Cars and Vehicles - Auto, automobile, macchina, veicolo

I've found there are a lot of descriptions for "car". For example, l'automobile and la macchina are the two used in the lessons. However one of the questions asked me to find the word for "the vehicle". I put in macchina which was correct, however in Google Translate the translation is "il veicolo". To me a vehicle could be considered land, air or sea transport (una nave e un aereo sono veicoli).

There's also the common use of the word "auto" to refer to a car.

I realise a number of these may not be covered in the lessons, but I just wanted to get your thoughts on what words are commonly used in Italian to get across the idea of "a car".

March 6, 2013


In every day language la macchina e l'auto are the most used even though I personally feel la macchina is not the most correct one (as a word it can also be used to indicate 'machine' such as the ones used in factories and alike). Il veicolo is another synonim for 'car' but along with l'automobile is probably used more in commercial and advertising situations. I hope it helps :)

March 15, 2013

Thank you, it does help already. :)

March 15, 2013

Can veicolo also mean "ship" or "airplane" or can it not? Thank you!

October 28, 2013

No, it isnt't wrong, but it's not used. It was generic and it is best used for cars, trucks, motorbikes

November 2, 2013

Usually "auto" is used in common Language, and it is the informal version of "automobile", so it is the same singolar or plural... "veicolo" is used for many kinds of vehicles, so it is good for cars, trucks and so on... "macchina" is generic, it refers to cars but even to other tools, so it can be used for many mechanical devices

November 2, 2013

Let's not forget the wonderful "Macchina di fotografica", which I heard, on about my first day, learning Italian; Whilst almost simultaneously reading that "Camera" meant 'Room' ! lol

January 16, 2014

yes, but without the "di"

January 20, 2014
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