How do you search for cars when buying / selling?

lincoln_dj

Active Member
VCDS Map User
So,

I'm developing what's essentially a companion tool for autotrader (and possibly other sites) and just wondered if I could gauge some opinion from my fellow petrol-heads.

I'm assuming I'm not the only one here who has, at some point, spent hours looking on the sales websites looking for various cars. In particular, finding the perfect car for a scenario - "what's the cheapest car that has a 0-60 time of under 8 seconds, fetches over 40mpg, and has 5-doors" etc...
Doing this either with a view to buying a car, or just playing around with insurance quotes before buying a car, or just completely dreaming!

If there was a way to customise these searches even more would you be interested? And interested enough to pay either a one-off fee (say, £5 for 4 weeks), or a rolling subscription (say, £1.99 a month).

This would include more refinements of the existing search attributes; for example instead of the 0-60 time being in bands of 0-5, 0-8, 8-12, 12+, you'd be able to type in your own integer. Or for models, instead of choosing just one or all you'd be able to choose multiple (such as audi, vw, seat & skoda).
Plus perhaps other attributes that don't exist, but could be added - eg power to weight ratio.

Looking forward to your replies :)
 

NHN

Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat
Site Sponsor
VCDS Map User
Not sure subscription would work as most would use it short term, maybe a free tool thats ad based to ofset costs, you need the usage levels before any charge is added tbh, unfortunately these days apps etc only gain traction if free in most situations until its got a huge following.

The idea has merit, but is it more geared towards what a cars power is rated at.

Other thing is, people just expect it for free mate, most would rather goto wiki or other sites spend hours searching than pay a dime, unfortunately its an entitled world because of, well basically this world.

Look at ad support, unintrusive of course, maybe when its got higher user base, then look at charging.
 

Raiden

Registered User
9 times out of 10 YouTube tells me what I need to know


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lincoln_dj

Active Member
VCDS Map User
9 times out of 10 YouTube tells me what I need to know


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Interesting... How does it show you?

If, for example, you wanted to view all cars for sale between £3000-5000 that were either V6 or V8 (because you want that sound), had a power-weight ratio >120/ton, and were no wider than 2.8 metres (to fit in your garage) - how would youtube show you?
 
Not to put a damper on this, but consider your target audience for this solution.

The issue you may find is information services like this are great for information that changes rapidly, so it make sense to buy a service to reduce your searching costs.

However cars are static in their nature and you can find the above example quite easily and distill after that. Arguably most petrolheads know their cars and the comparisons between them. We’re looking at cars moreso than the public so we’re probably not the best target audience for this type of effort.

Taking your example…

The V6 or V8 element is a guess of engine size, in this case I’d say anything above 3L is going to have 6 or 8 cylinders.
The power to weight is something you’ll have a ball park on, so you pick the minimum and maximum power
The dimensions, they are shown in the specifications tab of the autotrader adverts

The value proposition is how much time will it save a person and how is the time saving worth? It may be worth talking to motor trade folk to see if you can set this up for bespoke dealers who want a specific car for a customer. Being able to provide some sort of “market intelligence” may benefit the smaller specialists when they procure cars for their clients, or some other party that needs to know identify a specific car on the market, may be worth investigating as a service you supply?

I’ve assumed you’re leveraging someone else’s data and not building a database yourself that is used to perform the query.

Could be something already out there (I’d expect Autotrader already know the value of their data and sell the service via an API) so do try and make sure you’re not reinventing the wheel

Rrereading this I see it can come across as a negative, but please don’t take it that way. Just want to make sure you understand the target demographic and if you’re revenue minded, where the value proposition provides that revenue
 

Raiden

Registered User
Interesting... How does it show you?

If, for example, you wanted to view all cars for sale between £3000-5000 that were either V6 or V8 (because you want that sound), had a power-weight ratio >120/ton, and were no wider than 2.8 metres (to fit in your garage) - how would youtube show you?

No one I know cares about power to weight ratio. It’s always MPG, 0-62, emissions etc.

Like I said 9 times out of 10 you find out what you need

That guy on carwow and Henry Catchpole having boring car facts


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lincoln_dj

Active Member
VCDS Map User
Not to put a damper on this, but consider your target audience for this solution.

The issue you may find is information services like this are great for information that changes rapidly, so it make sense to buy a service to reduce your searching costs.

However cars are static in their nature and you can find the above example quite easily and distill after that. Arguably most petrolheads know their cars and the comparisons between them. We’re looking at cars moreso than the public so we’re probably not the best target audience for this type of effort.

Taking your example…

The V6 or V8 element is a guess of engine size, in this case I’d say anything above 3L is going to have 6 or 8 cylinders.
The power to weight is something you’ll have a ball park on, so you pick the minimum and maximum power
The dimensions, they are shown in the specifications tab of the autotrader adverts

The value proposition is how much time will it save a person and how is the time saving worth? It may be worth talking to motor trade folk to see if you can set this up for bespoke dealers who want a specific car for a customer. Being able to provide some sort of “market intelligence” may benefit the smaller specialists when they procure cars for their clients, or some other party that needs to know identify a specific car on the market, may be worth investigating as a service you supply?

I’ve assumed you’re leveraging someone else’s data and not building a database yourself that is used to perform the query.

Could be something already out there (I’d expect Autotrader already know the value of their data and sell the service via an API) so do try and make sure you’re not reinventing the wheel

Rrereading this I see it can come across as a negative, but please don’t take it that way. Just want to make sure you understand the target demographic and if you’re revenue minded, where the value proposition provides that revenue

Not taking any of it as negative dont worry, it's all good

I'm definitely looking at it from my own perspective - times I've been searching for a car, what I'd wished I'd been able to do. And have wished there was more ability in their search options (not everyone will spend several hours mucking about on autotrader lol). Perhaps people like me are only a tiny portion of the market and therefore wouldn't make this viable, which is why I've asked here.

Thanks for your input though
 
Not taking any of it as negative dont worry, it's all good

I'm definitely looking at it from my own perspective - times I've been searching for a car, what I'd wished I'd been able to do. And have wished there was more ability in their search options (not everyone will spend several hours mucking about on autotrader lol). Perhaps people like me are only a tiny portion of the market and therefore wouldn't make this viable, which is why I've asked here.

Thanks for your input though
I play a game with a friend of mine which is we search Autotrader for cars we’d buy and we’ve gotten pretty good at the searching options on AT, also you know in your heart which car is the one you want. Soon as you see the picture you know
 

lincoln_dj

Active Member
VCDS Map User
I play a game with a friend of mine which is we search Autotrader for cars we’d buy and we’ve gotten pretty good at the searching options on AT, also you know in your heart which car is the one you want. Soon as you see the picture you know
I used to copy various attributes of cars into my own spreadsheet to help decide what car I wanted lol. just thought, would be nice to have a "compare" feature on AT, bit like you get on phone sites etc...
 
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