What Are Cars Made out Of? [9 Materials You Should Know About]


What Are Cars Made Out Of? [9 materials you should know about]We all drive all over the place. Are cars becoming an extension of who we are as a person, each one is as individual as the person that is driving it. Have you ever stopped to wonder what your car is made out of? Have you ever seen a vehicle that looks so different you just had to know what it was made out of because it didn't look normal? We've had those same questions.

Cars are made out of several different types of materials; most of the materials are used in a manner that will keep the car as light as possible but make it as structurally sound as possible. Here are the standard materials used in most Vehicles:

  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Glass
  • Rubber
  • Carbon Fiber
  • Resin
  • Fiberglass
  • Plastic

Most of these look vaguely familiar, but how are they used? A vehicle's not going to be entirely made out of glass. That's very true. The materials are used in different ways and different mixtures. If you are so curious about what cars are made out of, continue to read our article as we have scoured the best sources available and collected all the information for you and one easy to find in one place.

What Is The Body Of a Car Made Out Of?

The body of your car will most likely be made out of the following materials. All of them are durable and affordable, but each of them has advantages and disadvantages.

  1. Metal
  2. Plastic
  3. Carbon Fiber


Car bodies are generally made out of steel or aluminum or a combination of multiple metals. The objective when manufacturers create a body for a vehicle is to make it as strong as possible. On most vehicles, you are going to find that the body is made out of steel as opposed to aluminum, as there is a significant cost difference between the two metals.


Some Modern car companies are manufacturing their cars out of plastic. Plastic technology has come a long way over the years, and it is an extremely durable and cost-effective method for creating streamlined bodies it can also be easily changed and manipulated. One of the other amazing things about plastic is the fact that it is lightweight which means that it is also great for fuel economy

Carbon Fiber

A lot of higher-end sports and race cars have bodies that are manufactured out of carbon fiber. It is lighter and stronger than plastic, which makes it a great material to use when speed and aerodynamics are essential. The problem is that this material is costly, so it is generally reserved for specialty vehicles.

What Metals Are Cars Made Of?

Tesla's autobots working at tesla Car Factory
A factory tour after the Model S drive | Photo by Steve Jurvetson

The metals that most vehicles are made out of consists of steel aluminum titanium and iron. Each one of these has its advantages and disadvantages. All of them will make a strong and robust vehicle.


Steel is the most widely used metal in the production of vehicles. It has many uses, including the construction of the frame and the body of the car, as well as several of the parts that are contained internally.


Aluminum is being used in more modern cars because it is structurally sound and lighter weight than steel. Aluminum can be used in the construction of the engine and also the body panels of the vehicle.


Iron was typically used on older vehicles. Back when gas was cheaper, this was probably more acceptable; however, it's cumbersome. Vehicles constructed out of iron tend to get abysmal fuel mileage. In modern cars, there may be some mixtures of metal used to create the frame for a vehicle.


Titanium is an extreme metal, and it is costly to make. It is also incredibly lightweight and almost indestructible. Higher-end vehicles in specialty vehicles are typically made out of titanium, although you might find the parts throughout other cars, such as the construction for valves on the interior of a vehicle engine.

Does Aluminum Rust?

No aluminum does not rust. The concept of rusting comes from the molecules in the iron-oxidizing. Aluminum does not rust, but it does corrode, which can be just as challenging to deal with, if not worse.

What Cars Are Made Out of Aluminum?

Several modern cars are constructed from aluminum. This often makes the cars structurally sound while keeping them lighter than most of their counterparts. Here is a list of the 15 most popular vehicles that are made out of aluminum:

  1. Acura NSX
  2. Jaguar F-Type
  3. Mercedes-Benz SL
  4. Audi A8
  5. Land Rover Range Rover
  6. Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
  7. Jaguar XJ
  8. Audi R8
  9. Tesla Model S
  10. Ford F-150
  11. Aston Martin DB9
  12. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
  13. Lotus Evora
  14. Lamborghini Huracan
  15. Mercedes-AMG GT S

How Much Steel Is In a Car?

Car assembly on painting bay of factory
Lotus 60th Celebration | Photo by Brian Snelson

According to experts from the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA, approximately 55% of most vehicles are made out of steal. This includes components. Steel can be used to manufacture virtually any metallic portion of your car from the body to the frame to the engine to the parts that drive the car. Steel is a reliable and versatile metal that tends to bend instead of break. When building a vehicle, this is something that has to be taken into account because of collisions and parts breaking.

How much does the cheapest Tesla cost? Click here to know!

Why is Steel Used in Cars?

As mentioned above, steel is used in the manufacturing of automobiles because it is durable and somewhat flexible. It may not seem like it, but believe it or not, the steel in your vehicle will flex and bend instead of break, which is essential when you consider safety hazards such as auto accidents.

Are Cars Made of Plastic Safe?

Yes, cars constructed out of plastic are safe. While you will not find the frame of the vehicle made out of plastic, nor will you find an engine made out of plastic; several other components of the car can be made out of plastic without putting in the owner of the vehicle or its occupants in jeopardy. In the grand scheme of things, plastic body panels are also cheaper to replace in the event of a collision or damage. Plastic is also weather-resistant and extremely durable.

Metals vs. Plastics


There are proponents on both sides. While steel still makes up 55% of the market, overall aluminum is making headway in the market. However, aluminum only makes up about 7% of the vehicle market, which isn't exactly a significant amount.

Aluminum may be lighter and stable, but how does it compare to steel? The answer may surprise you, considering you would be driving a car that manufactured out of the same metal that holds your soda. Aluminum does tend to bend a lot more than steel does; however, it also absorbs shock a little bit better.

One option that many manufacturers are considering right now is magnesium, and it's mixed blends. There are new technologies that can extrude magnesium in amounts that are large enough to create auto parts for your vehicle.


Plastics have made huge moves in the market recently as they have become so durable that auto manufacturers are even willing to create manifolds out of them. The exhaust manifold takes the hot gases from the engine combustion chamber. It forces it out of the exhaust, which means that whatever the manifold is manufactured out of needs to be sturdy and able to handle the heat unless it will break down and cause problems.

Fuel tanks and body panels make up the majority of the plastic market when it comes to automobiles because these items can be manufactured from plastic easily and safely. Plastic has proven to be extremely viable in these methods and recent EPA restrictions on fuel economy and emissions have even lent a hand towards parts that are manufactured out of plastic.

There are a lot of reasons to be concerned about the construction of the vehicle that you drive. The primary worry is safety, and dependability comes next. With so many options on the market and such a pricepoint between them, things can get a little confusing. Choosing the right vehicle for yourself or understanding the construction of the one that you own can be very important. We hope that this article has helped you gain a better understanding of the materials from which vehicles are usually made.

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One comment

  1. I like how you said that aluminum is lighter than steel so it is being used more often to make cars now. The lighter the car, the less power the engine needs so it is actually more environmentally friendly. It is also easier to crumble when in an accident so people won’t get hurt as bad.

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