This might seem like an obvious question, but I am just getting into doing an actual website (as opposed to a test website in college), and I'm genuinely curious.

A friend wants me to design a website for his business, which is a tire and auto repair shop. I've looked at a few other tire shop designs to get a feel for what he would need, and every site I've looked at has a little section of drop-down lists where you can select your make, model, year, etc. to get a quote on the specific tires you need for a specific vehicle.

Here's my question: Are all these different tire sites just using a general database? Or do they all really have a designer go through and input every make and model and year into a huge database? Like, would you think they are using unique databases or are drawing from some common source?

I know it's a bit of an obscure question, but I think you could apply it to other types of databases as well, where many business sell the same kind of slightly different products.

I'm definitely not opposed to setting up a huge database for him, but I wanted to ask that kind of general question before I threw myself into something like that.

Thanks for any responses!