Where's your petrol cap?

My car recently broke down leaving me stranded and awaiting recovery. Following a freezing cold wait by the side of the road (for two and a half hours) I was picked up and the car and I were taken to the nearest car dealership, which just happened to be where I bought the car from in the first place. Following a heated discussion I was finally supplied with a courtesy car.

So I found myself driving an unfamiliar Hyundai with a bare trickle of petrol in the tank. I promptly went to the nearest petrol station to fill up (my American colleagues call it 'gaaas'). As I joined the queue I was hit by the sudden panicked thought that I did not know which side the petrol cap was located.

Rather than trying to peer out of the window to see if the cap was indeed behind me on the driver's side, or jump out into the cold and run around the car looking like a fool, I remembered a rumour I had heard that the dashboard of modern cars indicate the location of the petrol cap.

Look for the little arrow on you dashboard located near the petrol gauge. The arrow indicates the position of the cap. Here it is pointing left, so the cap is on the passenger side.

Petrol cap side indicating passenger side (in a UK car).
The other arrow in this image shows an estimate of the number of miles I can travel before requiring another top-up. This is only an estimate, and it is fun watching the number change as your fuel efficiency changes. You will get more miles to the gallon when travelling at a constant cruising speed in fifth gear than when idling in city traffic.

My American or European readers might be surprised to discover that here in Britain we drive on the left (by which I mean the 'right' or 'correct' side of the road).  Why is the left the best side of the road to drive?  The number one reason that reason on the left-hand side of the road is perfect for the right-handed driver is that it keeps your strongest arm on the wheel freeing your weaker arm to operate the gears/hand brake/entertainment system. This allows you to be more responsive when making unexpected maneuvers.

Don't believe me? You just need to look at road-traffic deaths by country. Countries that drive on the left have fewer fatal accidents.

Road traffic fatalities by country. The lighter the colour, the safer the roads.