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Car enthusiasts keep to the left
Ian Simpson, Colin Gobby and Yvonne Blythe. Picture: Mogens Johansen/The West Australian

About 1000 left-hand drive vehicles are on WA roads, despite a widely held belief that they are illegal.

Local dealer Yvonne Blythe said many people who inquired about the mostly US models thought they were not allowed on State roads and would need to be converted to right-hand drive.

"But it all depends on the year they are made," she said. "Many really popular designs, like the Mustangs or the Camaros, are perfectly legal. A lot of the confusion comes from different rules in different States."

The Department of Transport says left-hand-drive vehicles made before 1983 do not need to be converted if they are for personal use.

Those made after 1998 must be converted before they are inspected and a licence issued.

"The department will allow some left-hand-drive vehicles to be initially registered for up to six months to allow owners time to convert their vehicles," a spokeswoman said.

Left-hand-drive vehicles made between 1983 and 1998 can be "conditionally registered" to give the owner time to modify the car without affecting its value.

The spokeswoman said motorists did not need a special licence to drive the cars.

Ms Blythe said the only difference when driving a left-hand car was the driver's positioning on the road. Most cars were automatic and foot pedals were in the same position as right-hand cars.

She said most cars sold for between $20,000 and $30,000 and tended to hold or increase in value.