This article lists Vehicle Features which provide a functionality of some sort to the player.

Mounted Weapons

Mounted Weapons are a popular form of artilery featured on a variety of ground, air and sea vehicles across the GTA series. These provide defense against enemies, often playing a vital role in storyline missions. Some examples require an additional passenger to operate the weapons, while many can be operated single-handedly.

Grand Theft Auto Online expands upon the collection of vehicles with mounted weapons, particularly with the introduction of battle-themed DLCs and the series of Special Vehicles and Weaponized Vehicles. Since the Gunrunning update, vehicle weapons can be added and/or replaced via customization on specialized vehicle workshops.


Engines are prominent mechanical machines used to power vehicles using multiple forms of energy and energy transformation. Many engines and engine features appear in the Grand Theft Auto series.


Drivetrains are the system of connecting the transmission to the wheels on a land-vehicle, defined as a group of components that deliver power to the driving wheels. 3D Universe vehicles have a very simplistic drivetrain types, which are Front Wheel Drive, Rear Wheel Drive and All Wheel Drive. For the HD Universe vehicles, however, the concept of the drivetrain has been expanded, especially in Grand Theft Auto V, where said concept is revamped.

Vehicle License Plates

Vehicle license plates are introduced in Grand Theft Auto III with the player's ability to explore in a three-dimensional environment making plates viewable. In later games, the purpose of license plate becomes more important and necessary to the storyline of the game.

3D Universe

License plates in GTA III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City are static textures, with all plates in GTA III reading LC R29 (the LC could stand for Liberty City). In GTA Vice City, some vehicles retain the LC R29 plates; others have blurred and illegible versions of the 1978-1986/1991-1997 Florida license plate, with pre-release screenshots showing the Florida plate, reading "VC 685", used on industrial and low-grade vehicles. It was later reduced in resolution, and in the beta, some vehicles had 1986-2000 New York License plates reading 5SZ 832. For the anniversary edition of GTA Vice City, the plates were changed to be based on 1997-present University of Florida specialty plates reading F66WC.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

License plates are dynamic in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, generating random 7 character license numbers that consist of both letters and numbers. The pattern is: two letters and two numbers, then a space, then a number and two letters (e.g. AA00 0AA). Each of the three major cities in San Andreas have their own plates and some vehicles have their own custom license numbers. Note, however, that during a session of play, all cars of the same model will have the same number plate (for example, all Landstalkers will have the same plates). These will change if a new session of play is started, even if stored in a garage. Design-wise, the license plates seem to be based on the 1982-1987 and 1987-1994 California plates with October 1991 registration stickers, but the license number pattern seems to take influence from both the Californian plates and the 1984-2000 Nevada plates, and the spacing based on the British format.

Vehicle license plate (GTASA) (Los Santos)

A Los Santos plate in GTA San Andreas.

For Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, license plates in both games feature an "LC" (Liberty City) and "VC" (Vice City) prefix, respectively, followed by a four-digit number. While still more varied than in GTA III and GTA Vice City, the games only offer a limited number of license numbers, with each of them specific to certain vehicles' models.

Liberty City Stories license plates appear to be based on 1989-1999 New York Motorcycle Plates with a 1999 registration sticker with "New York" actually still slightly legible; and in the Shoreside Vale loading screen shows two vehicles with what appears to be 2001-2010 New York Plates which is anachronistic.

The Vice City Stories license plate seems to be inspired by the original 1990-2007 Florida Save the Manatees license plate, specifically the grass at the bottom, and the red text based on 1986-1991 Florida license plates; with 1984 registration stickers. With vehicles on the Mainland having a palm tree on the left side of the license plate.

Grand Theft Auto IV

In Grand Theft Auto IV, license plates do not have an actual letter-number combination; instead, all license plates simply say "LIBERTY CITY" in large blue capital letters. The design of the plates is simply a of the 2001-2010 New York license plates (as seen here), with "New York" removed and "The Empire State" replaced with "Liberty City State" at the bottom. Also, despite Alderney being based on New Jersey, a separate state from Liberty City, all license plates in Alderney are Liberty City plates. In the beta license plates were originally intended to have a letter-number combination, much like the vehicles in GTA San Andreas, but this feature was dropped during the game's development, possibly due to complications or difficulties arising from programming this feature, and this is why in trailers and pre-release screen shots the license plates were originally blank. In GTA IV, a license plate from the beta version of the game can be found on the back of fuel trailers (which can be seen in the gallery below), which is seemingly based on on the British format of AA00AAA, with it broken up into AA-00A AA.


A San Andreas plate from a Grand Theft Auto V pre-release screenshot.

Grand Theft Auto V

In Grand Theft Auto V, the license plates resemble the current California plates with 2013 registration stickers, down to the abbreviation "CA" still being on them yet the year erased, and have "San Andreas" written on top instead. There are 8 random characters on each plate; the pattern is two numbers, followed by three letters and three numbers (00AAA000), which is based on the current california pattern simply with a extra number at the front; Furthermore, custom plates with an odd number of characters are offset one space to the right and never centered, which is actual practice in California.

There are multiple types of plates, including:

  • Modern white plates with red cursive state name, based on the current California plates issued since 1994, but more specifically, the version issued from 1994-1998 and 2000-2011.
  • Red embossed state name on white with orange stripes behind the lettering, based on the 1982-1987 California Golden State optional license plate.
  • Gold embossed state name and serial number on blue, resembling the 1969-1987 California plates.
  • Gold embossed state name and serial number on black, resembling the 1963-1969 California plates and 2015-present California special or vanity plates.[1]
  • A fifth license plate design appears very similar to the second design, but reads "SA EXEMPT" at the top instead of the state name, which states that the vehicle has been issued by a government agency, usually found on emergency and law enforcement vehicles. Based on the California Exempt plates issued since 1998; and as such doesn't carry registration stickers.

For this reason, GTA V contains the most realistic plate combinations in the series. In the files, each plate receive a specific filename that is applied to a car as part of the possible variations of the same, with a specific probability numbers that determines how frequent a vehicle will spawn with said plate on it.

Vehicles spawned with trainers tend to have registration number 46EEK572, suggesting that this may be a default plate combination.

There is a special variation of license plates only seen in North Yankton, which features the same elements, except "Yankton" in a red stripe, unseen in SA plates, and black numbers. This plate variant only appears on snow vehicles, as North Yankton is a snowy place. These are based on 2001-2006 South Dakota license plates, with black numbers being taken from North Dakota license plates, yet despite being a separate state uses the 00AAA000 format of San Andreas plates, though this could be seen as a hybrid of the AAA 000 format used in North Dakota, and the 00A 000 format used in South Dakota at the time. Unlike in Los Santos, North Yankton Police vehicles share the same plate as their civilian counterparts which is actual practice in in North and South Dakota.

Similarly, an Epsilon Program license plate is seen in the Tractor in Unknowing the Truth. It features an "Epsilon" text, in a baby blue stripe, its signature color; Oddly enough this license plate features San Andreas registration stickers.

Grand Theft Auto Online

License plates continue to be used in GTA Online. The player can use the iFruit app on their smartphone or tablet device to create their own license plate and apply it to the vehicle through Los Santos Customs.

License plates also serve a major importance in the Import/Export update. Customised vehicles that are sourced around the state of San Andreas appear with custom license plates, some of which are minor references to the car's real life history. Upon exporting, these license plates are replaced with standard code plates to avoid detection.

The LSPD "License Plate Scanner" appears in a 2-player source mission for Vehicle Cargo. This device is fitted in the Police Maverick and is operated with the on-board camera. The copilot of the helicopter scans plates on vehicles to locate the required vehicle.



Horns are features present in most Grand Theft Auto games. They are activated by a specific button on the controller or keyboard. Pressing the horn button on a emergency vehicle will activate the lights and sirens. Sirens have an effect: vehicles will weave in and out of traffic to give way to the emergency vehicle. In Grand Theft Auto V, players can customize the horns their vehicle has. 

Horns do have a effect in the 3D Universe: when held, pedestrians will run or dive out of the way to avoid being run over. In GTA V and Grand Theft Auto Online, if the player is using the horn on an NPC, they will react negatively, but if it is used several times, the NPC will accelerate and starts to drive recklessly (not always, but they start to drive faster than normal). 

Musical horns are also added in GTA V and GTA Online, as well as in several updates and DLCs. Most of them has a limited time to play, except one that plays indefinitely. This kind of horn can be found with the I'm Not a Hipster Update DLC.


Daytime Running Lights

Daytime Running Lights, also referred to as DRLs, are small light strips or bulbs that cannot be controlled by the player. These lights turn on whenever the car's engine is on, and they remain on until the player turns the car off.

Auxiliary lamps

Auxiliary lamps are lights that differs from the conventional lighting system. These usually provides either more illumination to the front of the car or where the car itself cannot provide from the sides or rear. It can include fog lamps, spotlights, searchlights, etc.

Warning Lights

Warning lights are lamps indicating warnings, such as police lights or flashing beacons. They typically flash repetitively.

Taxi lights

Taxi lights are, as the name suggests, lights fitted on taxis indicating their status on call outs.

LED Displays

LED Displays are displays for information, found on buses and service vehicles.

Door Ajar Chime

Door Ajar Chimes are chimes that sound in order to alert the vehicle's occupants when a door is open. Only a select few vehicles have it in GTA IV (and the volume usually needs to be high for it to be heard) but it is more prominent in GTA V, as most vehicles have it.

Vehicles with door-ajar chimes in Grand Theft Auto IV:

Car alarms

Car alarms first appeared in Grand Theft Auto III and have appeared in every subsequent game since then. In the 3D Universe most parked cars were either locked or with alarms; in the HD Universe, some cars still feature alarms which will sound if the player breaks the windows of the car or rams them. In all of its appearances, car alarms give the player a Wanted Level if the police spots the player driving it.

In the HD Universe, car alarms can be triggered by tremors as well, such as nearby explosions or crashes, another realistic feature.

In Grand Theft Auto IV, there are five variations, which three of them are different alarm sirens, the fourth one using the car's horn and the fifth one (the rarest of the group) is a silent one (only flashing the car's headlights, red tail lights and indicators).

Back-up beeper

The Back-up beeper, also known as a vehicle motion alarm, is a device intended to warn pedestrians of a moving vehicle.

A specific sound was used on all vehicles it was applied to throughout the game, which made an occurance throughout the series. In GTA V, a larger variety of reversing sounds were added to make the game more dynamic.


Anti-lock braking systems (often shortened to ABS) are an automobile safety system that allows the wheels on a motor vehicle to maintain tractive contact with the road surface according to driver inputs while braking, preventing the wheels from locking up (ceasing rotation) and avoiding uncontrolled skidding.

Factors to determine ABS in the Grand Theft Auto games are often limited, but on the HD Universe, it is possible to determine it via steering while braking and stopping power. Usually, vehicles that have ABS are more responsive in braking and the driver can easily steer the vehicle in order to avoid any obstacle on the path or to take corners safely. Those vehicles that do not have ABS would take long distances to stop and they have little to no steering while braking, making avoiding obstacles difficult. It is also possible by observing the car's wheels while braking. By having ABS, the wheels would be still able to spin, while by having no ABS, the wheels remains locked.

While GTA does not literally implement this feature, ABS would cause tyre skids to be dashed rather than one long mark.

An example of how ABS is apparent on two vehicles in the HD Universe is the following:

  • The Bullet GT (The Ballad of Gay Tony) does have ABS, because its wheels spins under full braking pressure and is able to steer upon braking freely.
  • The Stallion (Grand Theft Auto IV) does not have ABS, because its wheels lock under full braking pressure and remains straight on the road, with no ability to steer upon braking.

Other cases are often different in behaviour from the two cases above:

  • The Fire Truck does have ABS, but the wheels locks intermitently under braking pressure.
  • The Super Diamond and Super Drop Diamond may have a different behaviour between each model, where in some instances, the front wheels locks intermitently under braking pressure and can steer, and in other instances, they are completely locked upon braking pressure and cannot steer.

ABS remains to be purely fictional and symptoms of the feature purely coincide with the handling data individual cars sport, as it is often determined by the handling flags assigned to them (which may or may not be true).


Hydraulics are a feature available in some GTA games, which enable the player to adjust a vehicle's height through electronic manipulation of the suspension with special hydraulic jacks. Hydraulics can be controlled with the right analog stick on console versions, and pressing either the left or right analog stick will make the vehicle's hydraulics either lock in place or hop in the air, respectively. The first car in the series to have hydraulics was a Yardie Lobo, in Grand Theft Auto III. In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the Voodoo was the only vehicle to have hydraulics.
Finally in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the player can customize almost any vehicle to feature hydraulics, but storywise, the first vehicle to feature them is the Savanna. In San Andreas, many lowriders that are found in the streets are by default equipped with hydraulics. As both hydraulics and the game camera are controlled with the right analog stick (on console versions), vehicles with hydraulics disable the camera control. Almost any car can also be equipped with hydraulics at Wheel Arch AngelsTransFender and Loco Low Co.. In GTA V, the player is able to modify 11 vehicles from Benny's Original Motor Works website and app on their cell phone. This feature is on the enhanced version and Online only.

Cars with hydraulics throughout the series include:

GTA Vice City
GTA San Andreas
Most cars can be equipped with Hydraulics at a TransFender
GTA Vice City Stories
GTA Online (XB1/PS4/PC Only)

Hidden headlamps

Hidden headlamps (also known as pop-up headlights) are headlights that are designed to pop open when the driver turns the lights on. When not in use, the headlamps rotate downwards and sit flush with the hood of the car. They are designed to make the car's front end slightly more aerodynamic, by reducing the space needed for headlamps on the front of the car. Only a few vehicles in the entire Grand Theft Auto series feature pop-up headlights.

Vehicles with hidden headlamps include:

Destination Display


An example of a "Taximeter" inside a Taxi, seen during Taxi Rides.

In Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto V, it is possible to find a unique "Destination Display" screen inside a vehicle. They appear on the middle of the vehicle's interior console and disappears when the player leaves the vehicle. There are two variations:

  • The common one is a taximeter used by taxicabs when selecting a destination. It consists of a small destination display screen with a fare counter below the same. Much like a real Taximeter, they seem to calculate the fare based on a combination of distance travelled and waiting time.
  • The second one is a different destination display seen in Brucie's chopper when Niko uses his friendship ability. It has two screens, where the upper one displays the district and the second one the street name and borough.

Vehicles with a Destination Display screen:


Underglow or neon lights are a vehicle modification available in Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars and the enhanced version of Grand Theft Auto V. Neon underglow was only available on the Space Docker in the former version of GTA V, albeit to the sides of the vehicle rather than the underside.

Vehicles with underglow:

The enhanced version of GTA V for PS4, Xbox One and PC adds neon underglow as a modification option in Los Santos Customs shops in GTA V Story Mode and Online. Neon Kits are found under the lights section. Once fitted, underglow is always on when the vehicle is running. 

The player can add different layouts and colors to the vehicle, including:

  • Front
  • Back
  • Sides
  • Front and Back
  • Front and Sides
  • Back and Sides
  • Front, Back and Sides

  • White
  • Blue
  • Electric Blue
  • Mint Green
  • Lime Green
  • Yellow
  • Golden Shower
  • Orange
  • Red
  • Pony Pink
  • Hot Pink
  • Purple
  • Blacklight
  • Crew (Online only)

Interior Dashboards

This article or section refers to "enhanced version" content in the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC renditions of Grand Theft Auto V and/or Grand Theft Auto Online, that is absent on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 versions.
For a complete list of the features of the "enhanced" version of Grand Theft Auto V, please see here.

The enhanced version of GTA V for PS4, Xbox One, and PC adds functional interior dashboards to all controllable vehicles along with the Police Roadcruiser and the Police Rancher seen only in the Prologue. They are most noticeable when using First-Person View while driving.

Many of the interiors are simply copied from GTA IV's exposed interiors, for example, the Tropic and Stallion are the same in both renditions, as well as the Yankee, which is used in most trucks in GTA V.

The PC version of GTA V also included the hood-cam view from Xbox 360 and PS3. This was later introduced into the Xbox One and PS4 versions of the game, after the Ill-Gotten Gains Part 1 Update.

Dashboard Components

The dashboards feature some working gauges and functional indicator lights, including:

Land vehicles

Upon start up, most (if not all) components will light up, due to the engine ECU "checking" everything is working. 

Oil Leakage and Engine Management.

  • Speedometer - includes digital and analogue.
  • Tachometer - includes digital and analogue.
  • Fuel gauge - Decreases as fuel is leaking.
  • Engine temperature gauge - Increases as car idles, decreases as car is moving.
  • Headlight Indicator light - includes full beam and dipped lights, will still function when lights are damaged.
  • Handbrake Indicator light.
  • Low Fuel Warning Light - when fuel tank is damaged, this light will appear when the fuel tank is low (single player only).
  • Engine Management - after a car has run out of fuel, the player will automatically attempt to re-start the car, and this light is briefly seen lighting up (single player only). Also seen when a car cuts out from a lack of oil.
  • Oil gauge - Measures temperature of car-oil. Will increase while the car idles, decreases when the car is moving.

    Other Working Gauges.

  • Low Oil Warning Light - Lights up when a high amount of oil is leaking from the car.
  • Turn signals - upon alarm breaching when stealing an alarmed car. Also tied to the car blinkers, notably seen in Taxis or in missions with NPC drivers.

Air vehicles

  • Attitude Indicator - Follows aircraft's general positioning and movements, respective to the ground.
  • Air speed indicator - Analogue.
  • Altimeter - Increases as the aircraft ascends. Decreases as aircraft descends.
  • Vertical Speed Indicator - Moves in accordance with aircraft's vertical speed. Moves clockwise when going up and counter-clockwise when going down, and reads upd to their respective halves.
  • Compass - Respective to GPS orientation.
  • Landing Gear Up/Down Lights - Only appears on aircraft with retractable landing gear.

Naval Vehicles

  • Speedometer - Analogue.
  • Tachometer - Analogue.

Rear view mirrors are present on most land and some sea vehicles, and are semi-functional - the reflections are not clear and may not reflect dynamic objects, only terrain.

To simplify gameplay, vehicle functions such as changing gears or operating the radio are not depicted, and the player's hands never leave the steering wheel except to operate the cell phone in Story Mode.

Steering wheels are functional in all land vehicles. However, very few vehicles have visible steering wheel mounted controls, such as for controlling radio volume and engaging cruise control. Some vehicles have the manufacturer logo on the steering wheel, while others do not. Motorcycles have functional steering handlebars and aircraft have functional control sticks and yokes, which moves in direction with the console's controls.

Radio displays are present on some dashboards which will display the current station, song and artist, while others have a static radio. Radios can be generic (factory) models or made by either Wiwang or Meinmacht.

There can be other accessories present in some vehicles, such as coffee or soda cups in the cup holders, air fresheners clipped to the air vents, phone holders, and full ashtrays.

Remote Camera


The remote camera in action, during the mission Eye in the Sky.

Remote cameras are devices installed on a few specialized and armed vehicles, which serves as an alternative view for the occupant.

In Grand Theft Auto V, the Police Maverick features a fully-functional camera in the mission Eye in the Sky, where it is used to identify individuals by reading RFID transmitters placed in 2012 San Andreas driver licenses. The display for the camera are the altimeter, compass, horizontal angle indicator, microphone (represented as a white line that creates frequency waves when voices are heard) and, unique to this vehicle, the LSPD writting on the top right corner, above the horizontal angle indicator.

In Grand Theft Auto Online, the camera is available for either the copilot or passenger of a specialized vehicle (which they may have different purposes), or an armed vehicle. A variation of it, seen in the Mobile Operations Center and the Avenger, uses a unique aiming reticle, compass and horizontal angle indicator.

Vehicles with remote cameras:



Officers in Police Mavericks can use winches to rappel down the ground.

A winch is a mechanical device that is used to pull in (wind up) or let out (wind out) or otherwise adjust the "tension" of a rope or wire rope (also called "cable" or "wire cable"). They will have different applications

Although the winch is prominently featured in several off-road oriented vehicles, they are non-functional and serves as descorations for the vehicle in question.

Funtional winches are prominently featured in helicopters, where in Grand Theft Auto Online can be used to rappel down in certain locations [2].

Similarly, towtrucks use winches to move the tow hook in Grand Theft Auto V.

Vehicles with winches



  • In real-life, United States license plates are issued by the state, rather than the city like in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto IV. This is possibly a developer oversight highlighting Rockstar's British origins, as vehicles in the United Kingdom are registered by the city. In Grand Theft Auto V, the license plates read "San Andreas", the name of the state featured in the game.
  • The first plate available in Los Santos Customs to the player is the same one featured in GTA: San Andreas, but always has "San Andreas" printed on it, as opposed to the ones in GTA: San Andreas that have city names printed on them.
  • In the first trailer of Grand Theft Auto V, all the vehicles have the normal license plates, except for one car. When the camera goes to Mirror Park at the house with the number 2405, the player will see a Futo. This car reads the plate: JAX1079W (ABC0000D). But the normal plates are 00ABC000.
  • Interestingly in Grand Theft Auto V, the license plate based on the 1980's specialty plates can be seen on cars originally from Grand Theft Auto IV (such as the Intruder and the first-generation Cavalcade), suggesting that the modern cursive plate did not become standard until at some point between 2009 and 2013.


  1. [ California’s black license plates are back in production]
  2. File data: vehicles.meta: FLAG_ALLOWS_RAPPEL
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