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Different Types of Cars Explained! A Detailed Guide

03 June 2019

Car Insurance Article

A Detailed Guide on the Different Types of Cars Available in the Market

For most of us, buying a car is a right to passage into adulthood. It is often one the first big-ticket investment we make. Once we bring our car home, we treat it no less than a family member. Once considered a vehicle that reflected one’s social status, the car has now become utterly common and affordable. You can take out car loans and buy the best and the latest cars, based on various specifications such as your budget, family size, preferred fuel type, car size, and more. Yes, the list of the different types of cars is ever expanding. If you are in the market for a car, here some options.

The sedan: Perhaps the most common car type you’ll see on Indian roads, the sedan is a favourite among most car owners. It is essentially a four to five seater car and is best recognized as a four-door car with an engine in the front and a huge cargo space in the rear. Also known as the saloon car or the notchback car, the sedan is a car with a closed body (in the form of a fixed-metal roof), and two rows of seats. Sedans usually have a minimum rear interior volume of 33 cubic feet. In India, you’ll find most sedans function as rental vehicles, especially in this age of Uber and Ola vehicles. Car owners ideally prefer sedans since they have more head, leg and cargo room and high road clearance. Moreover, you can find both, budget and luxury sedans. Common examples of sedan cars you’ll see on Indian roads include

  • Honda City
  • Toyota Etios
  • Maruti Suzuki Ciaz
  • Hyundai Elantra
  • Skoda Octavia

Hatchback:The term “hatchback” was traditionally used to refer to a smaller or compact sedan, featuring a squared-off roof and a flip-up hatch door on the rear, from where you can access the car’s cargo area. The compact sedan did not have a conventional trunk as present in the regular-sized sedan. Today, the hatchback is a popular car type in India, fitting the budget category. It has earned its name due to its hatch-type rear door, which opens upwards. A hatchback is generally a small, utilitarian car which was first developed in the 1960s and increased in popularity in the 1970s. It became known for its distinct, 5 doors, including the rear-end door, which serves as a space for cargo and can be adjusted as per requirement. The Tata Indica is the most popular type of hatchback car found in India. Other common examples of hatchbacks include:

  • Maruti Suzuki Swift
  • Hyundai Santro
  • Ford Figo
  • Chevrolet Spark
  • Tata Tiago

The Coupe: Although these are rarely sighted in India, the list of different types of cars also includes the coupe. Coupes are typically compact in size, but high in luxury, and sporty in nature, featuring engines that go from 0-100 in 10 seconds. The coupe stands out due to its unique and stylish two-door design with a fixed roof. Often regarded as a luxury car, the coupe is essentially a two-seater car. It is also described as a small, sports car with no cargo space at all. This type of car model is hard to find on Indian roads because of their extremely low ground clearance. Coupes are meant for roads with driving speeds of 100 miles an hour or more. They are best driven on large stretches of roads, like highways on which there are hardly any speed breakers. While passenger coupes are popular among people looking to make a style statement, sports coupes are often driven on racetracks. Some of the most popular examples of coupe car types include.

  • xAudi R8
  • Mercedes- AMG S 63
  • BMW i8
  • Mercedes-Benz CLS
  • Ferrari 488 Spider

The Sports Utility Vehicle: A sports utility vehicle, often referred to as an SUV is different type of car known for its huge, powerful body. This is a car that can be driven on rough grounds and terrains. SUVs are distinguished by their four-wheel drive which offers a great amount of off-roading capabilities. This type of car model is notable due to its increased ground clearance that makes it easy to drive even on the roughest of roads. The popularity of SUVs especially increased in India in the 1990s and 2000s with car manufacturers even introducing smaller SUVs to fit the budget of potential car owners. The Tata Safari was once the most popular SUV found in India. Today, the most commonly sighted SUV car types on Indian roads include:

  • Mahindra Scorpio
  • Jeep Compass
  • Hyundai Creta
  • Maruti Suzuki Ertiga
  • Ford Escape


Q.Apart from the ones mentioned above, are there other car types in India?

Yes, interested car owners can also choose from different types of cars besides the ones mentioned above. These include multi-utility vehicles or MUVs, convertibles, electric cars, hybrid cars, station wagons, and mini vans, among others.

Q.What factors should you consider while buying a car?

The list of factors to consider while buying a car differs from buyer to buyer. Firstly, you should assess your budget and then decide the car type. Based on the budget, you can choose to buy a brand new or used car. You should also consider your family size, the city you live in (and by extension the traffic conditions), the fuel type, and the additional costs associated with the car. These include regular servicing and maintenance, and buying car insurance.

Q.What kind of insurance should I buy for my car?

As per the Motor Vehicle Act of 1988, you should buy third party limited liability insurance, without which you cannot drive your car on Indian roads. However, to ensure adequate coverage, it is better to invest in a comprehensive car insurance policy along with the necessary add-on riders, which include zero depreciation cover, emergency road service, personal accident cover, and so on.

Q.What happens if I fail to buy or renew my car insurance policy on time?

Driving a car without a valid and active car insurance plan is deemed a criminal offence in India. If you are caught by traffic authorities, you may be asked to pay a significant fine, serve a jail sentence or both. If you fail to renew the policy, you can either renew it before the grace period as mentioned in the policy document, or buy a new policy, by forfeiting benefits such as discounts and no-claim bonus.

Q.How to check the cost of my car insurance premium and select an insurance provider?

You can consult your insurance investment advisor. Alternatively, you can visit the website of your preferred insurer, and fill a form, mentioning details of your car. An online calculation tool will show you how your insurance premium is structured. You should check the insurer’s reputation, current claim settlement ratio, customer service facilities offered before buying the car insurance policy.

At Liberty General Insurance we offer customizable car insurance policies for all types of cars. So, purchase a car of your choice and be safe. Apply for the best car insurance policy today!

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