Understand that front-wheel drive means the power from the engine and the transmission goes to the front wheels; rear-wheel drive means the power goes to the rear wheels. Four-wheel, or all-wheel, drive means all four wheels are powered.
Open the hood.
Find the front of the engine. The front of the engine is always where the belts are located.
Look to see if the front of the engine is by the fender (side of the car). If so, then you have front-wheel drive.
Check to see if the front of the engine is by the radiator and the grill (front of the car). If so, then you have rear-wheel drive.
Look under the car near each front wheel. If you see an axle with a rubber boot (called the CV boot) on either end going into the wheel, then you have front- wheel drive.
Look under the car between the rear wheels. If you see a large, metal, pumpkin- shaped thing (it's called the differential) with two axles coming out either side, then you have rear-wheel drive.
Check both under the hood for the position of the engine and under the car for the axles to be sure, because not every car follows the rules for engine position and front- or rear-wheel drive (see Tips below for examples of cars with variations on this rule).