Is the Passenger Side Right or Left?

Is the Passenger Side Right or Left?
Photo by Devon Janse van Rensburg on Unsplash

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People have always wondered what a left-hand drive or a right-hand drive is. Which side does the passenger sit on? How does this affect ordering car auto parts? This article will look at which is the passenger side and how it can affect ordering parts for your vehicle.

Start With the Basics

Let’s begin by answering the most basic question – which side is the passenger side? For America, the driver’s side is the left side, and the passenger sits on the right. In other countries such as Britain, Australia, and Asia, the driver sits on the right, and the passenger sits on the left. The below video will help elaborate on this.


Which Side Is the Right Side?

For most people, this is where the confusion creeps in. Should you consider the right side when you’re facing the road sitting in the car or facing the front of the vehicle with your back to the road?

You determine the side when you’re in the car and facing the front of the road. This is crucial because when you order spare parts, you need to know which side is the passenger.


Why Does the Side Matter?

You need to know which is the passenger side because most auto part manufacturers would need to know if you need a part for the left or right of the vehicle. When you define which side the passenger sits on, you can get the right parts for your vehicle.

This is important because certain parts differ based on which side of the vehicle they fit. For example, certain fenders are made differently for each side. For a left-hand drive vehicle, the fender will be built differently than for a right-hand drive vehicle.

Most parts will also come with an RHD or LHD designation. This helps car owners determine which parts they should pick. Another noticeable difference is the front and back of the vehicle; however, most people know the difference between the two sides (most). The left and the right side differentiation is where most people make a mistake.


What Do Certain People Call the Passenger Side of the Car?

The passenger side of the car is called the nearside. Certain car parts will be labeled nearside parts because some people are familiar with this term.


What Is a Shotgun?

The passenger seat is usually the most coveted seat after the driver’s seat. This is because of the extra legroom and personal pride of sitting next to the driver. So, who gets to sit in the passenger seat? The person who calls shotgun.

The term shotgun is just like calling dibs as soon as you’re in sight of the vehicle. This phrase originated from the old west. Carriage drivers back in the day would bring along a companion to sit with them on their ride. This companion would carry a weapon to protect the carriage driver. These companions were bodyguards that would ward off carriage robbers along the way.


Is It Easy to Switch From a Left-Hand Drive to a Right-hand Drive Car and Vice Versa?

It’s not so easy to switch from a left-hand drive to a right-hand drive car, but it is possible. If you have experience driving on the other side of the road or are comfortable doing so, the process won’t be too difficult.

Driving on the opposite side of the road can be challenging for some people because they aren’t used to seeing things from a different perspective (like when you look at yourself in the mirror and see your left cheek instead of your right). 

However, with some practice and patience, you’ll get used to this new way of seeing things very quickly. The biggest challenge in switching from one side of the road to another is learning how to navigate intersections without taking too long or having too many accidents. 

This is especially true at intersections where multiple lanes go in different directions, or pedestrians cross streets at different times throughout the day. You must learn these skills so that you can quickly get through traffic during rush hour without hurting anyone or yourself.



Figuring out the passenger side is a very important distinction that every car owner must learn to recognize. Most don’t even realize the difference exists, and car parts are also distinguished. Figure out your passenger side the next time you’re looking to order car parts online.


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