What Is the Make and Model of the Car?

When it comes to the auto industry, there are a lot of buzzwords that get tossed around — make, model, features, stock, VIN, MSRP and more. If the car buying process is new to you, you might get lost with all this jargon. Thankfully, most of these terms are quite simple to understand once someone takes the time to explain.

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      What is the make of a car?

      The make of a car, sometimes referred to as the vehicle make, is nothing more than the brand of the car. For example, with a Dodge Charger, the make of the car is Dodge. Every car made by a manufacturer like Jeep, Ford, or Nissan, will be the same make. For example, a Dodge Charger and a Dodge Caravan have the same make.

      What is the model of a car?

      The car model is the type of car nested under the make. So, for a Dodge Charger

      • Maker would be Dodger
      • Model would be Charger

      But Dodge also has many other models, like the Ram Pickup, the Durango and the Challenger. When you put it all together, the car’s make and model includes the manufacture and the particular vehicle you’re referring to.

      [More: The Best Car Insurance Companies]

      Can cars of the same model be different?

      The make and model of a car are only the beginning of customization. Within each model, there are options, upgrades, features and add-on packages that can make your car less or more valuable. For example, some vehicles have the option to select a different engine or upgraded trim packages.

      Take the Ford Fusion, for example. Not all Ford Fusions are the same. You can choose between the S, SE, SEL, Titanium, Hybrid SE, Hybrid SEL, Hybrid Titanium and the Plug-In Hybrid Titanium. These cars are the same make and model but vastly different inside, outside and under the hood. For completeness, some people do consider each of these a separate model, while some people consider them modifications to the Fusion model.

      How to find my car’s make and model

      If you’re not sure the make and model of your car, that’s OK. There are several places you can look. Some of the easiest places to look include the paperwork from your car purchase, on your car’s registration or by using your VIN to look it up online. Any one of these methods should give you the answer. The VIN will be the most reliable as paperwork could have mistakes.

      Does the make and model impact the value of your car?

      The make and model of your car can have a significant effect on the value of your vehicle. Sometimes the difference in value is backed up with features and craftsmanship, and sometimes it’s just because of the make and model.

      [Related: Best Auto Loan Rates]

      Regardless of the reason for the higher value, your insurance company may charge you more for specific makes and models. You should be able to get discounts on your insurance by choosing to drive a less expensive car. If you’re set on a more expensive model, there are still other ways you can get discounts on your insurance.

      Does the make and model of my car affect my car insurance?

      Absolutely. There are four main ways the make and model of your car could affect the cost of your insurance. First, the make and model of your car affects how expensive the car is. More expensive cars require higher insurance coverage. Second, certain makes and models of cars are more popular with thieves. The more frequently your make and model is stolen, the higher your insurance rates.

      Third, the safer your make and model of car is, the lower you can expect certain aspects of your insurance to be. Specifically, coverage dealing with bodily injury for you and your passengers will be less or more expensive. Last, specific makes and models of cars are known for certain driving patterns. For example, Corvettes are often driven differently than mini-vans. If the difference here brings more assumed risk, you can expect to pay more with insurance companies.

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      Do I need to know the make and model of my car to get car insurance?

      Yes. To get car insurance, your insurance company will need to know the make and model of your car. Here are some of the things you may be asked for:

      • Make and model of the car
      • Model year
      • Any upgraded packages
      • Any aftermarket upgrades
      • Where you live
      • Your age
      • How much you drive
      • What you use your car for
      • Your driving history

      With all of this information, you’re able to get an auto insurance quote by calling a company or through one of the many online insurance quote platforms. Even if you haven’t purchased your car yet, you can use the online quote systems to get an idea of what your insurance premium will be for each make and model you’re interested in. Here are the steps to get a few quotes now for car insurance.

      • Gather your information. As much of the information listed above as you can collect, the better. If you aren’t sure about some of the information, many of the quote systems allow you to compare rates with different options.
      • Apply to several different insurance companies. The rate you can get for the same criteria can vary significantly from one provider to another. The best thing you can do is get multiple quotes before choosing which company to go with.
      • Understand the different levels of coverage. You can’t just look at the rate quote to get an idea of which insurance company is best. You need to look at the levels of coverage you’re getting (compare similar levels), the quality of the company and what the company’s reputation is in the industry. Ideally, you never have to use your car insurance. But if you do, you’ll be happy that you took the time to understand and get the right levels of coverage from the right company.

      We welcome your feedback on this article. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

      Jason Lee

      Contributing Writer

      Jason Lee is a U.S.-based freelance writer with a passion for writing about dating, banking, tech, personal growth, food and personal finance. As a business owner, relationship strategist, and officer in the U.S. military, Jason enjoys sharing his unique knowledge base and skill sets with the rest of the world. Follow Jason on Facebook here

      Reviewed by

      • Nashalie Addarich
        Nashalie Addarich

        Nashalie Addarich is an editor for The Simple Dollar. She recently made a career switch from the legal field, where she was an attorney in Washington, DC. In her free time, she enjoys learning new languages. You can also find her editorial work on Reviews.com.