If you are a business with global presence instead of specific country, or in other country than the countries I provide databases for, you may be looking for a global car database.
But… this is not really possible. Car specifications vary depending by country of sale for models having same name, and for accuracy reasons, a car database should be specific to cars SOLD in one country, or with some compromise of quality, to one continent.
Over years I gained reputation for providing most accurate and complete databases, because I offer separate car database for each market of sale, containing ALL and ONLY car models sold locally and data is formatted according tastes of local people. Car Models & Engines Database collect data from European car dealers while Year-Make-Model-Trim-Specs collect data from American car dealers.
Some people asked “I need a database containing European cars (BMW, Skoda, etc) and Japanese cars (Nissan, Toyota, etc), we have all them in Brazil“. You CANNOT buy a single database of “cars made in Japan” because they vary depending by market of sale.
Example: Toyota sold the following models in calendar year 2015 / US MY 2016:
- In United States: 4Runner, Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Land Cruiser, Mirai, Prius, Prius c, Prius v, RAV4, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra, Yaris.
- In Europe: Auris, Avensis, Aygo, Corolla, GT86, Hilux, iQ, Land Cruiser, Mirai, Prius, Prius+, RAV4, Urban Cruiser, Verso, Verso-S, Yaris.
- In Australia: 86, Aurion, Camry, Corolla, FJ Cruiser, Fortuner, Hiace, Hilux, Kluger, Land Cruiser, Land Cruiser Prado, Prius, Prius C, Prius V, RAV4, Rukus, Tarago, Yaris.
- In India: Camry, Corolla, Etios, Fortuner, Innova, Land Cruiser, Land Cruiser Prado, Prius.
- In whatever other country: possible other models.
Furthermore, there are several distinct cars named Toyota Corolla E120 (2000-2007):
- Corolla sold in Europe is offered in hatchback, saloon, estate versions, with engines 1.4 (97 PS), 1.6 (110 PS), 1.8 turbo (192, 224 PS), 1.4 diesel (90 PS), 2.0 diesel (90, 110, 116 PS).
- Corolla sold in North America is offered only in saloon version, with engines 1.8 (130, later 126 PS) and 1.8 turbo (170, later 164 PS).
- Corolla sold in Australia is offered in hatchback, saloon, estate versions, with engines 1.8 (136, later 126 PS) and 1.8 turbo (192 PS).
- Another Corolla is sold in Japanese domestic market with narrower body to comply with compact size tax regulation.
- Additional different-specs Corollas are sold in Asia, Africa, Latin America, etc.
NO database have 100% worldwide coverage, if someone claim that have, he is LYING
Beware of data providers like carqueryapi.com that do not indicate for which country their database is complete. Because it is NOT complete for any given country. Some of my happy customers informed me that previously bought CarQueryAPI database and had a major disappointment, some model names are lowercase while others uppercase, probably mix up data from multiple sources, attempting to make a worldwide database, they are missing models even for American and European markets, new models are added with delay, even if they updated database today, it still missing some models launched last few years, certain values missing for random cars, etc. They bought a second database from me afterwards and were happy. Sadly, there are also people coming on my website and chatting with me then buying from CarQueryAPI just because is cheaper or website is simpler… stupid people who take cheap price over quality!
Car Models List and Car Nameplates List are the most comprehensive database made by me. They are ONLY databases covering multiple markets (with minimum risk of inaccuracy) because they are not detailed to engines, dimensions or any other specifications, they only contain model naming and production years.
I gradually expanded them over years adding more models I found on Wikipedia or reported missing by my customers. As 2013 it been complete for car models sold in Europe and North America, as 2016 I made it complete for Japanese domestic market for Japan manufacturers. However it will never reach 100% completion for all 200+ countries in the world, for example cars manufactured in a given country and sold somewhere else but NOT in Europe, USA, or their own country’s market, may be still missing.
If a Make / Model list is not enough and you need a database detailed to engines and specifications, you are in trouble. Car specs vary from one market to another. NOBODY can make a worldwide / global vehicle database for every 200+ countries in the world, at a reasonable accuracy.
Some customers purchased multiple country-specific databases from me. You are advised to make separate sections on your website for each region. Do not mix up multiple databases, or you will end up in a mess that will displease anyone visiting your website.
The main problems are for Japan and South Korea manufacturers who export SAME cars under dozens of different names in various countries, also recycle car names, selling unrelated cars in different countries under same name. For example: the Samsung SM3 produced in Korea is also sold in Mexico as Renault Scala and in Russia as Nissan Almera, unrelated with the well-known Japanese Nissan Almera sold all over Europe in 1995-2007. This Russian Almera and its years (and dozens of other similar name changes) are NOT included in Car Models List. Ford do the same, see Ford Escort (Europe) and Ford Escort (North America).
European car market is 99%+ similar within European Union except United Kingdom and Ireland, and 90-95% similar for all 50 European countries. Eastern Europe have few additional cars produced locally, plus Russia gets few additional Asian cars which are not available in Western Europe, all them being included in my European databases. United Kingdom car market is different by having less cars available, because not every manufacturer bother to produce cars in right-hand drive, also UK produce few additional cars sold only locally, again included in my European databases.
Asia, Africa and Latin America car markets are similar with Europe in sense that 50-80% of cars sold there are available in Europe. If you do not have better options and don’t care about accuracy, you can buy one of my European Databases and add rest of cars sold at you but not in Europe, eventually delete the excess cars not sold in your country.
North American car market is unique. Most vehicles sold in US & Canada are not sold anywhere else. Many vehicles are sold with different specs in Europe and US even if they wear same name.
Model year (America) vs calendar year (rest of world)
North American car market is tightly regulated by government, all car models sold here are organized by Model Years. Most important, two successive models DO NOT share same Model Year (with few exceptions). Traditionally car models launched in second half of year are considered Model Year of next year, but legally manufacturers are allowed to launch “2021 Model” starting from 2 January 2020. Every year, they launch the “next year model”, even if the car is unchanged from previous year. New trims also appear in middle of model year.
Europe (and rest of world) do not have officially a car model year system, the year of a particular car is used only informally, and it is the calendar year. So a car model launched in December 2020 is still a 2020 model. European car websites should show Make – Model – start-end year of production.
Check yourself ebay.com/motors and ebay.co.uk/motors, see the difference? This makes combination virtually impossible, unless you adapt American database to European / rest of world format with start-end year, which will not be on taste of American customers. Americans doing their business in Europe or worldwide, argued with me saying that my European database is WRONG. Actually it is CORRECT for us. Me too, I considered the american system strange and wrong, until 2013.
I have seen some cheap-made websites targeting Europe but using drop-down vehicle list with each year on separate row. Without a regulated Model Year system for cars sold in Europe, they used each calendar year in which a car has been manufactured. This is WRONG and leads to errors and confusion, in the year of model replacement, their list include both old and new models or just one of them at random.
More differences between Europe and America markets
From 1970s to 1990s many European and Japanese models sold in US had bigger bumpers to comply with safety regulations, getting few extra inches in length compared with same models sold in rest of world.
Models are sold in US with less engine choices, usually top of range. Example: the 2007-2012 BMW 3-Series E90 have versions 328i, 335i, 335d, M3, while in Europe the versions are 318i, 320i, 325i, 330i, 335i, 316d, 318d, 320d, 325d, 330d, 335d, M3.
Sometimes US engines do not exist in rest of world. Example: VW Golf 6 is sold in US with a 2.5 liters 5 cylinders 170 PS engine which do not exists in Europe where all engines are 4 cylinders, ranging from 1.4 to 2.0 liters turbo, 80 – 200 PS.
US measure horsepower according SAE rules, usually getting slightly higher power than measured in European DIN standard.
US EPA measure fuel efficiency as miles per gallon, Europe NEDC and WLTP measure in liters per 100 km. Conversion is theoretically possible, but due to different testing procedure, any given car tested in US will eat 10-20% more gas than when tested in Europe, making comparison difficult. Read more: fuel economy testing procedure.
People doing business outside Europe and America have trouble finding a database suitable for their country
I got a customer from Arab world saying “I am looking for a car database that contains Nissan Patrol because most database I’ve seen miss it” this happens because most databases sold on internet are dedicated to cars sold in US market and Nissan Patrol is not sold there, my European database does contain Nissan Patrol, but won’t help him either, because Nissan sell in Middle East also Altima which do not exist in European database but exist in American database.
Other customers asked me “if my database contain certain Asian cars that are missing from most car databases” and refused to purchase my European database because it was not including them too, being not sold in Europe. I am curious what solution found these people?
Once I mastered my web scraping skills, in 2016-2018 I created additional databases for Middle East, India, Australia, Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc, by extracting data from websites that show cars officially sold in these countries. But there are still many countries remaining, for example Brazil, Mexico, Philippines and Thailand are the biggest countries I was NOT able to find any reliable website to source data from and create databases.
There are several websites like www.carfolio.com having worldwide cars, which I could make a script to scrap data and create an Excel database, but I will NOT do this because data quality will be a disaster like CarQueryAPI.