What Cars are Called in the USA vs. UK

It’s well-known that UK English can be very different from US English. For instance, if you ask for a bathroom in the UK, they’re going to hand you a bar of soap and towel and send you on your way! People have long joked about the silly differences in language between these two English speaking countries, but when you’re an Expat, deciphering the differences becomes a way of life – and car shopping is no exception.

Whether you’re a US Expat in the UK, or a UK Expat relocating to the USA, if you’re going to need a car, you better know what you’re shopping for.

Understanding Car Terminology in the US and UK

In the US, we call a sport utility vehicle an SUV, while in the UK it goes by the name 4X4 (four by four). If you’re shopping for a 4×4 in the USA, the car salesman is going to assume you’re looking for any vehicle that offers Four-Wheel Drive – an option that comes on all sorts of models.

So, before you start your car shopping, make sure you know  What Cars are Called in the USA vs. UK

In The USA We Call It A: Station Wagon | In The UK We Call It An: Estate Car

VW station wagon
In The USA We Call It A: Minivan In The UK We Call It A: People Carrier or People Mover 

Chrysler Town and Country

In The USA We Call It A: Sedan | In The UK We Call It A: Saloon


In The USA We Call It A: Convertible | In The UK We Call It A: Roadster

audi convertible

In The USA We Call It A: SUV | In The UK We Call It A: 4X4


In The USA We Call It A: Car Rental | In The UK We Call It A: Car Hire 


There’s one thing we can all agree upon…this is a limousine!


IAS offers expatriates car financing, purchasing and leasing without a local credit history on all manufacturer models and worldwide car rentals to solve all your transportation needs. LEARN MORE

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *