Monday, February 22, 2010

Observations of an English Girl

I thought that I would do a new thing on my blog regarding the main difference versus living in America and England. Today I thought I would talk about cars and driving.

In England you have to be 17 to drive.
You get a provisional licence before you pass your test which allows you to drive with another person, (who has passed their test) . As long as you have 'L' plates stuck onto the front and back of your car.
You are not allowed to drive on motorways, (highways) until you have passed your test.
99% of people will take their test in a manual (stick) car.

Our steering wheel is on the other side of the car. I have been in America for nearly three years and weekly I still try to get in the passenger side of my car. People look at me strangely and wonder what I am doing, I suppose some habits you just can't break.

We obviously drive on the other side of the road too. Luckily I have mastered this and have not yet veered onto the other side of the road!!

This is a typical county road, a single two way road with lots of bends.

This is the kind of road I had where I lived, a very small country lane with only room for one car with deadly bends. Often you have to reverse if another car comes the other way. Also, lots of beeping before going round the corners!!

This is what our number plates look like, no states/counties. Just GB for Euro recognition. They are white on the front of the car and yellow on the back.

This is our driving licence, it is in two parts, one card with photo and one piece of paper which has all your driving records on, (as in if you have been caught speeding or ever be banned etc.). The main difference is that in England you do not have to have your driving licence with you. You can drive without having it on you. If you happened to get stopped by police, they ask you to take your driving licence to your nearest police station or just send them in a copy. I have to really remind myself to have mine with me at all times over here.

We don't have the stop sign system over in England, instead we have lots and lots of roundabouts. Sometimes mini roundabouts, (with one lane) or mega roundabouts which could have five or six lanes. You get pretty used to them, you just have to make sure you are in the right lane.

People have very small cars in England, not like over here. Mainly because they are easy to get around, park etc and secondly they are far cheaper for petrol, (gas). Petrol is so expensive in England. It is roughly $6.69 a gallon. Back home I had a similar car to the one out here. At home it used to cost me $150 to fill it up, where as here it costs me $38.

Most people drive manual cars.

That's about it on the car front, I find the comparisons very interesting. Anyway, have a happy Tuesday.


  1. Love it! I am fascinated by the differences! I think it would be so hard to learn to drive on the other side of the road...YIKES! I'm a bad enough driver on the side of the road I'm comfortable on! The size of cars is interesting...I lived in Germany for 4 years during junior high and high school and I remember how HUGE the cars we brought over from the States were compared to the compact German cars. I learned how to drive with a stick shift...kind of miss that sometimes! It was so fun to drive. Although not sure I could drink my coffee, talk on the phone, hand stuff to my kids in the back seat, etc while trying to shift gears these days! Anyway--always a great read on your blog! :) Erin

  2. Very interesting!! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Very interesting. Your blog is always very enjoyable.

  4. Fascinating! You always find such perfect photos to illustrate your points. I would be hard pressed to get all my kids around in the minivan over there...

  5. I miss the single land country roads like in your picture. The ancient lanes between fields with hundred(s) year old hedges up the embankments. There is no way to turnaround. Sometimes a slow wild bird or partridge would get in front of us...and just keep waddling on HIS merry way.