6th May 2020

Ask An Expert: Should I Consider Purchasing a LHD Classic?

In the latest edition of Ask An Expert, we explore the world of left-hand drive classics. George Cullen asked, "Sometimes it's only possible to buy a car or camper in LHD due to limited numbers in the UK. How much more expensive is insurance if everything else is the same?".

To start off with, we asked David Simister, Editor of Classic Car Weekly, to tell us a little more about the benefits and potential drawbacks of life with a left-hand drive classic.

"Going for left-hand-drive opens up the option of having all manner of exciting motors in your garage or on your driveway. For the price of a well-sorted MGB you can have a C3-generation Chevrolet Corvette or a Ford Mustang, or the likes of the Lancia Delta Integrale, E30-generation BMW M3 or Fiat’s wonderfully engaging Barchetta if you prefer your classics from this side of the Atlantic.

There are some good deals to be had on classics you might not normally expect to have steering wheels on ‘our’ side too, including MGAs, Triumph TRs, Austin-Healey 3000s and Jaguar E-types originally sold in the US market, which have since been repatriated. There are also plenty of LHD Fiat 500s imported from Italy, where they’re generally a little cheaper than UK examples, popping up at classic shows here.

If you’re not used to ‘left-hookers’ they might feel a little odd to drive at first – watch for grabbing the door bins when your left hand instinctively goes for a gear change, or the car gradually creeping to the right as you compensate for the odd feeling of being closer to the kerb than usual – but treat them carefully and they’re no harder to drive than any other classic.

The days of being caught out by toll booths are fading fast, too – most motorways and ports now cater for wheels on both sides – but if you’re planning on using a drive-thru to pick some fast food, it always helps to have a friend with you to pick up your order!"

In relation to his query on insurance, we're pleased to say that at Footman James your premium is not affected by whether your classic car is left or right-hand drive.

If you have a burning classic question you'd like answering let us know! Visit our Ask An Expert page to complete the form and we could be answering your question next week!

The information contained in this blog post is based on sources that we believe are reliable and should be understood as general information only. It is not intended to be taken as advice with respect to any specific or individual situation and cannot be relied upon as such.