8 Words For The Sound A Car Makes (Onomatopoeia)

Cars make some very distinctive noises. It would help to know some good words that will describe these sounds, and this article will give you some of the best ones.

Which Words Can Describe The Sound A Car Makes?

Perhaps you’ll find that one of the following is a suitable choice for the sound of a car:

  • Vroom
  • Rev
  • Hum
  • Drone
  • Purr
  • Roar
  • Buzz
  • Zoom
sound a car makes words

The preferred version is “vroom.” It’s the most common onomatopoeia word that people use for the sound of a car. You’ll often hear children imitating the noise when they’re pretending to be a car, and it’s one that’s stuck for as long as cars have been around.


“Vroom” works well as an onomatopoeia word for a car. It’s the most common sound that people make when they’re describing the noise of a car, and it’s a good one to use to show that you’re trying to capture the same noise.

  • The car vroomed out of the drive, and everyone watched as it spun around the corner.
  • The vroom was enough to make my hairs stand on end! I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
  • That’s a big vroom! You should come by more often so I can watch it in action!


“Rev” is another common word to refer to the sound of a car. A “rev” refers to the sound of the engine, and it’s common for cars to have a louder rev when they receive more power or a lower, softer “rev” when they are not moving fast.

  • The car revved down the street. It was almost like he wanted people to pay attention to him.
  • You should have heard those revs! I loved them, and I think I’m going to get myself a car like that.
  • That rev was incredible! You need to do that more often! I think all the people around here fell in love with it!


A “hum” is a soft noise relating to the starting of a vehicle. We can call it a “hum” when the car has just been started and is kicking into action. A lot of people like to hear that early hum before the car starts moving, which is what makes this a good sound to use.

  • The humming of the car was all I needed to hear. Now my mood is so much better.
  • I can’t stand that humming sound. Shut that car in the garage right away and come inside.
  • The humming of the cars was very loud. I couldn’t even understand the person next to me!


“Drone” works when we are more annoyed with the sound. Not everyone appreciates the noise of a car, and some people might refer to it as a “drone.” It can still work positively, but “drone” comes with more negative connotations than positive ones.

  • You shouldn’t drone your car like that. It doesn’t sound like a particularly healthy noise to me.
  • That’s a solid drone if you ask me! I think you should try and do that around the neighborhood.
  • I don’t like the droning of his car. I’ve begged him to get a new one, but he doesn’t listen to me.


“Purr” is a gentle sound that can be made by a car. When you first turn a car on, it’s likely that it will “purr” into action. If you get the revs right, it will always start out much quieter, and many people like this sound.

More expensive cars tend to have a better quality “purr.” It might be wiser to use this word to refer to sportscars.

  • The car purred into action. I knew it was going to be now or never if I wanted to win this race.
  • That purr is enough to get any man going! I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to own the car.
  • I love the purring sound of the engine! Now I just need to see how fast you can get it!


“Roar” is an immense sound we can use. It works best for modified cars or racecars that have large exhausts. The “roar” comes from the engine starting up. The more open the engine, the louder it tends to be.

“Roar” makes the car sound like it’s an animal in itself, which is why so many people use this term to refer to the sound of a car. It’s common for car lovers to refer to their motors as their own beasts or animals.

  • Oh, listen to it roar! Have you ever heard a more majestic sound?
  • That roaring needs to stop! It’s the middle of the night! You can’t be driving around in a machine that loud.
  • I don’t like it when the car roars. It’s too much, and I think you need to get a different engine.


“Buzz” works when a distinctive noise comes from a car’s engine. Typically, a buzz is much higher in pitch than your typical “vroom.” It works well when you know there’s something not quite right about the car’s sound.

  • I didn’t realize that a buzzing sound was healthy for the vehicle. Clearly, I’ve been doing it all wrong.
  • What’s with all that buzzing? Do you have to be so insufferable while you drive that thing?
  • It’s buzzing louder than before. We need to do something about this before he complains.


“Zoom” is a good word for two reasons. The first is obvious in that it refers to the sound a car makes when it goes fast.

The second reason relates to the fact that “zoom” means that something is moving quickly. While it doesn’t have to refer to cars, this double meaning shows that “zoom” is one of the better ways to describe the sound a car can make.

  • The car kept zooming past us, and we kept stopping to watch it go by.
  • It’s not the zooming I expected to hear, but I’m glad I got a chance to hear it, at least.
  • That’s the zoom we were after! I hope he does that again when he passes us next time.