This paper studies hysteresis of vehicle brakes and its influence on the vehicle dynamics. The experimental investigation clearly shows the non-linear and asymmetric characteristics of hysteresis of the disk brakes in passenger cars. A computational model of the brake mechanism with hysteretic elements, based on the Bouc–Wen method, is developed and verified with experimental data. Using the developed model, the influence of hysteresis on the vehicle dynamics during straight-line braking with an anti-lock braking system is analysed. It is also observed that the variations in the hysteresis parameters have important influences on the main vehicle brake characteristics such as the stopping (brake) distance, the time of braking and the average deceleration. A comparative analysis of the simulation results is also given for braking with zero hysteresis or with hysteresis represented as a signal delay and linear function.