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Four Wheel Drive
Most cars are two-wheel drive, but driving all the wheels gives greater grip off-road or in snow and ice.
Four Wheel Steering
With four-wheel steering, the rear wheels are turned electronically to give extra stability and manoeuvrability.
Alloys (alloy wheels)
These are wheels made from aluminium alloy rather than steel. They’re lighter, tend to look better and they’re less likely to rust than steel ones; they cost more though.
This cools and dries the incoming air in your car to keep it comfortable in the Summer heat.
Anti-lock Braking System
ABS prevents total brake lock-up in emergency situations. It shortens the stopping distance but you can still keep control of the steering.
Brake Horse Power
This refers to the useable power that is generated by your engine. It’s one of the factors that influences car performance.
This is when the bumper and mirrors are the same colour as the bodywork of a car.
This is a device that keeps your car at a selected speed without the need to have your foot on the accelerator.
Central Locking or Central Door Locking
Central locking allows you to unlock all your car doors at the turn of a key or the press of a button.
Electronic climate control automatically keeps your car at a preset temperature by either cooling or heating the incoming air.
Child Restraint System
This refers to a child's car seat, booster cushion or booster seat.
The Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency
The Government agency responsible for maintaining registers of vehicles and drivers and also responsible for collecting car tax.
External mirrors that can be adjusted from inside the car using an electric switch.
Seats that can be adjusted using an electric switch.
Electronic Stability Programme
This is a system which uses sensors to analyse a vehicle’s cornering stability, and if necessary the system will automatically reduce power and/or apply gentle braking to correct any under or over-steering. Modern sports cars typically have this feature.
A sunroof is a glass panel in the roof of your car. If it’s electric then it can be opened electrically, rather than manually.
Windows that you can open and close using an electric switch, rather than using a handle to wind them up and down manually.
Full dealer service history
This is when the full service history shows that all the services have been carried out by a main dealer.
Factory Fitted Sunroof
A sunroof is a glass panel in the roof of your car. If it’s been factory fitted then it was fitted at the time of manufacture.
Full Service History
This is evidence of servicing according to the manufacturer's recommended service schedule along with MOT certificates, repair invoices and any other documents that relate to the work done on a car. This gives a full view of how a car has been used and maintained.
A car that’s in good nick.
Headlamp Wash Wipe
This clears your car’s headlamps for you.
These literally heat your car seats to keep you warm on cold Winter mornings.
Any entertainment equipment that’s fitted to your car such as car audio and car stereo equipment, CD and MP3 stereos, iPod kits and DVD players.
An electronic device that stops your car from starting unless the proper key is used.
Independent Rear Suspension
This means that each rear wheel can move in isolation from the other wheel, rather than them both being attached to a shared axle. It can make handling the car easier as well as making it more comfortable.
Countries are either left-hand drive (LHD) or right-hand drive (RHD). This refers to the side of the car where the steering wheel is placed. The UK is right-hand drive and a left-hand drive car is one that’s been imported from a left-hand drive country.
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (fuelled)
This is an alternative fuel to petrol or diesel.
A long wheelbase vehicle usually has more space inside.
This is the highest gear in the gear system of a manual car. It allows the engine to operate at a lower RPM for a particular speed, as a result the car uses less petrol.
Ministry of Transport Test
An annual test required of most vehicles in the UK over 3 years old to prove their safety and roadworthiness.
Multi Purpose Vehicle
More commonly referred to as a people carrier. It is a large family car with lots of space inside and the option to move the seats around.
Or Near Offer, Or Very Near Offer
This term is most often used with the price of a used or second-hand item that’s for sale. It means the seller is open to negotiation, but doesn’t want to go much below their asking price.
This is when you give goods as part payment for a more expensive item. Often when you buy a new car from a dealer you have the option of trading in your old car as part payment.
Power Assisted Braking
Many braking systems are 'assisted' so that the pressure you apply with your foot on the brake is magnified by a special device fitted to the car.
Power Assisted Steering
Steering that is powered either electrically or by a hydraulic system.
Power Door Mirrors
This refers to the revolutions per second within the vehicle engine, increased by using the accelerator. Hence the phrase "revving the engine".
Radio Data System
This is a standard system used to send small amounts of information using the FM frequency. It allows a radio to display such information as station name, time and song information.
Rear Head Rests
The head rests positioned above the back seats.
Revolutions Per Minute
This refers to the number of revolutions per minute.
Rear Wheel Drive
A vehicle in which the power is fed to the rear wheels rather than the front wheels.
Side Impact Protection System
This term refers to the safety features in a vehicle that have been included in order to reduce the possibility of injury to passengers, or damage to the vehicle, upon impact from the side.
Satellite Navigation System
The use of satellite-generated information to establish a car’s exact position and then provide the driver with mapping and directions. See also Global Positioning System (GPS).
Sports Utility Vehicle
A vehicle that combines the passenger capacity of a people carrier with significant towing capacity and off road capability.
Term used as an alternative to "accident".
The highest gear available in a vehicle, typically fifth or sixth gear.
Turbocharged Direct Injection
Technology produced by Volkswagen for modern diesel engines, which aims to generate better engine performance and reduced emissions.
Taxed and tested
A phrase used in car adverts to make it clear that the car is taxed and has also passed its MOT test.
This is an achievable price that you should aim for prior to purchasing a car. Setting a target price gives you something to aim for through your negotiation.
Windows which have been coloured in order to restrict the glare of the sun and to increase privacy within the vehicle.
The certificate issued once a vehicle has been officially registered with the DVLA. You must inform the DVLA of both your personal and the key vehicle details as soon as you become the legal owner of a vehicle. This certificate is then issued.
Very good condition
A car that’s in fantastic nick.
Vehicle Identification Number
A number used to uniquely identify a vehicle. This is different to the registration number and consists of 17 characters.
Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control
Essentially this is a technology Honda have developed to increase the power of an engine while also increasing fuel efficiency.
Whole Life Cost
The cost of running a vehicle for a defined period of time, taking into account depreciation, running costs, servicing and all other expenses.
A term used to describe a vehicle which is worth less than the costs of the repairs required in order to make it road worthy. The term is commonly used after a vehicle has been in an accident.
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