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  A comprehensive automotive glossary  
 
     
 

4WD
Four-wheel drive-All four wheels receive power from the engine. In some instances, this requires only the push of a button to engage, in others, the driver must leave the vehicle and lock in the hubs on the tires.

ABS
Anti-Lock Brakes-Prevent the brakes from locking up during hard braking. This results in a faster stopping time.

ACV
Actual Cash Value- What your trade in is actually worth, NOT what the dealer offers you for your vehicle.

AFTERMARKET
Anything added to a vehicle after it leaves the manufacturing facility.

AIRBAG
Safety device located in various points in a vehicle, designed to deploy upon impact.

ALLOTMENT
The number of a specific vehicle that a dealership is allowed by the manufacturer.

APR
Annual Percentage Rate- The interest rate you are charged on the money you borrow to purchase a car

ASKING PRICE
The "sticker" price of a vehicle. Usually can be negotiated.

AUCTIONS
Many dealerships receive their used cars from auctions.

AUTOMATIC
(Transmission) Gears shift automatically. No need for the driver to manually change gears.

AWD
All Wheel Drive- Similar to 4WD except in most cases this is automatic and constant.

BAIT AND SWITCH
Luring someone into a dealership with the promise of one thing and then switching to another.

BALOON LEASE
A lease requiring a large payment at some point during the term of the lease.

BE BACK
Name given to many customers who are "just looking" on the car lot.. "Be Backs" always say they will be back, but rarely come back.

BEACON SCORE
(see also FICO) A score given to individuals by credit reporting agencies. This number in indicative of whether you are credit worthy.

BILL OF SALE
Receipt given to the purchaser of a vehicle. Contains all pertinent information about the vehicle and amount paid.

BIRD DOG
An incentive given by dealerships to their customers for referral business.

BLACK BOOK
Book Containing Values of used cars by make model condition and mileage.

BOGEY
A person with bad credit who cannot be financed.

BUMP
Enticing a consumer to a more expensive, higher class car

BURIED
(see also Negative Equity) Owing more on your trade than it is worth. Being buried means the amount owed is excessively high.

BUYERS REMORSE
Changing your mind after a vehicle purchase.

CABRIOLET
Fancy name for a convertible car

CLASSIC
Cars that are over twenty-five years old

CLOSE
Getting a customer to sign on the dotted line saying they will commit to purchase a vehicle. Each salesperson's goal is to close you.

COMMISSION
How most salespersons are paid. Very few dealerships pay on an hourly basis. Therefore, the higher price you pay, the more the salesperson makes.

CONVERTIBLE
A car with a top that folds down or is removable

CO-SIGN
Having someone with good credit accept responsibility for a car loan should you default on payments.

COUPE
A two-door car

CREDIT REPORT
A history of your past payments and loan activity.

CUSTOMIZED
Aftermarket specialized changes made to a vehicle. Ex. Tinting windows, lettering, raising or lowering of suspension system.

DEALERHIP
A retail establishment that sells cars under contract with specific manufacturers.

DELIVERY
Presenting the car to the customer after the sale is complete.

DEMO
A vehicle that is driven by the staff of the dealership. Often these vehicles have never been titled and are sold as "new."

DEPRECIATE
The loss of value of a vehicle. This begins as soon as you cross the curb.

DETAILING
Detailed cleaning of a vehicle.

EXCESS MILEAGE
A vehicle that has higher mileage than the average vehicle the same age. Most often used in leases, where consumers are allowed a specific number of miles based on the term of the lease.

F&I
Finance and Insurance, usually a different office where you receive information about your payment and insurance options available.

FACTORY EQUIPPED
Options included on the vehicle when it leaves the factory.

FICO
(see also Beacon Score) rating given to consumers reflecting past payment history.

FINANCE
Buying a vehicle on credit and making monthly payments to the lien holder.

FINANCE MANAGER
Dealership employee who submits your information to various banks to receive approval for financing. Also sells and recommends warranties and various insurance.

GAP
Insurance designed to fill the gap should you total your vehicle and owe more than your insurance company pays.

GHOST
A person with no credit history.

GM
General Manager

HOLDBACK
The amount of money a manufacturer allows a dealership on each vehicle sold. This amount cannot be found on invoices.

HOUSE DEAL
Meaning a deal with no commission to the sales person. Usually when a member of management personally knows the buyer.

IMPORT
A car coming from a foreign country.

INSURANCE
Entity offering reimbursement for damage caused by accidents.

INSURANCE CARD
Identification card provided by insurance companies stating covered vehicles, covered drivers, and contact information.

INVOICE
Paper showing the amount that the dealership "paid" for a vehicle and amounts for customers who have discount plans. This paper does not include dealer incentives such as holdbacks and dealer rebates.

LEIN HOLDER
The bank or finance company that holds the note on your vehicle until it is paid for.

LEMON
A car that frequently breaks down.

LENDER
A bank or other financial institution offering credit to buyers.

LESSEE
A customer who is leasing a vehicle

LESSOR
A bank or other financial institution acting as the holder of the lease.

LOSS LEADER
A vehicle advertised at an extremely low price designed to incur a loss to bring customers into the dealership.

MAKE
Brand of vehicle. Ex. Ford, Dodge, Chrysler, Chevrolet, etc.

MANUFACTURE DATE
The date the vehicle was finished by the manufacturer. This information can be found on a sticker on the side of the driver's door.

MINI VAN
Smaller than a typical van. Designed for families who need room.

MODEL RECALL
Manufacturer recalling a specific model of vehicle for repairs or due to a safety hazzard.

MPG
Miles Per Gallon- The number of miles a vehicle travels to use one gallon of gasoline.

MSRP
(see also, asking price) Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price-Price located on the window sticker, this is the price set by the manufacturer, can be negotiated.

NADA
National Auto Dealers Association- Organization that publishes values of used vehicles.

NEGATIVE EQUITY
Owing more on a vehicle than it is worth

OAC
On Approved Credit-Meaning financing available for well qualified buyers.

OCTANE RATING
The type of gasoline recommended by the manufacturer. Most vehicles operate efficiently on 89 octane (or regular). Some higher end vehicles require fuel of a higher octane.

ODOMETER STATEMENT
Paper showing the actual number of miles on a vehicle signed and dated to affirm its accuracy. This paper is required by law on each automobile transaction.

OPTIONS
Special offerings available on vehicles. Ex. Alloy wheels, 6-disc CD changer, etc.

PICKUP
Another name for a truck

POI
Proof of Insurance


PORProof of Residency

PRE-OWNED
Used vehicle

PROGRAM
Typically refers to vehicles that were previously leased.

RATE
(see also APR) The percentage rate you pay on the amount financed to purchase a vehicle

REBATE
Amount, generally set by manufacturer, deducted from window sticker on specific new vehicles. Rebates can change from month to month.

REGISTRATION
Paperwork filed with local government which identifies to whom a vehicle is registered.

RWD
Rear Wheel Drive

SAFETY CHECK
Process of inspecting a vehicle to ensure it meets federal and national safety standards.

SEDAN
A four door car.

SKATE
A term used by salespersons when accusing another salesmen of stealing their customer.

SLED
A car that is worn out. Derogatory term used by salesmen to describe a customer's trade in.

SPLIT
When two salesmen work together on one customer, they split the commission.

STANDARD
Manual transmission. Requires gears to be changed manually.

SUV
Sports Utility Vehicle

T.O.
Turn over. When one salesman cannot close the deal, he or she will turn over the customer to either another salesman or a member of the management staff.

TERM
The number of months a vehicle is financed.

TITLE
Legal document showing ownership of a vehicle.

TOWER
Sales desk where sales managers generally sit in a dealership.

TRADE IN
Vehicle a customer currently has that is traded for partial credit on their purchase.

TTL
Tax, Title, and License

UNIT
Refers to a vehicle on a dealer's lot.

UP
Refers to a customer. Salesmen refer to customers as "up's".

UPSIDE DOWN
Term describing someone who has negative equity.

VEHICLE HISTORY REPORT
Report showing prior accidents, flooding, odometer tampering, or other important information about a used vehicle.

VIN
Unique number assigned to every vehicle. Can be found on drivers door panel, dash, and often under the hood.

WALK AROUND
Process used by salesmen to show value in a vehicle. Used to show customers value. Also used to devalue a customer's trade. A salesman will wall around a vehicle.

WARRANTY
Guarantee from manufacturer or company that problems that may arise during a specified amount of time will be repaired at no or very little cost.

WHEELBASE
The distance measured from rear axles on a vehicle. Typically known as the width.