Can You Identify Every Car on the Road? Here Are Some Tips to Help

Can You Identify Every Car on the Road? Here Are Some Tips to Help

It’s not impossible to identify every car that you see. Most of the time, it’s pretty easy because many cars are pretty common.

What happens when you see a unique car that isn’t part of the normal sea of vehicles you’re used to? Do you wonder what that car is and how you can identify it easily the next time you see one? Some people recognize enough features of a car from a great distance; they can tell you the year, make, and model right away, but you might need a little more help. That’s where this list comes in.

Learn the Most Popular Brands Sold in Your Area

If you know what the most common brands are, you’ll easily know which vehicles you expect to see. Yes, this means when something different shows up, you’ll have some difficulty pinpointing what car it is and what brand it belongs to. That’s ok, sometimes, seeing something unique that you can search for on your smartphone is a good thing. This will only increase your knowledge of cars and the brands you see.

What are the Most Common Domestic Brands?

Domestic brands are the vehicles that hold their main headquarters and operations in the United States. These brands are some of the most common vehicles on the road. Identify some of these brand names as soon as you see the logo. Here are some that you should know:

  • Ford – Blue oval with Ford in Script
  • Lincoln – A large cross with a vertical rectangle
  • Chrysler – Long winged emblem with the Chrysler shield in the center
  • Jeep – Large block Jeep letters
  • Dodge – Block DODGE letters with two red slashes
  • RAM – Ram head in a shield
  • GMC – Large GMC block letters
  • Chevrolet – A bowtie emblem
  • Cadillac – A shield with various colors elongated horizontally
  • Buick – Three shields, one red, one white, one blue
  • Tesla – Large T shaped like a sword with a curved top


Understanding what each logo looks like is the first step when you want to identify the cars on the road around you. The next time you take the kids out for a road trip, you should see if they can play a game where they count the number of each brand they see.

What are Some of the Asian Brands?

Some of the most popular vehicles in the market come from brands that call Japan and Korea home. More new brands are coming to the market as electric vehicle startups become more common, but if you can identify the main brands from these countries, you’ll have a good start. Most of the vehicles you’ll see that aren’t domestic models come from:

    Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Acura, Hyundai, Kia, Genesis, Mazda, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Nissan, and Infiniti

You might see more of these models in your neighbors’ driveways than domestic models. Some people grew up with Toyota models and continue to drive these vehicles today. After domestic products, Asian brands are the most common in the United States.

You Might See Several European Brands Out on the Road

Some brands come from Europe, although, in the United States, European cars are less common than domestic and Asian models. In fact, most of the European brands belong in the luxury segment of the market, which means they cost a lot more than the more common vehicles we see on the road. Some of the European brands you’ll see when you want to identify the cars on the road are:

    Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini, BMW, Mini, Rolls-Royce, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo

The most common logos you’ll see belong to Volkswagen, BMW, Audi, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz. Most of these are luxury vehicles meant to offer high-quality driving features that give them more comfort and style.

Some Vehicles Are Hard to Understand

If you want to identify most of the cars on the road by car type, you’ll find some areas of the market are muddied. Some of the small SUVs we see today aren’t much larger than a hatchback. Most automakers have turned away from sedans and small coupes to give us various SUVs and more trucks. The Subaru Crosstrek isn’t much bigger than a Honda Fit, and the Kia Soul is sometimes thought of as a large hatchback and other times a small SUV.

Turn Your Car Knowledge into Games

When you take the kids out for a road trip, you can turn your new car knowledge into several games that your kids will enjoy playing. It’s time to get everyone involved in the fun of understanding what cars you see. Other than only playing a game where you take turns trying to identify different brands, you could count car types, colors, and trailers.

Another fun car game to play is the license plate game. It’s similar to the car identification game, and you can count the different license plates you see during your ride. If you travel across several states, you can make a start and finish of each part of this game when you cross various state lines.

Play Punch Buggy, But Keep it Nice

Punch Buggy is a game that can get out of hand if your kids get a little rambunctious. You’ll need to monitor this, but it’s an easy game to play. Playing punch buggy is a way to identify one specific car from a distance. The first person to see a Volkswagen Beetle shouts the color and points out the location, followed by a gentle punch to the arm of their traveling companion. This game is a lot of fun.

You’ll Need to Study Cars to Gain More Knowledge

Do you want to become one of the people that can identify a car based on the headlights, shape of the doors, or some of the rear exterior features? If so, you’ll need to study cars and the model years. If you don’t want to put in this much effort, it’s not hard to gain a little more knowledge than the brand name and car type; all you’ve got to do is read about what different vehicles include.

Have fun and learn a little more about the cars around you.

This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning a commission is given should you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All products shown are researched and tested to give an accurate review for you.

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