What are the nearside and offside for vehicles in the UK?

Diagram to explain what is nearside N/S/F N/S/R or offside O/S/F O/S/R for a right-hand drive UK vehicle

The terms nearside and offside are commonly used in the motor trade, but what do they actually mean? They’re commonly seen on MOT certificates, servicing checklists and garage invoices relating to tyres, brakes and bulbs, in order to indicate each side of the vehicle.

Nearside or N/S

Nearside, sometimes indicated as N/S refers to the nearside of a vehicle when driving on a UK road, so the side of the vehicle which is closest to the kerb. This side is, therefore the passenger’s side of the vehicle when driving a right-hand drive vehicle on a UK road.

Offside or O/S

Offside, sometimes indicated as O/S refers to the offside of a vehicle when driving on a UK road, so the side of the vehicle which is furthest from the kerb. This side is, therefore the driver’s side of the vehicle when driving a right-hand drive vehicle on a UK road.

N/S/F or N/S/R

The abbreviations N/S/F or N/S/R include the above reference to the nearside, but also include a reference to either the front or rear of the vehicle. N/S/F therefore indicates the nearside front, and N/S/R indicates the nearside rear of the vehicle, detailing either the front or back of the passenger’s side of a right-hand drive vehicle on a UK road.

O/S/F or O/S/R

The abbreviations O/S/F or O/S/R include the above reference to the offside, but also include a reference to either the front or rear of the vehicle. O/S/F therefore indicates the offside front, and O/S/R indicates the offside rear of the vehicle, detailing either the front or back of the driver’s side of a right-hand drive vehicle on a UK road.

Does your vehicle require work on the N/S or O/S?

As previously mentioned, these terms are commonly found on MOT certificates, servicing checklists and garage invoices, so if you’ve come across these terms, you may well need to have some work carried out on your vehicle.

If your vehicle requires a brake repair, we offer very competitive fixed prices on brakes, and you can find more information on our brakes page.

If your vehicle needs new tyres, we offer a great range of tyres at great prices, which can be booked effortlessly online on our tyres page.

If your vehicle requires a new MOT test, we offer great value MOTs at the majority of our branches, which can be booked online on our MOT page.