Glossary of Auto Terms

When buying a car, you may at times hear a word but you just don't know what it means. We have compiled a glossary of terms used in the automotive industry to help you when buying your next car. Click on one of the letters above (definitions are grouped alphabetically).


Acquisition Fee
A fee paid for the selection of property or to originate a loan or lease.

Options and features added to a vehicle by the dealer, like a navigation or anti-theft system.

Advanced Payment Offer Rate Reduction
A lease rate reduction offered when the whole cost of the lease is payed up-front. Pay the total cost of the lease up-front instead of over time and get a discount.

Amount Due At Lease Signing
The total amount due before the customer can take delivery of a leased vehicle. This can include things like a security deposit, title fee, monthly payments paid at signing and registration fees.

Amount Financed
The amount a borrower will have to pay back for the vehicle, including anything rolled into the monthly payment, such as an extended warranty.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
A yearly rate of interest that includes fees and costs paid to acquire the loan. The rate is calculated by taking the average compound interest rate over the term of the loan.

Application Fee
A fee the lender charges to process the document in which a prospective borrower details his or her financial situation to qualify for a loan.

An increase in the value of an item or property.

As-is Condition
When a vehicle is sold in its current physical state, with no warranties.

Auto Insurance Score
This score is based on information found in a consumer's credit file. Insurance companies consider auto insurance scores when pricing policies. Bad credit can increase your car insurance cost.