What is the Purpose of a Side Step?

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Side steps are an excellent accessory for large vehicles, offering not just accessibility and ground clearance but also increasing your car’s appeal by multiple folds. These accessories go by multiple names – nerf bars, side bars, side steps – however, they perform the same function.

Initially, side steps were attached to almost all cars since they used to have much lower ground clearance, and side steps would make it easier for people to enter or exit. However, most cars today have side steps installed for aesthetic purposes, yet they still perform several functions. Having one of these installed in your car is a must. But if you’re still wondering what is the purpose of a side step on cars, then keep on reading.

Provide an Easy Step-Up

The foremost reason for having side steps installed is for passengers to enter or leave taller vehicles with ease. Side steps have been used for this purpose since the times of horse carriages as they used to be much higher. Almost all early vehicles have used side steps since cars used to be lifted. However, today’s cars do not require much ground clearance due to smooth and paved roads. Today, side steps are mostly used as an accessory that brings aesthetic value.

Most people will not require side steps to get into or leave a tall vehicle; however, children or people with disabilities will have a hard time entering the car. For this purpose, side steps can still come in handy.

Picture of a Vehicle side step

Keep Your Car Clean

Side steps act like a doormat for your car. Some side steps even have a doormat material attached to them for this purpose. You can clean your shoes before entering your car, keeping the carpets inside clean.

You can also change your shoes while standing on the side steps and change into a clean pair of shoes before entering your car.

Picture of a clean car

Keep Your Clothes Clean

Another purpose of side steps is that they can keep your clothes clean as you get off the vehicle. While getting out of a large vehicle, your clothes tend to rub against the sill of the car, which is usually lain with dirt and gravel. Having an extra step while getting off can save your clothes from all the dirt.

Protect Your Car’s Paint

Since side steps are more common in off-road vehicles such as SUVs, pick-up trucks, and jeeps. Side steps can protect the sides of your vehicle. A lot of dirt, gravel, and debris can fly off from your car’s tyres, and some may escape through the mud guards that can dent or scratch your doors or rocker panels. A side step can act as a barrier between your car’s door and the flying debris.

Picture of a vehicle side step

Allow Your Seats to Last Longer

In higher vehicles without side steps, most people tend to slide over the sides of the seat. This may seem harmless, but over time, this friction can cause your seat’s stitching, fabric, and foam to deteriorate. These seats can be expensive to replace or fix. Having side steps can fix these issues as it would allow people to properly exit the vehicle instead of sliding over the side bolsters of your seats.

Picture of a damaged car seat
Man’s hand finger pointing to car interior’s damaged textile seat.


Even though side steps have been reduced to mere accessories for aesthetic purposes, they still offer several benefits that many people are unaware of. Knowing the purpose of a side step can help you in making the right decision when you’re buying a new vehicle. Get your side steps today from Turborevs and enjoy the endless benefits that these accessories have to offer.

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