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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm not sure where to find information about getting a new RHD vehicle into the US(specifically Texas) from Europe, so thought i'd ask the community. Quite frankly i don't know where to begin. Could anyone shed some light on it? Is it even possible, or does the car have to be over a certain number of years old?

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Ask a rural mail carrier. My mail carrier(s) drive RHD Jeeps (several different models) and Subarus. These are not "old" vehicles.
 

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I'm not sure where to find information about getting a new RHD vehicle into the US(specifically Texas) from Europe, so thought i'd ask the community. Quite frankly i don't know where to begin. Could anyone shed some light on it? Is it even possible, or does the car have to be over a certain number of years old?

Cheers
Maybe a starting point here —


Some specific info here on RHD vehicles in the Q&A —

 
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If its not over 25, or historically significant where you can do show and display, or a race car with no vin or intention to street drive it, a normal person is NOT getting a RHD car in the US.
 

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This seems to indicate that if you try hard enough you can import an RHD vehicle:
However you may have to import a bunch of them and submit several for crash testing.

In Rural California the mail carrier slaps a magnetic "USPS" sticker on their private vehicle car door.
In not-so-rural Santa Clara, the mail carriers drive RHD jeeps into the local neighborhoods. However, it is not obvious if you could buy/own/license/on-road-operate such vehicles yourself. Government agencies get special exceptions; ever notice the 8 foot high headlights on a Caltrans snow plow?
 

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RHD has zero to do with eligibility. I have a couple of RHD cars (classic Mini and TVR). No one cares which side the steering wheel is on, not even my insurance company. It takes roughly 4 minutes for an average driver to learn how to drive one so it’s really a moot point unless you only dine on fast food drive-throughs alone.
For mere mortals you have to show date of manufacture or date of first registration occurred more than 25 years ago. There are no practical work-around that are totally legal, so if the car is newer than that then I’m sorry but it’s a no-go.
 

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This seems to indicate that if you try hard enough you can import an RHD vehicle:
https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/documents/elig120115.pdf However you may have to import a bunch of them and submit several for crash testing.
There is a semi-famous case of this regarding the Nissan GTR and a company called Motorex. They imported GTRs, came up with modifications to make them pass federal crash guidelines. Got certified. They even built and sold 25 of these modified GTRs, then they got greedy and kept importing and selling them without making the modifications.

The federal government found out fairly quickly and put a permanent end to that operation.
 

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There is a semi-famous case of this regarding the Nissan GTR and a company called Motorex. They imported GTRs, came up with modifications to make them pass federal crash guidelines. Got certified. They even built and sold 25 of these modified GTRs, then they got greedy and kept importing and selling them without making the modifications.

The federal government found out fairly quickly and put a permanent end to that operation.
Saw a RHD GTR the other day and was pretty stoked, my gf did not as impressed as I was :/
 

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I am clearly missing something here, but what is the rational behind not allowing RHD cars in the US < 25 years old.
 

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I am clearly missing something here, but what is the rational behind not allowing RHD cars in the US < 25 years old.
I think it’s no imported cars not manufactured for the US market of any kind < 25 years. Not specific to RHD.
 

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I am clearly missing something here, but what is the rational behind not allowing RHD cars in the US < 25 years old.
Wingler is right. It's a strange idea to allow the most polluting, dangerous cars in, but not more recent cars that are to all intents and purposes just as clean and safe as their US counterparts. This was enacted in the 80's when Mercedes and BMW lobbied for protection against grey imports from Europe. The US versions from then on have all kinds of weird differences that make it impractical to modify the non-US version to comply.
Still, as a kid of the 80's and 90's, my dream cars are at the point where they can be imported. I'm on TVR #5, might get an Alpine GTA soon, the Alfa SZ is fair game too. The little FWD Alfa Spider/GTV is old enough, so is the Fiat Barchetta (cheap as chips). Canada has a 15 year import rule, I have a buddy that has imported an Elise and a couple of TVR Tuscans that make me green with envy!
 

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Wingler is right. It's a strange idea to allow the most polluting, dangerous cars in, but not more recent cars that are to all intents and purposes just as clean and safe as their US counterparts. This was enacted in the 80's when Mercedes and BMW lobbied for protection against grey imports from Europe. The US versions from then on have all kinds of weird differences that make it impractical to modify the non-US version to comply.
Still, as a kid of the 80's and 90's, my dream cars are at the point where they can be imported. I'm on TVR #5, might get an Alpine GTA soon, the Alfa SZ is fair game too. The little FWD Alfa Spider/GTV is old enough, so is the Fiat Barchetta (cheap as chips). Canada has a 15 year import rule, I have a buddy that has imported an Elise and a couple of TVR Tuscans that make me green with envy!
Yeah, it like not requiring annual safety inspections on cars > x years old. I always thought that was backasswards — I didn’t have to have my ‘74 TR6 inspected, but I had to have my 2017 Alfa inspected. Guess which was more likely to have the wheels fall off at speed or have the brakes fail?
 
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its the same logic Hershey's is using to deprive us of real Cadburys!:mad:
I miss RHD where you could rest your right arm on the window and your left hand on the manual gear knob. It's not the same the other way around.
 

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If it is a model that is sold in the US, then you don’t need to wait the 25 years as long as the model meets the crash test requirements. (Plenty of people move down from Canada or buy cars in Canada and have modern cars)

it depends on your make and model.

unless you grease enough palms and get the specific vehicle added to the exception list like bill gates did
 

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If it is a model that is sold in the US, then you don’t need to wait the 25 years as long as the model meets the crash test requirements. (Plenty of people move down from Canada or buy cars in Canada and have modern cars)

it depends on your make and model.

unless you grease enough palms and get the specific vehicle added to the exception list like bill gates did
They use LHD vehicles in Canada and drive on the polite side of the road.

With the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car for the road plan you are going to have a lot of trouble safely navigating the road. About the only exception I know to that is a "Seven" since the seating area of that car is so narrow it is hard to say that it has sides. Keep in mind that to license a vehicle after you get it past the feds you still have to get it past the locals unless you only plan to drive it on a military base.

The rules specifically say that separate crash testing of left and right hand drive vehicles is required. Note how NAFTA Giulia has a bash plate behind the left front wheel, but not behind the right front wheel. If the RHD version has the bash plate at all, it will only be behind the right front wheel. This is not to protect the driver more than the other occupants but based on the assumption that a small offset crash is most likely to impact the left side of the car in areas where cars on driven on the right side of the road (and vice-versa).

Annual safety inspections are a state thing; we do not have them in California.
 

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If it is a model that is sold in the US, then you don’t need to wait the 25 years as long as the model meets the crash test requirements. (Plenty of people move down from Canada or buy cars in Canada and have modern cars)
Most Canadian market cars are the same as their US counterparts. Its cheaper to just build them to the same spec, hence that ability.
 

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With the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car for the road plan you are going to have a lot of trouble safely navigating the road. About the only exception I know to that is a "Seven" since the seating area of that car is so narrow it is hard to say that it has sides.
I respectfully disagree. I haven’t encountered any trouble driving RHD cars. A common concern is visibility when looking to pass on a single lane road, but unless you are dangerously close to the car in front the visibility is the same regardless of the side you are sitting on. Navigating McDonalds without a helper is another matter...
 

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I respectfully disagree. I haven’t encountered any trouble driving RHD cars. A common concern is visibility when looking to pass on a single lane road, but unless you are dangerously close to the car in front the visibility is the same regardless of the side you are sitting on. Navigating McDonalds without a helper is another matter...
One just needs to sit in the passenger seat of a car that is passing on a 1 one lane each way road to see that you cannot see around the vehicle in front far enough to safely pass.
 
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