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Last Updated on February 20, 2024 by Showroomex Studio

Home » Is it Legal to Drive a Left-Hand Car in India?

Driving a left-hand drive (LHD) car in India can be a unique experience, considering that the standard practice in the country is right-hand drive (RHD). While it is possible to drive an LHD vehicle in India, there are several legal, regulatory, and practical considerations to hold in thoughts. We will delve into the regulations governing LHD vehicles, the difficulties they present, and practical tips for driving them on Indian roads.

How you can drive a left-hand car in India? Is it allowed on Indian roads?

The Motor Vehicles Act (1988):

The Motor Vehicles Act is the primary legislation governing road transport and vehicles in Hindustan. While it doesn’t explicitly prohibit driving LHD vehicles, it mandates that cars must comply with the standards and specifications prescribed by the government.


Any vehicle that includes LHD ones imported or manufactured in India must undergo homologation. This process ensures that a vehicle meets the required safety and environmental standards set by regulatory authorities. The Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) oversees this process.

Customs Regulations:

Importing a LHD vehicle into India entails compliance with customs regulations, including payment of duties and taxes. The vehicle must also meet emission norms and other safety requirements stipulated by the government.

State-Specific Regulations:

While the Motor Vehicles Act applies nationwide, certain states may have additional regulations or restrictions regarding LHD vehicles. It’s vital to check with the local transport department for specific rules applicable to your area.

Visibility and Orientation:

Driving a LHD vehicle in a country where the standard is RHD can be challenging due to differences in road layout and traffic flow. Adjusting to the orientation of oncoming traffic, overtaking, and turning requires careful attention and practice.

Manual Transmission:

Most vehicles in India feature manual transmission, and finding an LHD car with a manual transmission might be more challenging. While automatic LHD cars are relatively easy to find, they can be more expensive.

Service and Maintenance:

Servicing and maintaining an LHD vehicle in India might pose challenges, as mechanics and service centers are more accustomed to working on RHD vehicles. Finding spare parts might also be more difficult and expensive.

Resale Value:

LHD vehicles typically have lower resale value in India compared to RHD vehicles. It is first because they are less common and might be considered small practical for local driving conditions.

Practical Tips for Driving a LHD Car in India:

Familiarize Yourself:

Before hitting the road, familiarize yourself with the vehicle’s controls and layout. Practice driving in a safe, low-traffic area until you feel comfortable handling the car.

Stay Alert and Observant:

Pay extra attention to your surroundings when changing lanes, turning, or navigating intersections. Utilize mirrors effectively and use turn signals to indicate your intentions to other road users.

Follow Traffic Rules:

Obey all traffic rules and regulations, including speed limits, lane discipline, and giving way to pedestrians and other vehicles as required. Maintaining compliance with traffic laws is essential for safe driving.

Stay Patient and Calm:

Driving a LHD car in India might attract attention from other road users. Stay patient and calm, and avoid getting flustered by curious looks or comments from pedestrians or fellow drivers.

Consider Professional Training:

If you’re not confident about driving a LHD vehicle in India, consider enrolling in professional driving lessons. An experienced instructor can provide valuable guidance and tips for navigating Indian roads safely.

Is it Legal to Drive a Left-Hand Car in India?

In conclusion, Driving a left-hand drive vehicle is illegal in India. The Motor Vehicles Act prohibits the registration of vehicles with left-hand drive. New Delhi, India’s capital, is preparing to host the G20 summit in September. However, it presents legal, regulatory, and practical challenges. There are several factors to consider, including compliance with vehicle standards and customs regulations, as well as adjusting to different traffic orientations and maintenance considerations. However, with proper planning, adherence to traffic rules, and prudent driving practices, it is entirely possible to navigate Indian roads safely in an LHD vehicle. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, understanding the intricacies of driving an LHD car in India is critical for a smooth and hassle-free journey.

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Seeniya Vipin

Passionate content creator with a track record of producing over 1000 pieces of content for various online platforms, including blogs and business websites.