A simple model which describes the fire behaviour of a burning passenger car is presented. Rate of heat release (RHR) curves obtained from car fire experiments are characterized by superposition of one Boltzmann curve and three symmetrical Gaussian curves. The car fire is described by two fire plumes, one emerging from the car at the centre of the windscreen, the other at the centre of the rear window. Gas temperatures are calculated using Alpert's equations for maximum ceiling jet temperature and compared to temperatures measured in car fire experiments. Good accordance between the calculated and measured temperatures is obtained.