Nearside vs Offside: How To Tell The Difference?

what is a slip road and how to use them
What Is A Slip Road & How To Use Them?
29th January 2024
uk stopping distances explained
UK Stopping Distances Explained
25th March 2024
Show all

Nearside vs Offside: How To Tell The Difference?

nearside vs offside how to tell the difference

When learning to drive, it’s important to become familiar with nearside and offside in your car. This will not only help with safe driving but is also important for clear communication, for example, when your car has a service or there are parts you need to replace.

In this simple guide, we’ll examine what is on a car’s nearside and what is on its offside.

Defining Nearside and Offside: The Key Distinction

In UK vehicles, the nearside can be identified as the driver’s side or the side of the vehicle nearest to the curb. This is the left side when sitting in the driver’s seat.

The offside can be identified as the passenger’s side or the side of the vehicle furthest away from the curb. It is on the right-hand side or passenger side.

Beyond Basics: Practical Applications of Nearside and Offside Knowledge:

Navigating Road Rules and Regulations:

Understanding nearside and offside will help you identify the correct side when driving. This is important for following traffic rules in countries with different driving rules.

In countries with left-side driving, the nearside refers to the left side, while in right-side driving, it’s the right side—the driver side in both instances.

The same applies when talking about offside. In countries where left-side driving is used, offside refers to the right side, while in right-side driving, it’s the left side. The passenger side in both instances.

It can be easy to get confused, particularly if driving in another country for the first time, however, a drivers should ensure they have this knowledge to make safe turns, park correctly, and overtake in accordance with traffic regulations.

Communicating Clearly with Mechanics or Other Drivers:

Understanding and using the correct terms such as like “nearside front wing mirror” and “offside rear wheel” when ordering parts or requesting repairs avoids confusion. “Nearside” indicates the left side in left-side driving countries and the right side in right-side driving countries. Understanding this ensure precision in communication and prevents errors in part replacement or repair.


Understanding nearside and offside on a car is essential for safe and clear communication. It ensures accurate communication in terms of turns, parking, and part replacements, especially in countries with different driving conventions. This knowledge promotes safer driving practices and minimises the risk of confusion or errors in various traffic situations.

If you are a driver who already has a full driving licence but feel that you need to brush up on a few aspects of driving, Totally Driving’s refresher driving courses can help. These are designed for those who already have a full driving licence wishing to brush up on different aspects of their driving. Some may just have bad habits that have crept in over the years, for others it can be nerves. It is natural that after a few years, with no additional training, your driving skills can get a little rusty. Totally Driving can help address this with their bespoke refresher courses.

Olie Smith
Olie Smith
Olie Smith is a DSA Fully Approved Driving instructor with years of professional experience in driver training. Oliver set up Totally Driving to give a more bespoke, personal feel to driving lessons.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *