browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Left, no, the other left!

Posted by on 28 June, 2012

When travelling in a foreign country, there are many things to consider…where to go and how to get there are pretty much at the top of the list. Sitting in our home in Queensland, looking at the map of Europe on the internet and setting out a proposed route was easy…everything is so close in Europe, compared to Australia…we have a month…we can see heaps in that time…lets go here…oh and I want to see that too…

Research makes sense, but you don’t want to know so much that there is nothing left to find out about a place except how it smells (particularly because that is often the most unpleasant part…) However there are some things that only ‘doing’ can prepare you for…one of those is driving…on the other side of the car…on the other side of the road…

We opted to lease a vehicle through Renault Eurodrive. By arranging this several months prior to departing Australia, we were able to save quite a bit with an Earlybird discount. The other main attraction of leasing over renting was the insurance. With the lease option, insurance is included, with no excess or securit deposit required. Plus, the vehicle is brand new with all of the usual warranties applicable.

Selecting the vehicle took some further consideration, we were conscious of the amount of luggage we would have, fuel economy and seating comfort…power ratio was also important…no one wants to be on an autobahn and not able to accelerate quickly enough to enjoy it! We opted for a Renault Megane Berline in the end as we also wanted something fairly compact so that parking and driving through narrow streets would be a bit easier…


On our arrival at Charles de Gaulle airport, we phoned the freecall number to let them know we had cleared customs and within a few minutes the shuttle bus was there to collect us and take us over to the vehicle depot. The paperwork was all ready when we arrived and within a matter of minutes our new car was in front of us and the guy was giving us basic instructions about how the car worked. The main feature was the GPS…it was an essential feature and we hoped to become friends with ‘Bruce, the Aussie navman’ quickly…perhaps because his real name was Kevin and we just called him Bruce this didn’t go as smoothly as hoped…though in reality it was not Bruce’s fault…never, ever trust the French guy at the car yard to programme your first destination for you…I have no doubt that he has never travelled outside of Paris before…


Dave, being the typical Aussie man was the first into the driver’s seat and I didn’t object…I knew I would get a turn eventually…with indicators and windscreen wipers on opposite sides, we tried not to laugh when the wrong lever was flicked…though to be honest, it didn’t happen often. My biggest issue was with the proximity of vehicles to my side of the car and drifting into the next lane….I will be honest, I freaked out a bit much…but it is very uncomfortable to be in what is usually the driver’s seat and not be in control…good bye comfort zone!!! image

After a not so quick stop at the nearest fuel station…the fuel tank is on the left, no, the other left…we were on our way out of Paris and though not on our way to Luxembourg as planned. A few kilometres down the road (okay, about an hour, but who is counting) we realised the mistake and promptly corrected the destination with Bruce and were then on the scenic route through the French countryside…much nicer than the motorway… image

Leave a Reply