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J - Jargon

05 June 2006

Jargon - Car dealers have developed their own language, which can be intimidating, misleading or downright confusing. Here are some of the most common phrases:

• Clocked - a car whose odometer has been wound back to boost the price

• Clean/mint - a car with no faults

• Cut 'n' shut - two cars made into one

• Ex-demo - Cars registered by the dealer to use on customer test drives then sold on. These are usually pre-registered cars with low mileage, and can be bargain alternatives to a new car if the price is right

• £500 over book - a car priced at £500 more than the guide price

• Logbook - the car's V5C registration form

• Part-ex value - how much you'll get for your car by trading it in for a new car

• Pre-reg - Many dealerships register cars in their own name to bump up the sales figures. New in all but name, make sure you can't haggle a similar amount off a new car

• TBA - to be arranged. If this is entered on the delivery day section of the order form, there'll be little you can do if delivery is delayed

• Trade - what private buyers will get by selling their car direct to a trader or dealership in a cash deal, with no part-exchange

• Wind and skin - air-conditioning and leather seats

Common abbreviations
• ABS - anti-lock brakes

• A/C - air-conditioning

• C/control - cruise control

• CVT - continuously variable transmission

• EMS - engine management system

• E/W - electric windows

• 5sp man - five-speed manual gearbox

• 4sp auto - four-speed automatic gearbox

• FSH - full service history

• Ht/adj - height adjustable

• Met - metallic paint

• PAS - power-assisted steering

• r/c/locking - remote central locking

• T/control - traction control


Want to know the difference between your APRs and your PCPs? Our Glossary will guide you through the minefield of car-buying terms.

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