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Parker's iPhone app

Mon, 09 Nov 2009 00:00:00 -0800

Buying a second-hand car? Worried about how much to offer in part exchange for your old motor? Well, there’s an app for that…

We’ve been testing a new application for the iPhone and iTouch called the Parker’s price checker, and on first inspection we’re rather impressed.  

The idea is simple: You’re out looking for a used car; you fire up the application, enter in the details of the car you’re looking at and Parker’s supply you with details about how much the vehicle is worth, drawing on its huge and highly regarded database of used car prices.

Not only does the app reference make and model, it evaluates prices based on year, mileage, and even the optional extras installed on the car when it was built. It can then compare the price it produces with your current car’s value (once you’ve entered the details) and tell you how much money to offer in a part exchange deal. The application will store details for up to 16 cars at once so you can compare offers.

Effectively, Parker’s are aiming to take the stress out of haggling with used car salesmen. We can hardly fault them for that!

You get five values once you’ve entered your vehicle’s vital statistics: Original price (from the factory), the franchise dealer value, the independent dealer value, the private sale value (good condition) and the private sale value (poor condition). This allows you to make an informed offer based on specific buying conditions.

Once you’ve found a car you like the look of, you’ve got the option to upload the details to show the world via Twitter, Facebook or good old fashioned e-mail. You can even take your own picture (on the iPhone only) and save it against a set of details for a specific car. 

Using the system is typically ‘Apple’, with easy to read buttons and fairly simple operation. It took our Apple-rookie mere seconds to find details for a random car dreamed up by our team.

The Parker’s price checker is available to download now from Apple’s App Store, and costs £2.99 if you buy before the end of the year. After then the price will rise to £4.99, but we think this is still great value if you remember that a subscription for the hard copy of the Parker’s guide will set you back £65 per year. After all, the price checker is always up to date because it gets its data via the web.

The iPhone is also considerably smaller than the book, and we think the Apple interface is a more efficient way to browse such a large database of cars.

You could log onto Parker’s website (www.parkers.co.uk) and price-check on there, but since you need to be near a web-enabled computer and have to pay for access to the database each month, this iPhone App seems a lot more economically viable.

While playing with the Parker’s guide application, we stumbled across another App which may be of interest. It seems Empire has one which - with a few touches of the screen - will bring up a review of any movie ever released. Yes, you read that right. Any movie. That’s over 9,000 films, dating right back to ‘A trip to the moon’ from 1906. You can browse by director, actor, genre or release date so now you pick your movies with confidence, and never watch a bad film ever again. Very cool.          



By Gareth Evans