Used Car Lingo to Know Before You Buy

December 5th, 2012
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used car sign

Ever wonder what language used-car salesmen are using when talking with each other? Whether you are buying a used car for yourself or your new teen driver, it is always beneficial to know what is taking place between the salesmen.

Here is a list of slang terms that are most commonly used between our friendly, and sometimes not so friendly, car salesmen around the country:

“B.C.” – Customer with bad credit.

“Buried” or “Upside Down” – A customer who owes more than the car he/she is trading is worth.

“Back Lot Special” – A vehicle with little resale value that usually takes up a back row on the car lot.

“Be Back” – The customer who says they’ll be back.

“Bare” – Paint that is beginning to fade.

“Checked Tops” – Vehicle with chipped or spotted paint on hood, top or truck.

“Donut” – Small size spare tire used on newer vehicles.

“Fresh Badge” – Car that has recent state inspection.

“Full Shot” – A vehicle that has been completely rebuilt following a crash.

“Gear Banger” or “Stick” – Manual transmission equipped vehicles.

“In The Wrapper” – A car in like new condition.

“Leaker” – A bad moon or sun roof.

“Laydown” – Customer who buys a car without negotiating price.

“Light the Candles” – Start the engine.

“Nine Yards” – A car equipped with every option available.

“Orange Peel” – Paint applied poorly that looks wavy.

“Plain Janer” or “Rubbernose” – Car with few or no options.

“Put to Sleep” – Customer who paid too much for his/her car.

“Ringer” or “Hot” – A stolen vehicle with incorrect vehicle identification number (VIN).

“Slider” – Power sunroof.

“Slug” or “Dog” – Vehicle with a worn engine.

“Spare Is In The Wrapper” – A spare tire that has never been used.

“Six Banger” – A six cylinder engine.

“Spinner” or “Bad Clock” – A vehicle with a rolled-back mileage odometer.

“Stroker” or “Tire Kicker” – A person on the lot who looks with no intention of buying.

“Sneakers” or “Paws” – The tires.

“Tight” or “Cherry” – Vehicle in excellent condition.

“The Up” – The next customer assigned to a salesman who has to “get up” to assist.

“Worth A Nickel” – A vehicle with a value of $500. A pair of nickels is $5500, while a dime is $1000. A dozen is $1200 and so forth.

“50-50″ – Agreement between buyer and seller where each assumes 50 percent of the cost of repair that occurs within the warranty limit.

Now that you have all the slang down, you’ll know it’s time to leave when you overhear your salesperson telling a coworker that you would be the perfect person to buy the “spinner” that’s a “slug” because you’re a “laydown” who was “put to sleep” at the previous dealership.

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