So, what's the difference between the two - and when should we use each type of subquery? First, lets make sure we understand how that second query works. We selected two tables in the from clause of our query, and then wrote a query and told the database that it was in fact a table instead - which the database is perfectly happy with. There can be some benefits to using this method (as well as some limitations). Foremost is that this subquery ran once . If our database contained a large volume of data, there could well be a massive improvement over the first method. However, as we are using this as a table, we have to bring in extra rows of data - so that they can actually be joined back to our rows of data. We also have to be sure that there are enough rows of data if we are going to use a simple join like in the query above. If you recall, the join will only pull back rows that have matching data on both sides of the join. If we aren't careful, this could result in valid data not being returned from our cars table if there wasn't a matching row in this subquery.