|Game||The Sims: Bustin' Out, The Sims 2: Nightlife, The Sims 3|
|Price in game||§950-§11,950[TS2:NL]|
Cars are objects that allow Sims to get around the neighborhood or world they live in. Cars first appeared in The Sims as carpools, and taxicabs were introduced in later expansion packs starting with Hot Date. Some NPCs would also arrive in a vehicle, and starting with The Sims 2, most service NPCs arrived on the lot in their respective service vehicles. Personal vehicles were not introduced until The Sims 2: Nightlife and The Sims 3, where they provided an alternative to existing taxis and carpools. Only teens and older can drive cars, and purchased cars must be placed on a driveway. In all games, cars drive on the right side of the road.
The Sims 2
Cars are much more animated and interactive in The Sims 2 than in any other game in the series. Sims open the doors to get in or out of a car, and will even open a door to let a dog or cat in or out. When leaving or returning to a residential lot, a car will be shown pulling into or out of the driveway if there is room for that animation to play; if there is not enough room, the car will simply disappear from the driveway, and reappear when it returns.[TS2:NL][TS2:FT] Build and buy modes will be disabled when a car is pulling in or out, and will be re-enabled once the car drives off the lot, or once it is parked in the driveway and Sims have exited the vehicle. If the route is blocked, or if there is no room for the animation to play, the vehicle and the Sims in it will simply teleport to their destination.
With the exception of toddlers and babies, anyone can enter and ride in a car, although only teens and older can drive. Dogs and cats can be taken for a ride and will use a carpool for work. However, puppies and kittens cannot ride in a vehicle.[TS2:P]
When a Sim uses a car or taxi to travel to a lot, the image of that vehicle will be shown on the loading screen.
Cars of various kinds, including service NPC vehicles and taxis, can be seen driving randomly around the roads while in the neighborhood view; however, these cars are cosmetic and do not appear in actual gameplay. Some vehicles, such as the garbage truck, do not appear in-game at all, either as ownable or NPC-driven vehicles.
Some cars have texture references from a BMW 5-Series (E39), a car presumably owned by a Maxis developer at the time. Some cars also seem to sport 1969-1980 California license plates. One of these plates read "ETA 329", presumably rearranged to avoid any privacy concerns, as it doesn't match the California plates of the time's numbering scheme. Some cars have their plates edited to "23 329".
Some other cars are also in the game but were not made buyable or ownable. Some may be available as custom content.
- Limo: A stretch limousine resembling a Lincoln Town Car (1998-2003) that serves as carpool for some jobs. It also appears when a teen goes out or sneaks out with someone, or when a college student is being taken to the secret society. It also arrives to pick up newlyweds for their honeymoon.
- Town Car: A sedan that resembles an older Lincoln Town Car (1990-1997) with a soft top. It's a carpool for several jobs, and in some career tracks, such as Education, is even the carpool for the top-level job.
- Small Sports Car: It's a carpool car that appears in either bright red or bright blue, and is very small. It resembles a Maserati Coupe (2002-2007). The red car and the blue car are actually two separate cars that are almost identical, but this is only apparent if they are examined very closely.
- Fire Truck. An average sized fire truck.
- Ambulance. Paramedic carpool vehicle, and sometimes seen on television.
- Large Truck: A delivery truck used by the grocery store, the Repo-man, and the exterminator. The grocery truck is blue with a yellow streak on the sides and rear. On close inspection, it can be seen that the streak is formed by a winged PlumbBob. The Repo-man's truck has sad faces on it, and has no rear doors. The exterminator's truck is yellow, has a picture of a bug and a "No" symbol on the sides, and an oversized model of a dead bug on the roof.
- Bus: Kids go to school in a yellow school bus, and some jobs in the Athletic career track use a team bus as the carpool. The sports team bus is white with a red stripe, while the school bus is yellow with a black stripe, but they are otherwise identical.
- UFO: Technically, it's a car. The design is available as custom content. It has yet to be turned into something more fitting, such as a helicopter.
- HMV: A military truck, used as the carpool for many jobs in the Military career track.
Purchasing and owning a car
If Nightlife or Freetime is installed, Sims can purchase and own cars of their own. Cars are found in the miscellaneous section of the buy mode catalog. Sims can use them to visit community lots as a faster alternative to taking the taxi. Sims can take the vehicle for a spin, which will give them a boost in energy, comfort, and fun. Generally, more expensive cars give a greater boost, but this does not always hold for custom vehicles.
Sims can use the vehicle to go to work or school, but the player must manually select them as the owner of the vehicle. This can be done by clicking on the vehicle, selecting "Change Owner", and then the name of the Sim. The carpool will no longer appear for a Sim who owns a car, and the Sim will autonomously head for the vehicle when it is time to go to work or school. However, the school bus will still come for teens, and driving to school instead of taking the bus will still trigger the minor fear of missing the school bus.[n 1] Selecting one Sim as the owner will not affect other family members' ability to use the car to visit community lots. Owners can be unassigned at any time, and the carpool will reappear for Sims who have been unassigned as an owner. Only one Sim can own a vehicle at a time.
All cars have the option to have an alarm installed. A car alarm costs §250 and takes one Sim hour to be installed. An armed car alarm will go off whenever a burglar is within six or seven tiles of the car, even if the car happens to be inside a garage. Since cars are generally expensive objects, burglars are likely to come within range of the vehicle when casing the lot. If the car alarm goes off before the burglar can enter the house, any burglar alarms inside the house will not sound and sleeping Sims will not be awakened.
When Sims get out of a car on a residential lot after arriving, they will have a "Watch Out!" action pushed on them if they take too long to get off the driveway. This will override almost everything in a Sim's queue, and forces the Sim to get off the driveway.[n 2] Actions such as bringing in a grocery basket will not be affected.
Children and older Sims can choose to sit in vehicles without actually driving. Sims sitting in a car can turn on the vehicle's lights and the stereo. If two or more Sims are sitting in the car, they will autonomously socialize. Sims can even WooHoo in cars, complete with rocking motion and fogged-up windows to conceal the view from the player.
Sims will only use cars to visit community lots when they are part of the actively played household and were explicitly commanded to use the car to get there. Sims from other households will still arrive and leave the lot on foot, even if they own a car.
In early neighborhood pictures before The Sims 2 was released, some houses had driveways and garage doors, suggesting that ownable cars were originally intended for the base game. Another piece of evidence to support this is the presence of a buyable and ownable car in the game files. This car only appears if it is made to appear in a category, and doesn't work correctly.
There are five models in Nightlife, of varying price and specifications, and each one comes in several colors. They are drivable versions of carpools or service vehicles from the base game. In addition, FreeTime adds a junk car that can be restored.
Regardless of how many seats a particular model of car would have in real life, a car in The Sims 2 can hold any number of Sims. For example, a family of eight can ride in a Hunka, even though it looks like a two-seat sports car.
Non-drivable versions of drivable cars
- Versions of the "Smoogo"
- Delivery car for pizza and Chinese food[TS2:U].
- Versions of the "Smord"
- Versions of the "Heavola"
- Versions of the "Yomoshoto"
- Police car
Cars without Nightlife or Freetime
In April 2007, a driveway and garage set was made available for download at TheSims2.com, allowing players without Nightlife to use cars, if they had a later expansion or stuff pack.[n 3] Over the next year they released a set of 5 downloadable cars by Ford: the Ford Mustang GT,[n 4] the Ford Focus, the Ford Fusion, the Ford Edge, and the Ford Escape Hybrid, which were designed to use this set. In addition, the Montgomery Hawker from the EA game Burnout Paradise, as well as the HotRod Hauler Chop Socky Special were released. These cars were available in the Exchange->Objects section of TheSims2.com.
"Numenor" at ModTheSims also made a set of packages based on this set, which were modified to allow players without Nightlife, but with a later expansion or stuff pack, to use custom-content cars as long as they did not have the "requires Nightlife" flag set.
The Sims 3
Cars play a much more important role in The Sims 3, as they are used to travel around to places (otherwise the player can use a taxi, walk/jog, or bike). However, the Sims will not autonomously drive to work, as the carpool will still arrive for them, even if there is a vehicle assigned to the Sim. The game comes with 11 cars. In addition, a Sim who reaches level 5 in the law enforcement career will receive a Police Cruiser based on the Yomoshoto Evasion as a bonus. In Ambitions, a player who reaches level 10 in the firefighter profession will receive a Woo Woo 4000 Fire Truck.
Cars are purchased from the "vehicles" section in buy mode. Their prices are more realistic and reflect real-life prices more than those in The Sims 2, ranging from §950 to §105,000. Most of the families in The Sims 3 and its expansion packs already own cars which are either on their lot or in their inventories.
As with bikes, the car will go into the Sim's inventory after a Sim has driven it to another lot, unless that lot has a parking lot. It can be dragged and dropped into the inventory of other family members, or double clicked to allow the Sim to drive to a new location.
As with The Sims 2, only teens and older can drive cars. If Generations is installed, teens must be taught how to drive by an older Sim first. Both the teen and the older Sim will get into the car and drive around the world. Once the teen has learned how to drive, they can use any car on their own. Teens that grow up without having been taught how to drive will still be able to drive on their own.
Driveways in The Sims 3 are smaller than in The Sims 2 and can be placed on a lot, even if it is located nowhere near the road. However, unlike The Sims 2, there are no animations for Sims getting into and out of cars, and for cars pulling into or out of driveways; Sims will simply "teleport" into vehicles, and vehicles will simply appear onto the road or driveway. Also unlike The Sims 2, Sims cannot WooHoo in cars, and they cannot sit in a car if it is parked on a driveway. Cars in The Sims 3 are also not equipped with stereos. Stereos and WooHoo, among other interactions, were reintroduced in the Classically Cool Fixer-upper Car, which is premium content from The Sims 3 Store.
Kleptomaniacs can steal parked cars and use them.
Sims cannot die as a result of a car crash or being run over by a car. If a car or a Sim is blocking the road the car will simply pass through like a ghost. This also means that traffic jams are not possible.
When buying the Collector´s Edition of the game, the owner can unlock two new cars with a special code: The Montalcino Fandango SE, a luxury sports car that seems to resemble a SSC Ultimate Aero, and the Vorn Stallion, an American muscle car that resembles a tuned Plymouth Barracuda.
In April 2010, TheSims3.com had offered a free download of a Renault car for Europe, which aimed to promote environmental awareness. A Toyota Prius and Ford Focus were offered for free download for the United States. These cars are no longer available on The Sims 3 website.
List of cars
Similar to The Sims 2, there are several cars that cannot be owned. These cars include taxicabs, various carpool vehicles, and more.
Non-drivable versions of drivable cars
- Junked car in Riverview
The junked car in Riverview is a prototype of the Sloppy Jalopy. It has no left door, a crumpled roof and body, no wheels, and is rusted and undrivable. It is found at the riverbank and back of the Broke family's house. It is available as a decoration in The Sims 3: Ambitions. Another junker may be found under one of the bridges leading to the main island. In Twinbrook, there the same car on the neighborhood, one in a mudslide.[clarification needed]
- Junked Heartbreak Hotrod
In Appaloosa Plains which come with The Sims 3: Pets, there is a brown, rusted Heartbreak Hotrod next to a house.
- Scrap Big Lemon
At the Bayless Memorial Junkyard in Twinbrook, there is a large scrap pile with a yellowish-green front half of a Big Lemon. It appears that the Roof and dashboard have been ripped off, and the car has grungy textures.
Fast Lane Stuff
In September 2010, a stuff pack for The Sims 3 that is centered around vehicles, Fast Lane Stuff, was released. The stuff pack includes ten new cars, and new fashion and decor styles that center around them. Introduced vehicles include several classic models from the 50s, sports cars, racecars that resemble vehicles used in Formula races, and more.
Into the Future
The Sims 3: Into the Future features several new hover cars that Sims can buy whether they are in the present day or in the future. Hover cars are functionally identical to normal cars, but they have differences in terms of appearance and sounds. Compared to normal cars, they hover and do not have wheels, they have different engine sounds, and they have different sound effects for actions like entering and exiting the car. Similar to regular cars, hover cars need a parking space to be placed in.
In Oasis Landing, townies and NPCs like the police and firefighters use hover cars for transportation.
The Sims 4
Cars appear in The Sims 4 as an ambient decoration only. Occasionally, cars will drive by on the street, but Sims are unable to own or drive cars. In fact, there are no means of transportation in The Sims 4, as Sims are capable of walking to any area, transitioned by loading screens. In Get Famous, cars are used as decorations on the sides of roads in Del Sol Valley.
Early fan-made content for The Sims allowed Sims to have a car. Normally, this would be one from the carpool that would not otherwise be accessible, and would have no use other than as a decorative object that might affect Room score.
Over the years, many custom-content vehicles have been made for The Sims 2, The Sims 3 and The Sims 4. While many of these are based on real-world models, some creators and sites have specialized in Simlish models. In addition, many creators have made recolors of EA-made vehicles. Many sites have either carried sizable numbers of vehicles and recolors or have specialized in vehicles. The list below is only a small sample of what is available.
- The Fiat Punto - Formerly available at http://thesims2.co.uk, now available from the Sims2 Graveyard.
- A recolorable version is available at ModTheSims.
- ModTheSims has a range of cars and recolors for The Sims 2 and The Sims 3.
- The Sims Resource has vehicles and recolors for The Sims 2 and The Sims 3
- Fresh-Prince Creations has real-world cars for The Sims 2 and The Sims 3.
- Vovillia Corp. is a forum-based site specializing in cars for The Sims 2.
- A mod for The Sims 4 at ModTheSims adds drivable cars to the game.