UAE start-up helps used car buyers

03 Sep 2019

Purchasing used vehicles in the United Arab Emirates can be a tricky endeavour, but one start-up firm is hoping to be able to make the process of assessing a car before putting down any money with the aid of its new proprietary vehicle data platform. 

AlgoDriven was built by co-founders Jaron Crossland and Glenn Harwood after they found the process of evaluating cars tedious and stressful. 

Harwood says that they decided to address the issue by creating a mobile app to assist car dealers with valuing used vehicles that they wanted to trade in or buy, and that the app then evolved from that point with the realisation that the same problem was also faced by banks, classifieds, fleets and car insurance companies. 

Used car owners want car insurance just like the owners of new vehicles do but calculating the figures to determine the worth of the vehicle can be tricky for insurance companies. 

The pair both have extensive auto industry experience both in and outside of the UAE, with Crossland’s family having been in the car dealership business for generations and Harwood having worked for the likes of BMW in the emirate and Mercedes-Benz in both Dubai and Australia. 

With the use of its proprietary vehicle data platform, AlgoDriven is able to provide a comprehensive vehicle appraisal, including a desktop dashboard, website plug-ins, a mobile app and integration to existing software. 

The enterprise products of the app also identify the factory vehicle identification number of a used car, regardless of which country it was originally registered in, as well outstanding recalls for any safety issues and the date that the vehicle was first registered. 

The app follows a method for the pricing of vehicles that is based on data taken from a vehicle’s VIN as well as the macro and market factors, depreciation curves and even seasonal festivals, including the likes of Ramadan. 

The AlgoDriven website also claims that the new upcoming DriveExpert feature will enable users to manage the test drive process of a dealership in order to provide analytics, data and insights that will help to convert a greater number of drives into actual sales. 

The products of the start-up have been constructed for the GCC market in particular, as well as Australia and New Zealand, and there are plans for further expansion into China and Hong Kong. 

With the start-up beginning to develop products for specific regions, including the UAE, Harwood notes that focusing on the differences between those markets is one of their major priorities. 

Market differences can include those found within the actual vehicles themselves, as well as terminology, which the app and all marketing and sales materials localise. 

Harwood admits that their previous experience of working in the markets has given them an advantage in helping them to craft the differences in the feel and appearance of the app in different markets, in addition to the process flow.