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Jamjar Jargon Buster

September 6, 2020

Whether you’re buying a car or selling it, it can be so easy to get lost in all the car jargon and understanding what it all means. That’s why we’ve put together this jargon buster to help you out.


Antilock braking system

An automatic system, which prevents the wheels from locking during emergency braking. It’s pretty self-explanatory really. It also helps to improve steering control and reduce stopping distances.

Automatic transmission

This does what it says on the tin. If your car has an automatic transmission then it will shift through the gears automatically and you won’t have to lift a finger.


You’ve probably heard of this term before, which stands for auxiliary. This is the audio connection and allows you to connect your phone, tablet and whatever other devices to your car’s built-in audio system.


This refers to brake horsepower. This is the standard measurement of the power of an engine. Generally, the higher a car’s BHP, the higher it’s top speed.

Cruise control

The automatic system, which helps to control the car’s speed, keeping it at a steady pace and is set by the driver.


There are various cylinder arrangements but you will always find this part of the engine between the crankcase and the cylinder head. Here is where the magic happens and the ignition of fuel takes place.


The dampers are a key component of a car’s suspension and are sometimes referred to as ‘shock absorbers’.

Electric stability control

To help assist both understeer and oversteer, as well as to improve car safety, electric stability control works to help apply the brakes to a particular wheel if the car begins to lose control.

Full-service history

A full-service history refers to a car that has a full log of all regular maintenance that has occurred and has also received service stamps from approved outlets.

Fuel injection

This is a system in which automised fuel is applied to the combustion chamber of each cylinder within the car’s engine.

Front wheel drive

This refers to the engine power that is channeled directly to only the front wheels of the car.

Gross weight

The gross weight of a car is the total weight of a car, plus its maximum amount of people and cargo.

HPI Check

If you’re looking to buy a used car, then it’s a good idea to check that it has got this extensive service history, commonly known as an HPI Check.


Imagine an engine powered by both petrol and electricity? Hybrid models can jump between the two, that’s how efficient they are.


Most cars tend to have these nowadays. As technology enhances, you’ll find that more and more cars are fitted with this electronic safety device that prevents the engine from turning on unless the correct key is in use.


Refers to a car that has been raised off the ground by its suspension.

Kerb weight

This is the weight of a car with just fuel, oil, and water inside.


You’re likely to find these in your low-beam headlights, brake lights, and indicators. They also use much less power than a standard bulb.

List price

This refers to the cost of a car as soon as it is driven off the forecourt and before any depreciation has occurred. In theory, this is the maximum price that somebody would pay for a car.


The make or brand of a vehicle, for example, BMW, Mercedes or Rolls-Royce.


Miles per gallon. Yes, this is the number of miles a car can travel for every gallon of fuel that it consumes.


Miles per hour. The number of miles a vehicle can travel at a constant speed over the period of an hour.

Naturally aspirated

An engine where the cylinders draw in the fuel mixture under atmospheric pressure. This is performed by the suction action of the pistons during induction.


The device used to record mileage throughout your vehicle’s lifetime and is also known as a milometer.

Power steering

Any form of steering, that is assisted by electric or hydraulic motors. This basically reduces the amount of effort that is required by the driver to turn the wheels at low speed.


The distance that an electric vehicle can travel on pure electric power before it needs charging.

Road Tax Band

A vehicle’s grouping, which specifies the amount of annual tax that must be paid. In the UK, the bands range from A (least) to M (most) and are dependant on the amount of C02 that is produced.

Rear Wheel Drive

The opposite of front wheel drive, this is where all power is transferred to the rear wheels only.

Statutory Off-Road Notification

Also known as a SORN, this occurs when you register a vehicle that you no longer use on the road to the DVLA. In return, you will receive a redemption from paying vehicle tax.


This refers to the type of gearbox that is fitted within a vehicle. The two different types that you may well have heard of automatic and manual. Semi-automatic versions are also available to.


If you want more power, then getting a car that is equipped with a turbocharger is what you need. It works by getting more air into the cylinders by compressing it and blowing it in.


These are devices that are operated by the camshaft, which open and close around the combustion chamber. The way in which they work are to allow the fuel mixture in and exhaust gases out.

Vehicle Registration Mark

This is also referred to as the VRM, which is basically a vehicle’s number plate.


This is the distance between the centre points of the front and rear wheels.


You would have heard this term if your car has ever been involved within an accident and the cost to repair it is higher than the cost to replace it.


So now that you’ve got your head around all this confusing car terminology, if you ever want to get a value for your car and find out how much it’s worth, maybe you want to upgrade and get yourself on that is turbocharged, then let us help you to sell your car. Just head over to our valuation page and we’ll help you find the car buyer for you.

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