Your car is your automobile, your wheels, your vehicle. A car can also be another kind of moving compartment — such as a railroad car, a cable car, or a trolley car.
The word car has been around much longer than the automobile. It comes from the Latin carrus, a kind of wagon the Romans discovered from the Gauls, a European people the Romans conquered. It shows up in Italian and Spanish (carro, meaning "a car or a cart," and it also survives in various forms in modern Irish, Gaelic, Welsh, Breton, German, and other languages. When you’re listening to your engine purr, you can thank the Gauls. And the Romans.