Vocabulary for Vehicles & Driving in Spanish

Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

This lesson has the vocabulary words for different vehicles in Spanish, along with driving-related vocabulary. To put the vocabulary in context, the lesson provides you with some prompts you can use to form complete sentences.

Tell What Vehicles You Drive

You are very comfortable using a lot of vocabulary and expressions in Spanish. Suddenly, you are in a situation that requires you to talk about driving and vehicles. For instance, you could find yourself trying to deal with a mechanic while on vacation in a Spanish-speaking country. Or you might need the most basic words to understand a Spanish speaker on a GPS. Either way, this lesson gives you what you need to drive comfortably while navigating the Spanish roads that await you.

To begin with, you can learn the expression Yo puedo conducir (I can drive, pronounced: yoh poo-eh-doh kohn-doo-seer). This prompt serves to express what vehicles you can drive given what you have learned. To practice with this prompt, complete it with any of the words in the list of vehicles below.

If there is a vehicle you don't know how to drive, you can say Yo no puedo conducir (I can't drive). Note that saying 'yo no puedo' doesn't mean you won't learn at some point in the future. Perhaps this lesson can inspire you to learn to drive those vehicles you don't yet know how to operate.

There are two main perks here: using these prompts puts vehicle vocabulary in context and puts you to speaking Spanish straightaway.

Let's look at the vehicles list:

  • un coche (a car, pronounced: oon koh-cheh).

Other common words for 'a car' in Spanish are: un automóvil (pronounced: oon ow-toh-moh-beel) and un carro (pronounced: oon kahr-roh).

  • un autobús (bus, pronounced: oon ow-toh-boos)

Other common words for 'a bus' in Spanish are: un bus (pronounced: boos) and un colectivo (pronounced: oon koh-lehk-tee-boh).

  • una camioneta (pickup truck, pronounced: oonah kah-mee-on-eh-tah)
  • un taxi (taxi, pronounced: oon tahk-see)

Yo puedo conducir un taxi

  • un tren (train, pronounced: oon trehn)
  • un camión (truck, pronounced: oon kah-mee-on)
  • una motocicleta (motorcycle, pronounced: oonah moh-toh-see-kleh-tah)

Yo no puedo conducir una motocicleta

  • una bicicleta (bicycle, pronounced: oonah bee-see-kleh-tah)
  • una ambulancia (ambulance, pronounced: oonah ahm-boo-lahn-see-ah)
  • un tractor (tractor, pronounced: oon trak-tohr)

Driving Vocabulary

Now, let's learn some vocabulary that relates to driving. You could make flash cards with the English word on one side and the Spanish word on the other to help yourself memorize these useful words:

  • licencia de conducir (driver's license, pronounced: lee-sehn-see-ah deh kohn-doo-seer)
  • conductor (driver, pronounced: kohn-dook-tohr)
  • peatón (pedestrian, pronounced: peh-ah-tohn)
  • semáforo (traffic light, pronounced: seh-mah-foh-roh)
  • límite de velocidad (speed limit, pronounced: lee-mee-teh deh veh-loh-see-dad)
  • señal de alto (stop sign, pronounced: seh-neeal deh ahl-toh)
  • cruce de calles (intersection, pronounced: kroo-seh deh kah-yehs)
  • esquina (corner, pronounced: ehs-kee-nah)
  • calle (street, pronounced: kah-yeh)
  • avenida (avenue, pronounced: ah-beh-nee-dah)
  • carretera (highway, pronounced: kar-reh-teh-rah)
  • volante (steering wheel, pronounced: boh-lahn-teh)
  • claxon (horn, pronounced: klaks-on)

Now, look at the English side of your flash cards and say the Spanish word aloud.


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