Right hand drive imports


#1

I’m a rural mail carrier and would like a new right hand drive car. I am interested in a fuel efficient import from Japan. Unfortunately Subaru discontinued their RHD cars and Jeep makes fuel inefficient lunkers. I’ve searched everywhere on the internet and haven’t found any practical sources. I’ve heard that there are emissions and other standards that have to be met first, but it seems one could take an existing RHD car and make it meet these standards more easily than moving the steering wheel. How could I import a car from Japan that was new or almost new? Does anyone have any idea on how this could be done?


#2

Thanks to our wonderful federal government all imported vehicles have to meet certain safety and emissions standards AND then be tested for approval. It costs a fortune.

There are some companies that actually import Japanes cars and do the conversions because the cars imported are highly sought after performance vehicles, but it’s not usually done with more pedestrian vehicles. If you’re wondering about the costs it’s not unheard of for folks to spend $60,000 for a $30,000 car.


#3

The trouble with that is availability of parts when needed. You could have trouble acquiring the euro RHD parts that aren’t normally sold here.

I work on several RHD Subaru mailcars. One postal carrier just purchased a vehicle from a company which specializes in setting cars up for postal carriers. They put a second, removable steering wheel on the right side, and a second set of pedals on the right. That way you can still drive the car from the left side, whenever not delivering, and make more use of your vehicle. This seems to make the most value, if your stuck supplying your own vehicle, and be able to drive more safely from the left seat when possible.

I will repost a contact for this company in a few days when I can access the info.


#4

It might be worthwhile to contact the USPS, or Canada Post, and find out where they get their delivery vehicles from. I’m certain I’ve seen a number of Canada Post RHD vehicles, and I’d bet the USPS would have a good fleet of them as well. For some reason, I’m thinking they are made by Mercedes.


#5

There were a few Saturns made several years ago with right hand drive. I drove one for several miles on a freeway. It was a little annoying but did not feel unsafe.

Good luck finding one!


#6

Although I’m not a big fan of Jeeps, I’ve heard that they have a diesel engine offered . . . and you can get a Jeep with RHD. Rocketman


#7

If you think our government is outrageous regarding testing and approval of imports look into the Japanese laws restricting U.S. built cars, motorcycles, etc. You might check on the ‘cash up front’ no financing required for U.S. cars in Japan, also.


#8

It doesn’t feel unsafe until you’re sitting in a left turn lane, trying to cross through an intersection but can’t see past the folks on the other side also trying to turn left. Once you decide it’s clear and you pull out to cross traffic and make your turn, there is a car speeding toward you, with the first point of contact the right side of the car. OH, THAT’S WHERE YOU’RE SITTING!!. Yeah, I never feel unsafe when that happens.

When I bought my mini cooper, everyone used to ask why I didn’t make it RHD. RHD is cool to people who don’t have to drive it. I live in America and we drive on the right side. Steering wheels belong on the left for a reason.


#9

Jeep discontinued the diesel engine for the Liberty after the 2006 model year due to stricter emission regulations.