I am creating a system that needs car information. What is the difference between the car brand and car make?

If for example I have a Toyota Corolla with plate number AAA 123 that is color red, how do I know the brand and make of it?

This forum states:

A "brand" is a name used by a manufacturer of any product. Franco-American is a brand of canned pasta (it happens to be one of several brands Campbell's uses to sell its products).

"Make" is used almost exclusively for cars, and usually in conjunction with the word "model." Ford Taurus, Mitsubishi Eclipse, Toyota Celica--the "make" is the first word in the pair, the "model" the second word. Just as a single company can produce products under several "brands," an automobile company can produce many makes of cars; for example, Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln are all makes produced by Ford Motor Company; General Motors produces Pontiacs, Chevrolets, Saturns, GMCs, among many others.

You would never ask a person "What brand of car do you drive?" You would ask, "What make of car do you drive?" For most other products, you would never ask for them by "make," you would ask for them by "brand."

I am still confused. Is it just by the way we used the words or does it really have a difference in their meaning?

  • 2
    Did you check the definitions of "brand" and "make" to see what they said? – Nathan Tuggy Aug 12 '15 at 0:56
  • @NathanTuggy I've edited my question by adding more information. Thanks! – Cary Bondoc Aug 12 '15 at 1:08

For your system, the terms you want to use are:

Make: Toyota

Model: Corolla

Year (or "Model Year"): 2015

Plate number: AAA 123

Color: Red

Explaining why you need to use "make" instead of "brand" is harder than I expected, though. The words "make" and "brand" have the same meaning, we just tend to use one more often than the other when talking about certain types of items. There isn't always a good reason for why people use certain words.

When talking about your favorite brand of clothing, peanut butter, software, shampoo, or pretty much anything other than a car, you generally use "brand". For cars, you almost always use "make".

You would never say, "This is my favorite make of clothing".

"This is my favorite clothing-maker" also sounds a little odd.

For cars, people do sometimes say, "Here is a list of top car brands," but that could just as easily be "Here is a list of top automakers".

If asking or describing the manufacturer of a specific car, though, you definitely want make. As the text you posted points out, it just sounds odd to ask someone, "What brand is your car?" even though they would still understand you and answer the question.

  • This is a very good answer, thank you for consider that I will used this on my system. :) – Cary Bondoc Aug 12 '15 at 1:48

As it says in the definition you quoted, pertaining to cars, "brand" is used rarely, more often "make" is used. There is no difference, except that "make" is the more acceptable and common term.

You can say that the difference between "brand" and "make" is that "brand" is used for everything and "make" is used for cars (to indicate their brand).


As has been stated, make is more commonly used than brand. Another reason to use make to refer to the manufacturer name is that the term "brand" has another meaning when describing vehicles, as in vehicle title branding.


In your case "Toyota" is the "brand". The term "brand" is usually used to denote the manufacturer - you have Toyota Motor Company (or simply Toyota). "Make" is usually used to denote the model of the car - that would be Corolla (for you). In the automotive world, you would repeatedly hear/see "make and model" being used when asked about a car. To clarify my answer i would add an example of a similar to your project website, so you can see how they have structured the "make/model" thing: Toyota Corolla table

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