A stock photo showing a close up of a page in a dictionary

Heritage Toyota gives customers a quick vocabulary lesson

What are the most important automotive words I should know?

There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to buying a car. Not only is it wise for buyers to gain an in-depth knowledge of the cars, trucks and crossover SUVs they want to buy, but they also need to be prepared to understand the industry’s vocabulary words. So, what are the most important automotive words you should know? If this is the first year someone is considering buying a new or if someone hasn’t been through the process for a while, Heritage Toyota believes that the happiest customers are the ones with the best possible information. Please call or stop by the showroom when the time is right for you to take home a new (or pre-owned) Toyota vehicle.

READ MORE: What kind of oil do I need to use in my Toyota vehicle?

Leasing terms

Down Payment — Money paid to the dealership when financing or leasing a new vehicle. Most of the time, a larger down payment will lead to lower monthly payments. It is not uncommon for buyers with strong credit scores to be able to skip this altogether.

Drive Off — Also referred to as “total due at signing.” This is the total amount of money that needs to be paid, including the all of the taxes and fees required by state, federal and local regulations.

Excess Wear Charge — Customers may incur monetary penalties if a leased vehicle is heavily damaged, beyond what is considered normal wear and tear. Aftermarket modifications such as tinted windows or new electronics may also contribute to additional penalties.

Financing/Insurance terms

Upside Down — A vehicle that is not worth as much as a person owes a financial institution is considered upside down. This can occur if an owner decides to sell their vehicle before paying off a loan or if the vehicle is destroyed before the note is paid off.

Gap Insurance — Most insurance policies will only cover a vehicle’s value at the time the claim is made. This could leave a portion still owed to a bank if the car is totaled and the owner still owes money on it. Gap insurance will take care of the difference.

Limited Warranty — All new vehicles are covered by a warranty to protect buyers against unexpected defects. Consumables like tires and windshield wipers are not covered. Expiration is based on time and/or mileage.

If you have any questions at any point about the process of buying or leasing a Toyota car, truck or SUV, please feel free to ask. Do you already know what you want? You can schedule a test drive today with a Heritage Toyota sales professional today.