I plan to move to Ireland this year and would like to ship my car there. Is it possible to convert it to right-hand drive?
Yes it’s possible, but certainly not viable.
You would need a complete dash unit, RHD wiring loom, steering rack & possibly a pedal box. You will also have to relocate the brake system and several other assemblies. A lot of work and money, certainly more than the cost of buying the equivalent car in Europe.
Of course there is also the problem of importing a US spec car to the EEC, Europe has it’s own set of regulations for vehicle imports. Importing a non EEC spec vehicle to Europe will doubtlessly be more fun than it’s worth.
It can be done but at a cost comparable to buying another Mazda3 in Ireland. You can verify costs, if you must, by speaking to your local Mazda dealership since they would be the ones doing the work. I strongly suspect they would refuse to even take on the assignment.
With the application of enough money, anything is possible.
However, you should bear in mind that:
*Your car is worth, most likely, about $15,000.00
Between the cost of shipping and the cost of this very extensive conversion, you would probably spend an amount at least equal to about 1/2 of the value of the car in order to execute your plan. If you drove something very expensive or very exotic, the cost of conversion might make sense. But, with the type of car that most of us drive, your plan makes absolutely no economic sense.
*They actually do sell cars in Ireland, including Mazdas.
I swear it!
As the other’s have said, they have cars there, taking yours there would be foolish. BTW do you have an Irish license? Are you aware of the requirements and the long delays in getting one, as well as the cost of owning driving and insuring a car there? I don’t want to discourage you, but I don’t want you to be making some assumptions about what you may need do. It all can be done, in time.
I love Ireland and if I had the money I would certainly consider living there.
Buy a new car when you get there. While you like your Mazda3, it is not as well suited to the UK as the cars that you will find there. It’s not just right hand drive. They will meet whatever safety and economy norms are present. You might prefer a diesel engine, for instance. Search the internet for cars in Ireland to get an idea of what is available.
We get these request frequently; and the answer is always the same. Between meeting the the safety and emission controls alone, let alone virtually disassembling the car to convert it to right hand drive, you will spend much more than the value of the vehicle.
A number of years ago a friend was transferred to Australia; He had afull size Olds 88 convertivle, a much coveted car in Ausralia. His company shipped it over (before emissions & safety were an issue), and to his dismay he could not drive it until it had been converted to right hand drive. Even then ,it cost a great deal of money and parts had to be ordered from GM Canada who at that time built export models.
So, I would forget about it; sell your car here if you are going over for long and buy another car in Ireland.
You can get an International Drivers Lincense through the AAA, and it allows you to legally drive for one year in Ireland. During that time you should prepare to sit for the test there; it will be brutal compared to the US!