non-dominant hand...if you like a challenge you'll pick it up just fine...i would at least get plenty of seat time with a clutch before jumping on the wrong side in north america
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:34 PM   #3
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Everyone has a different learning curve and at the end of the day, it's just all about practice. It's not a bad idea, it'll just be harder, so you'll need more patience to learn.

You can kill 2 birds with 1 stone if driving RHD and manual is what you desire.

Just give yourself time to practice and don't rush it.
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:04 AM   #4
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Mainly concerned about getting it home lol. Don't know anyone who can drive manual and RHD so I would probably have to bring it home myself. My dad knows how to drive manual but he hasn't driven it in years and is uncomfortable with RHD.
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:43 AM   #5
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If 30% of the world can learn it, why can't you?
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:35 AM   #6
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Mainly concerned about getting it home lol. Don't know anyone who can drive manual and RHD so I would probably have to bring it home myself. My dad knows how to drive manual but he hasn't driven it in years and is uncomfortable with RHD.
Definitely don’t drive it home yourself, that’s just putting younand other people in danger
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:38 AM   #7
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No.

My first manual experience was with a R32 - bought it, was parked in the parking lot outside the insurance shop, and had no other way to get it home besides just jumping in and learning. Really isn't that hard imo.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:59 AM   #8
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All the learning is in clutch control how to deal with balancing the gas and clutch engagement... those are arranged the same in every car, it won’t matter much if the shifter is your other hand at all. You’ll be good to go.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:49 AM   #9
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It is five minutes issue in terms of gearbox, because H pattern is the same.
Where the real danger is blind spots, they are different and first month requires brain rewiring. Merging on a highway is a bit funny: brain playing tricks, because distance changed from the merging line. But again, experience experience experience.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:54 AM   #10
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Mainly concerned about getting it home lol. Don't know anyone who can drive manual and RHD so I would probably have to bring it home myself. My dad knows how to drive manual but he hasn't driven it in years and is uncomfortable with RHD.
That's a bad idea. Please warn us when and where you are going to do this so we can avoid being in the area.
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:21 AM   #11
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You can literally tell which people in this thread don't drive manual... the ones who give answers thinking he's asking about the pitfalls of driving in a right hand drive car/learning to drive in general... not the fact he's actually wondering if it's okay to learn shifting with the other hand.
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:49 AM   #12
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Which bodes the question: why buy a car you can't drive and don't even know you'll like?

I've been driving manual for ages (both sides) and still don't like driving RHD.
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:11 AM   #13
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Eh? Just rolled around the parking lot a few times. You'll stall it once or twice but it's not magical feat.
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:27 AM   #14
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Which bodes the question: why buy a car you can't drive and don't even know you'll like?
Well I love Japanese cars and I won't know if I love or hate RHD until I get to drive one for some time.
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:44 AM   #15
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Well I love Japanese cars and I won't know if I love or hate RHD until I get to drive one for some time.
Do not worry, once you started, you would never come back... joke... you just would not care if it is RHD or LHD anymore. The only danger is different blind spots, it takes couple of weeks to brain to rewire. So fist weeks you need to be pay more attention on that one. Just ask someone to drive one for an hour.
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:49 AM   #16
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There is an added risk/difficulty from trying to focus on learning two different things at the same time. It's doable, just more effort. You'll also be a bit harder on the car when you're learning manual so if you're eyeing up something that wasn't sold over here and is hard to work on then maybe learn on a cheap beater first.
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:19 AM   #17
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Just think twice about when you approach a parking kiosk or customs or drive through. What seems cool for the first little while becomes a PIA.

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Old 06-13-2019, 09:37 AM   #18
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Just think twice about when you approach a parking kiosk or customs or drive through. What seems cool for the first little whole becomes a PIA.
Just reverse in.
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:10 AM   #19
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Just think twice about when you approach a parking kiosk or customs or drive through. What seems cool for the first little whole becomes a PIA.

And then every time, they'll ask you why isn't the VIN valid and if you're gonna sell it stateside. Expect to be stopped for about 5 mins, even with Nexus.
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:39 AM   #20
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Speaking from experience, if you've been driving for several years and are confident with your driving skills, there shouldn't be a huge learning curve when switching to driving from the right seat if you have good coordination skills.

My first experience driving a RHD car was actually in Tokyo, so not only was I driving from the right seat, but also on the left side of the road. After around 10 minutes I got the hang of things and was going around the C1 and out to Gotemba without a sweat.

I'd imagine that learning how to operate a manual trans vehicle in a RHD car shouldn't be any different from operating one in a LHD car. If you know how to drive manual, regardless of whether you're right or left handed, you know the pattern already.
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Old 06-13-2019, 11:15 AM   #21
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The hard part here is clutch control. It'll be jerky at first but if you are able to drive without stalling it, then that's a huge win already. Just try starting in a parking lot or an empty area just to get a feel of the friction point so you know when to gas it so it doesn't stall. Like I said, it'll be jerky for a little while until you get used to the feel of the clutch.

For driving RHD, the sight-lines will be different for you and you might turn on the wash wipers by accident a few times.

Before getting it, just sit in the passenger side of a LHD car and that'll give you an idea of what your view would be when driving.
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:41 PM   #22
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Everyone learns at a different pace. But I guess one question that haven't been addressed:

Are you an experienced (LH) driver? or did you just get your license?
Anything CAN be learnt over time, but it'll factor whether you are new at two or several things that'll depend how fast you can pick it up.

Not going to lie, you may also be a danger to public traffic for a while if you jump into actual traffic too early. Cause it sounds like you're going to be learning quite a few things at once. Don't expect to buy this and start using it as your daily driver soon.

Are you left handed or right handed? I'm not even sure if that makes a diff. But that could be a factor as well.


Here's my story about learning manual:
Like you, I never had a chance to learn manual. I went to the dealership with a friend that could drive manual. I already had the car in mind that I wanted so I took it for a test drive. Barely managed to get it out of the lot, when no one was looking, I switched seats with my friend. He took it to a small neighbourhood and then basically gave me a 15 min crash course, then we switched seats again, and he took it back.

I bought the car and said I'll come back at midnight to pick it up. And then I drove it home with low traffic, with my friend in his own car following me just to make sure I'm ok. I made it back alright. Although mind you, at this point, I've already been driving for over 10 years, and this was LHD car.
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:44 PM   #23
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If you're learning to drive what difference does it make what side the car is? For me driving a RHD is fucky. Everything is backassward. The pedals are the same but the signals and all that shit are backwards. Unlearning habits is way harder than making the correct ones in the first place.

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Old 06-13-2019, 12:48 PM   #24
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I think half of us learned to drive stick without having ever driven at all, never mind on the wrong side.
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:50 PM   #25
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I think half of us learned to drive stick without having ever driven at all, never mind on the wrong side.
I used to race motorbikes so I knew the correlation between between clutch and throttle and gear shifting. I picked up driving manual cars super fast. I've seen others .... not get it.

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