Automotive Data: Guide to UK Market

Published by Mark Fretwell on

This article aims to explore the 9 most important types of automotive data services in the UK, including automotive data services, datasets and automotive data APIs.

In today’s rapidly evolving automotive landscape, data has emerged as a valuable asset, driving innovation, efficiency, and growth. The UK, known for its robust automotive industry, has seen a surge in the demand for automotive data services which has in turn given rise to a number of new, innovative automotive data services.

1. Automotive Data Services

1.1  Valuations

Accurate valuations of vehicles are essential for businesses and consumers alike. Valuation data services take into account factors such as make, model, mileage, age, and condition when determining a vehicle’s value. These datasets allow buyers and sellers to make informed purchase and pricing decisions, ensuring transparency and value.  

1.2 Forecast Valuations

Forecast valuations are used extensively by lenders who take risk positions on the future value of a vehicle through a lease or finance agreement.  The accuracy of forecasts is a crucial factor in determining profitability, risk and the competitiveness of monthly payments. 

1.3  Vehicle Checks

Vehicle checks are crucial in assessing the history, condition, and legal status of a vehicle. Vehicle check services offer access to databases that provide comprehensive data on previous ownership, accident history, mileage, plate changes and outstanding finance. These checks help protect buyers from fraud and ensure they make informed purchasing decisions.

1.4 Vehicle Data

Vehicle data APIs encompass a vast array of vehicle-related data, including pricing, technical specifications, standard and optional features. These datasets are invaluable to manufacturers for product planning, whereas dealers and leasing companies and their brokers use this data to deliver better customer experiences, through enhanced vehicle listings and 

1.5  Service, Maintenance & Repair (SMR) Data

Service, Maintenance and Repair data can be subdivided into Forecast and Technical data.  Forecast data is typically used by fleet operators and leasing companies who offer fixed cost maintenance agreements to predict their costs for servicing, repairs and tyres over a period of time, taking into account mileage.  In contrast, Technical data is mostly used by workshops to identify the manufacturer recommended times and parts for any work that needs to be carried out. It is also used by fleet operators to automate the authorisation of quotes and invoices received from repairers.  

1.6 Registration Lookup Data

Registration lookup APIs are a vital component of the automotive data landscape in the UK as they provide easy and accurate identification of vehicles, as well as the proprietary codes used to access specific automotive industry data sources

1.7 Tyre Data

Tyres are a vital component of a vehicle, heavily impacting its safety, fuel consumption and technical performance. Tyre data services are used to identify the correct fitments for a vehicle and source specific products from a catalogue of tens of thousands of tyres. Tyre data includes labelling and images and is used to power ordering systems as well as e-commerce platforms. 

1.8 Automotive Retail Pricing Data

Distinct from valuation data, retail pricing data is used to determine the market price of a vehicle when offered for sale by a dealer. Retail prices typically include preparation, warranty and holding costs as well a profit margin for a dealer.  Retail pricing data is vital for retailers seeking a competitive advantage as it helps them understand the market and price their vehicles to achieve the optimal balance between margin and stock turn. 

1.9  Connected Vehicle Data

With the rise of connected vehicles, automotive data services have evolved to encompass real-time data streams from vehicles. These datasets capture information on driving patterns, fuel consumption, and vehicle diagnostics. By leveraging this data, automotive businesses can enhance fleet management, develop predictive maintenance models, and create personalised services for drivers.  

2. Automotive Industry Data Services

The success of the UK automotive industry depends on access to accurate data.  Automotive industry data services can be broken into two categories:

  • automotive data providers who can provide access to one or more of the datasets above.
  • added value service providers who provide a single point of access to datasets from multiple data providers, combined with advice and expertises enabling their users to more easily develop software.   

3. Automotive Data APIs

Automotive data services are typically delivered as datasets or APIs.  Where datasets require significant integration effort, application programming interfaces (APIs), allow businesses to integrate data more quickly and enable seamless access to real-time data, enhancing operational efficiency and supporting the development of innovative solutions. 

Automotive data APIs in the UK provide a robust foundation for developing data-driven applications, power predictive analytics, and enable faster software development at lower cost. 

As the UK automotive industry continues to thrive, the value of automotive data services cannot be overstated. From providing datasets for valuations, vehicle checks, and vehicle data to industry-wide insights and APIs, these services are transforming the way businesses operate and paving the way for innovation. 

By leveraging the power of automotive data, companies in the UK can optimise operations, deliver superior customer experiences, and drive growth in the dynamic automotive landscape.

Remember, the key to success lies in partnering with a reputable automotive data service provider who can offer tailored solutions that address specific business needs, while giving you access to a breadth of services. Embracing automotive data services is the key to unlocking the full potential of the UK automotive industry in the data-driven era.

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