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Car drivers to benefit from new intelligence

Most drivers today are actively trying to reduce the cost of their motoring. When it comes time to buy a new car then, value for money is at the top of our tick list but the true cost of any car concerns far more than just the purchase price. Running costs can be just as important and when you take depreciation into account, perhaps even more so.

Most drivers today are actively trying to reduce the cost of their motoring. When it comes time to buy a new car then, value for money is at the top of our tick list but the true cost of any car concerns far more than just the purchase price. Running costs can be just as important and when you take depreciation into account, perhaps even more so. With insurance, tax, fuel economy and servicing costs to take into consideration, it can be really difficult to get an accurate picture of the true cost of any car to allow you to make an informed choice. Now, though, a new app by car valuation experts, CAP, will potentially make things a lot simpler. 

The app will provide the user with a detailed breakdown of any car's running costs, covering depreciation, fuel consumption, servicing, finance, typical repair costs and insurance. To use the app, the user simply inputs the registration number of the car and the expected annual mileage and the app will give a comprehensive report on costs over a number of years, even down to the cost of replacement tyres. A CAP spokesman explained the thinking behind the app: "Just because a car costs less to buy doesn't mean it will be cheaper to run. Buyers might be better off financially in the longer term by purchasing a slightly more expensive car. Our research suggested a lot of people regretted their purchase because their car was more expensive to live with than they expected." 

Clearly all of this information is already available to the determined car buyer but pulling it all together is time consuming. Typically, we look at many different models when considering a new car and compiling this sort of comprehensive data for each one is probably not achievable for the average buyer. Being able to tap in the registration as we wander around the car dealer's forecourt will be a huge step forward in making intelligent choices when we buy our cars. At the moment the app is on the CAP website only but plans are in place to provide a mobile app to download onto your smartphone.

The company also plans other enhancements, such as using real world MPG figures rather than official ones that are often considered to be inflated. At the moment, buyers will be inputting their own insurance quotes but that too will change with the app eventually supplying its own quotes. The data is independent too, giving users a far more realistic view of a car's total cost of ownership.

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Back to August 2013

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