In a system for control sales of vehicles, which is the appropriate word. Dealer or concessionaire? In order to refer to a place where they do sell vehicles.

What are the differences?


Concessionaire is so uncommon I don't think I've ever heard anyone use the word. Also, it usually refers to someone who operates a specific business (a concession) on someone else's property. Don't use it. The idiomatic term in US English for someone who sells cars is a car dealer.

  • 4
    @WillowRex - I think you mean on consignment, as Andrew said. A concession is a specific type of business: "a space or privilege within certain premises for a subsidiary business or service", like the popcorn stand at a fairground. – stangdon Jan 26 '17 at 18:23
  • 1
    @Willow: My search - "sell things on concession" - did not match any book results. Are you sure you're not thinking of sell things on commission? – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 26 '17 at 18:46
  • 2
    @Willow: Your English certainly isn't bad overall, so OP should simply take your "lapses" as further evidence that he really shouldn't bother trying to get his head around the subtleties of concession, commission, consignment until he's got a firmer grasp of basic English (the question text has several much more obvious problems than anything to do with using relatively uncommon words correctly). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 26 '17 at 18:59
  • 1
    US English here - I've never heard concessionaire before. Even so, I immediately would think that this person is one who runs a concession stand (like at a sports game or something)...But even then is that word never used. I'd just say "I'm buying something from the concession stand", and the person who works there would just be ...a "seller" I guess. We don't (as far as I know and have ever heard) use such a specific term colloquially. – BruceWayne Jan 26 '17 at 20:26
  • 2
    In the UK a "dealership" or "dealer" usually refers to a business that sells new or used cars. The individual people who work there are "salesmen" or "saleswomen". – alephzero Jan 27 '17 at 4:52

Dealer is the word you are looking for. Concessionaire has a very specific meaning that would only apply in very specific circumstances. The definition "the holder of a concession or grant, especially for the use of land or commercial premises" is accurate but needs examples. The US government "owns" Yellowstone Nation Park and operates the Park generally. Park Service personnel staff the Entrance gates, Visitor Centers, campgrounds, and police the roads and back country. But the Park Service grants concessions to other companies that operate the Hotels, Gas Stations, and Stores. The company that operates the Park's Hotels is the concessionaire for the Hotels concession. The company that operates the Park's Gas Stations is the concessionaire for the Gas Station concession. Likewise for the Park's stores. Similarly, the owner / operator of large sports and concert venues usually offers a concession of the "snack food" business inside the venue. The operator of the snacks concession is the snacks concessionaire at that venue.

So, the only way a car dealer would also be a concessionaire would be in a specific situation where, for example, the owner of Yankee Stadium in New York granted a concession to operate a car dealership inside the stadium (on Stadium grounds). The owner/operator of the concession might be a Lexus dealer during one concession contract and a BMW dealer during another contract. Both contract holders (Both car dealers) would be considered Yankee Stadium's automobile concessionaire during the terms their contracts were in force.


definitions from Google dictionary


noun the holder of a concession or grant, especially for the use of land or commercial premises.

This definition is correct but doesn't help in this context.

I know now the part below is wrong! I am keeping it here because I think it's important to 'fess up to errors.

If you are holding something in concession (I think this is what you are asking), then the concessionaire gets a percentage of the sale of the product or item that the seller earns. I sell used clothing (I am the owner) and earn three dollars but I must give a percentage to the concessionaire of 10%, so they earn thirty cents. The concessionaire owns the store where I can then sell my used item. On Edit: We do not use the term: concessionaire. We use owner, store manager, concession or more likely re-sale store owner. Some galleries sell art on concession.


noun 1. a person or business that buys and sells goods. "a car dealer"

(2. the player who distributes the cards at the start of a game or hand.*) * not useful

A dealer generally has paid for the goods and therefore is the owner of them. They then sell for a profit, that item to a customer.

  • 1
    This term is not common. Depending on context this person might be called a broker, an agent, or a franchise owner, or various other descriptions. – Andrew Jan 26 '17 at 18:06
  • We called her "the nearly new store owner". I think I'll edit, though. Thanks. – WRX Jan 26 '17 at 18:09
  • 1
    It sounds like you mean selling on consignment. The person who owns a store that sells things on consignment is the consignee, but again, this term is probably not often used except in contracts. :) – Andrew Jan 26 '17 at 18:13
  • 1
    @Andrew I fell on my sword because I learned something, or re-learned it at any rate. Mistakes are good learning tools, so I am letting it go... Thanks so letting me know so nicely. – WRX Jan 26 '17 at 18:43
  • 1
    I made some edits to give you an idea of what might be a better way to keep the mistaken bits in your answer. If you don't like it, click the "edited" link above my icon, and just rollback to the previous revision. You can also click "edit" on the version in the history you want to start editing from instead of rolling back and then editing. – ColleenV parted ways Jan 27 '17 at 1:12

From my stint in Italy, Concessionaires are owned directly by the Car manufacturers, while dealers are independent Value-Added resellers. The earlier often carry a larger bouquet of services as a result. As observed by many, concessionaire is hardly ever used in daily English, and could be misleading if you were trying to make the distinction I just referred to. Hope this helps. Cheers!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.