How to Identify Car Brands

To correctly identify a car's make or manufacturer, just look at the car emblem or consult a handy mobile apps.
Written by Cheryl Knight
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
The ability to correctly identify a car's make (or manufacturer) might not seem necessary, but it could come in handy when dealing with a
car accident
, especially a hit-and-run accident. The ability to recognize the different vehicle manufacturer emblems can serve you well if you need to quickly identify a vehicle.
What exactly do the various car manufacturer emblems look like, and what mobile apps can help you identify them on the fly? In this article, Method 1 helps you figure out brands by emblem and Method 2 suggests some apps or programs you can use.

Method 1 of 2: How to identify car make by car emblem

Sometimes called a hood ornament, badge, or emblem, these markings on a vehicle help drivers identify the exact manufacturer of a specific car. In addition to branding a vehicle and helping to advertise for the company, emblems help in some other ways as well, including making it easier to identify a vehicle following an accident or by law enforcement during a traffic stop.
What exactly are the different emblems, and where can you find them on a car?
Step 1: Identifying common makes of cars. Makes of cars include vehicles from a variety of countries.
When identifying the manufacturer of a car, keep in mind that cars most often come from either America, Asia, or Europe. Some of the more common car manufacturers from these countries include:
  • American cars: Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Jeep, and Lincoln
  • Asian cars: Acura, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Scion, Subaru, and Toyota
  • European cars: Alfa Romero, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Fiat, Lamborghini, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Porsche, Rolls Royce, Volkswagen, and Volvo
Step 2: Emblem locations. Car manufacturers place vehicle emblems in highly visible spots, such as on the front, back, and both sides of the vehicle.
You can find vehicle manufacturer emblems in a variety of spots on a car's body, including:
  • Hood ornaments: The hood represents the most common area on older model year cars. These hood ornaments display the vehicle manufacturer symbol prominently, especially for luxury cars.
  • Grille emblems: Many modern cars place the emblem within the grille area of a vehicle. Most often manufacturers do this to give the car a more streamlined look that incorporates the vehicle brand.
  • Trunk emblems: You can find trunk emblems either on the right side of the back of the trunk hatch, facing the area directly behind the car or incorporated as a part of the locking mechanism for the trunk.
  • Front quarter panel: Vehicle manufacturers also place the vehicle emblem on both the driver- and passenger-side quarter panels above the front wheel well.
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Method 2 of 2: How to identify car make using a mobile app or PC program

The wonders of modern computers and recognition software have brought car make identification apps to smartphones and other mobile devices. Some applications can identify a car make just by a picture of the rear of the vehicle, allowing you to easily identify car make on a desktop PC or laptop.
Even insurance companies have gotten in on the act, releasing a variety of car manufacturer identification apps. Some of the available car identifier mobile apps and programs include:
Whether you need to know the manufacturer of a car for a police report following an accident or just because you want to check out that cool car in front of you, knowing how to identify a car make can come in handy. In addition, you can use car identifying technology to help you find out which manufacturer made a car just by pointing your mobile device at it.
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