Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination?

The central city itself is relatively compact and is easily covered on foot. However, depending on where you choose to live and where your place of work is situated, it may be useful to have your own car in order to get around.
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How can I legally drive a vehicle in this city?

EU members and those from Commonwealth countries can exchange licenses on arrival to the UK.

American citizens will need to take a driving test through the DVLA (Driver and Licensing Agency) to obtain a license (after not more than one year in the UK) and obtain insurance, which is a legal requirement.
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What side of the road do people drive on?

The left side.
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Describe typical public transportation an expat might use to get around the city.

There are several buses running throughout the city and to the suburban areas, including the free Metroshuttle service in central Manchester. The Metrolink tram network runs on two routes through the city centre to the suburbs – one from Bury on the north to Atrincham in the south, and the other goes through Salford Quays to Eccles in the west. In addition there are several train services connecting the inner city to the suburbs and satellite towns nearby. Most trains run from either Piccadilly Station or Victoria Station.
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Could an expat also use public transportation to get out of the city—to surrounding towns, recreation areas or suburbs? If so, list options.

There are plenty of regular bus and train services running from Manchester to towns and cities both nearby and further afield. Check with National Express or The Trainline for further details.
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In regards to transportation, are there any safety issues I should be aware of?

No, although it is always wise to be aware of pickpockets operating in public transport areas.
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Where do I buy tickets/tokens/etc. for the major public transportation?

You can obtain tickets at train stations, local newsagents, on the internet or by phone.
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