12 Dealership Slang Terms You Should Know

12 Dealership Slang Terms You Should Know

Every industry has its own language and there are many dealership slang terms being used that you might not understand.

Have you ever heard the car dealer use terms you weren’t familiar with?The terms being used could have something to do with you, your car, and the deals being offered, but other terms may not have anything to do with you. Let’s take a look at some of the slang terms you might hear around the showroom.

Book Value

Book Value is the amount you paid for the vehicle minus the depreciation over time. This is the amount that is car is expected to bring when sold by a dealer. It can be also referred to as the Blue Book Value or Black Book Value of a vehicle.

Bird Dog

In simplest terms, a Bird Dog refers to a potential customer that is referred to another salesperson by one salesperson in exchange for a portion of the commission. Often this can happen when the original salesperson is unavailable to finish the sale.


A Demo model is a vehicle that’s been used to demonstrate how a vehicle operates. Typically these cars have been driven by the dealership staff or as a test-drive model used by interested customers. If uses as a salesperson’s personal vehicle, they could have more miles than expected.

F & I

The term F & I in dealerships slang is simply Finance and Insurance. This is the department of the dealership known as the business office where the loans are worked out and all the details are finalized for an automotive deal.

Hat Trick

Similar to hockey terminology, a Hat Trick is dealership slang for selling three cars in one day. That would be an excellent day for a salesperson and it’s known to happen most commonly when the dealership is offering some incredible deals.


In the car business, Skating is dealership slang for taking a car deal or customer from another salesperson without giving them any of the commission. Often, the other salesperson never knows this happens. Yes, the car selling business can be a cutthroat industry.

We Owe

During your car deal, there could be a list of We Owe items. This is easy to understand, it’s a written list of the items the dealership owes you. This could be an extra key, floor mats, or other accessories that go with your vehicle that were negotiated during the sale.


Another easy dealership slang to understand is Sticker. This term refers to the MSRP of a vehicle, also the listed price on the sticker that’s placed in the window of the vehicle. The sticker price includes all the items that have been added by the dealer to give you the final price listed.


The Addendum in car dealer terms refers to the items that have been added to a vehicle by the dealer before putting it up for sale. Typically these are items that the dealer knows the customers in their area want to have in that particular vehicle.


A Beacon is car dealership slang for a sales tool that shows information that will pique the interest of potential buyers. It’s an item that offers the list of features or answers general questions about a particular model without a salesperson being present.

The Desk

The Desk refers to the sales desk which is being tasked with many of the duties and responsibilities typically reserved for the F & I department. The salesperson may say they are going to check on information at The Desk which is dealership slang for the sales desk area.


When there are severalcustomers on the lot, car dealers may ask “who’s up next?” referring to the next customer or the next salesperson who needs to make sure a sale can take place without allowing the customer out of the door. Another term is the Ups Bus which arrives with a lot of customers.

An Informed Approach

Now that you know what the dealership slang means for these twelve terms, you can better understand what the sales staff is talking about. As you can see, many of these terms have to do with their internal operation and what’s going on, while a few of the others refer to you as the customer and the different areas of the dealership you’re going to work with to close the deal for your next vehicle.

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