What does car make and model refer to?

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What does car make and model refer to?

How to Find the Make and Model of a Car

Unsure of how to find the make and model of a car? Whether you’re buying a car for yourself or purchasing auto insurance, knowing the make and model of your vehicle is vital. Here’s all you need to know about it. 

The make of a car typically refers to the brand that produced it. So, if you buy a Honda car, the make is Honda. Keep in mind that some vehicle manufacturers offer two brands of vehicles - one for regular cars and the other for luxury cars, so the brand may not always be the same as the manufacturer. For instance, Honda is an auto manufacturer that also sells luxury cars under the brand Acura - in this case, although the car is manufactured by Honda, Acura would be its make. 

The model of a vehicle refers to its product name. For instance, if you purchase a Honda Accord, Accord is the model. Keep in mind that the vehicle’s make and model significantly impact the value of your vehicle, so it’s important that you know these details before you sell or buy a car. Cars that have the same make and body style can have substantially different values, so just knowing that you want to buy a Toyota sedan is not enough - the model, along with other details, like the trim level, body style, and year of manufacture will have an impact on the MSRP of the car. 

How to find the make and model of a car?

Now that you know what the make and model mean, here’s how to find the make and model of a car: 

Check on the outside of your vehicle

The back of your vehicle should typically have the manufacturer’s name mentioned on one side of it and the model name on the other side. Most cars will also have the auto maker’s logo mentioned on the back and front of the vehicle. 

Check the owner’s manual

The make and model of the car can usually be found on the cover of the owner’s manual. If not, you should at least be able to find it in the first few pages. 

Check the vehicle’s title or registration

A vehicle’s make and model are displayed on both the title and registration documents. You can also find the car make and model by the registration number, through MyVehicle.ie

Use the vehicle’s VIN 

You can also find the car’s make and model by checking the VIN or vehicle identification number (also known as chassis number in Ireland). 

What is VIN?

A vehicle identification number or VIN is a 17-digit code that is unique to your vehicle. The digits that make up the VIN can tell you a lot of information about your vehicle, including its make and model, year of manufacturer, engine specification, serial number, and even where the vehicle was assembled. Keep in mind that older cars may have a 12-character VIN. 

Wondering how to check the car’s VIN number? Typically, your car’s VIN can be found in the dashboard that’s located on the driver’s side of the vehicle, driver’s side door at the doorpost, vehicle title and registration document, or in the auto insurance card or policy. 

The VIN is extremely important because it is a code that is unique to each car, and unlike the registration number, it cannot be changed. Checking the VIN of the car is the best way to verify the true identity of the car. If the car has had problems in the past, checking the VIN will indicate the irregularities. This is especially important if you are buying a used car since you have no way of knowing how the car was maintained. 

Warning and tips before buying a used car

Buying a used car can seem like a bit of a gamble. While it’s the smart thing to do if you want to save money, you can’t really be sure that the vehicle is in good shape, even if it appears to be. That’s why it’s important that you check the vehicle history of the car you intend to buy. While this may seem tedious, it’s, in fact, a rather straightforward and simple process. On MyVehicle.ie, you can perform a vehicle history check using the VIN to know if the car is defective or has been written off. Further, the check will also indicate if the vehicle was stolen, imported, used as a taxi, has outstanding finance on it, or has been clocked. 

Our vehicle history check service helps you purchase the best vehicle for you, so it lasts you a long time!


1. Where do I find the VIN number?

The vehicle identification number is usually stamped into the chassis of your car, usually found beneath the plastic trim around the driver/passenger door opening or in the engine bay. You may also be able to find the VIN near the bottom of the car’s windscreen and on the vehicle registration plate. 

2. How to check car history with a VIN number?

If you are buying a used car, you can’t always count on the seller to be honest about the condition of the car. Fortunately, you can do a VIN number check and access the entire history of the vehicle on MyVehicle.ie. MyVehicle.ie’s car history report will tell you if the vehicle was used as a taxi, imported from the UK, clocked, has not been paid off in full by the owner, and more. 

3. Where is the engine code in the VIN number?

Your VIN is a 17-digit code, with various groups of letters and numbers representing specific information. Numbers 4 through 9 of your VIN indicate information like the model of the car, body type, restraint system, transmission type, and engine code. 

4. What make and model is my car?

If you want to find the make and model of a car, all you need to know is the brand that produced it and the product name of the vehicle. For instance, if you have a Toyota car, then Toyota (the brand) is the make. The model is the product name used by the brand to market the car. For instance, if you have a Toyota Aqua, then Aqua is the model. 


Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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