The Ultimate Guide To Car Shopping Lingo

illustration of magnifying glass over line of car icons
When you enter the market to buy your next car, you might encounter some terms you’re not familiar with. There’s no need to worry, because Car and Driver has put together a car-buying glossary to help make sense of it all.

Vehicle Vocabulary

When you’re on the lot, you’ll see stickers in the windows of each car for sale. This is known as the Monroney sticker, named after former senator Mike Monroney, who sponsored laws requiring vehicle prices to be plainly disclosed. That’s why you’ll also see the MSRP on the sticker. That’s the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price, but it’s not necessarily the final price you might pay – just the starting point for negotiating your deal.

Leasing Language

Leasing a vehicle comes with its own vocabulary of terms that might not apply to other kinds of car shopping. You’ll need to be mindful of your mileage limit or mileage allowance, which is the total distance the vehicle can be driven over the duration of the lease. Extra mileage might incur an additional charge. When you return a car at the end of its lease, it will still have some residual value, or the estimated value used to determine the price it would fetch if you wanted to then buy it.

Financing Terms

Securing an auto loan makes buying a vehicle much smoother, and it starts when you pre-qualify – that’s when a lender confirms that you’re eligible for a loan, but you haven’t agreed to accept it yet. Once you’ve purchased your vehicle, you’ll make regular payments toward its APR, or Annual Percentage Rate. That’s the loan’s interest rate charged by the lender for the use of their funds. If you want to use the value of your old car toward your loan’s down payment or monthly payments, you can utilize its trade-in value, and you can even get a trade-in estimate online to see what your car could do for you.

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David Scott Lee Crestview Buick GMC

Whether you plan to buy, lease, or trade-in a vehicle here in Crestview, we’ll be ready to help here at David Scott Lee Crestview Buick GMC. Call or come see us to learn all about our selection and your options.

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