Social media app Tinder lets you find interesting people around you to meet, with users often accessing it for dating. A new South African start-up, called Carter, hopes to apply a similar technique to buying a new car.
The smartphone app attempts to help consumers find the right new car for their needs, and then connect them with accredited dealers to get a good price.
“The new platform aims to alleviate the complexity of buying a new car by making it easier and more fun to shop for your dream vehicle,” the company said.
“It removes the hassle of having to contact multiple dealerships for quotes and navigating myriad technical specifications to see which car suits your needs and wallet best.”
A shortlist of suitable cars can be built by swiping right (“yes, I like it”) or swiping left (“not interested”), similar to the way the Tinder app helps identify human matches.
The system learns from the user’s actions, which then gets them closer to the cars they should be considering, the company said. The app has a “learning algorithm” and “smart discovery process” to help prospective buyers find the car they’re looking for.
Co-founder Tom Gardner (he started the business with Vikash Govindjee and Amit Bholla, all of them formerly with McKinsey & Company) said the platform is vastly different to existing options.
“There isn’t an Edgars for new cars. There isn’t anywhere you can browse hatchbacks or compact SUVs side by side. The problem with this is that there may be the perfect compact SUV out there for you, you just don’t know about it. By creating a virtual showroom that allows people to browse by usage requirements, we have created a virtual Edgars for cars,” Gardner said.
Bholla said most online platforms ask consumers which make and model of car they want. “They assume you know what you want or need. Carter’s mission is to empower the consumer. We have built a fun and friendly platform to help you find the right car and then conveniently source great deals from reputable dealers.”