Vehicle details encompass a range of minor details present on vehicles, which are mostly useless in gameplay but add to variety on vehicles that appear on the street. These include the range of colors, accessories, license plates, and model badges.
Vehicles are typically available in a variety of body colors, unless they are hard-coded with a actual texture, as is the case with the Sabre Turbo and Patriot in GTA Vice City. For GTA III and GTA Liberty City Stories, differing colors may be applied on both the body panels and trims (including the bumpers). After GTA III, vehicles may also appear with two tone-body colors, or even three (the Camper in GTA San Andreas).
While the range of colors on most vehicles are limited, third party garage editors can modify the colors of stored vehicles to the player's choosing for games; this may also be applied to gang cars. Transfender, Wheel Arch Angels and Loco Low Co. workshops in GTA San Andreas also allow the player to choose a range of custom colors for their vehicle, as well as fully custom paintjobs.
"Accessories" do not simply refer to vehicle accessories per se, but include different models and livery that illustrate variety between the same model of vehicles that appear on the road. Customized vehicles or gang cars based on existing models are also depicted with additional accessories to distinguish them from their stock counterparts.
GTA 2 first explored such variety by way of its gang cars and different vehicles: Gang cars could be converted into normal variants by utilizing a crane to load a gang car onto a Transporter trailer. In addition, certain vehicles are essentially modified versions of another, including the Taxi Xpress (based on the B-Type), the Special Agent Car (based on the Eddy) and the TV Van (based on the Van).
GTA III was the first game to feature variety of accessories on the same model of vehicles, randomly assigning a specific "accessories" for a number of them, including industrial box trucks (the Mule and Yankee) (company liveries), the Patriot (truck bed design), the Stallion (top), the Taxi (taxi lights) and the Coach (bus company liveries). Since then, more vehicles provide such variety, expanding to include truck loads, car spoilers, paneling, extended roofs, continental kits, side bags and customized interiors, among others.
Like the choices of body colors, certain accessories (i.e. hydraulics, body kits and nitrous oxide boasts) can be added on vehicle in Transfender, Wheel Arch Angels and Loco Low Co. workshops in GTA San Andreas.
- Main article: Vehicle license plates
Vehicle registration plates were first introduced in GTA III with improved detailing. Usually seen on road vehicles, license plates were originally represented by only one or two license plate textures. By GTA San Andreas, license plates were far more flexible in displaying a far larger range of different license plates, with each of San Andreas three areas featuring their own type of license plate.
For GTA Liberty City Stories and GTA Vice City Stories, a smaller range of license plates were assigned to specific vehicles, while GTA IV opted to use a single "Liberty City" license plate on nearly all vehicles, suggesting the feature was not completed during development.
Due to hardware limitations, model badges on vehicles were only introduced in GTA Vice City, with the game's Moonbeam and Bobcat, as well as certain watercraft, actually featuring their name on their rear. The feature was still in limited use in GTA San Andreas, with the ZR-350, Bobcat and several boats being the only known models that sport their names on their bodies.
By GTA IV, however, nearly all vehicles featured are designed with at least one badge declaring their name, as well as their manufacturer and variant. Certain badges, such as those denoting engine types, however, may not reflect the actual engine that the vehicle has.