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Haymarket: WhatCar
My Car Cost App


One of the projects identified through the App Factory strategy workshop, with Haymarket Media Group, was to develop an app to help car owners or buyers understand the actual cost of the cars they either own, or want to buy. Haymarket indicated that this was a feature that many readers had asked for in the past and therefore a tool which would be useful to a large target market.

Haymarket’s aim was to launch an app to help motorists realise the true cost of a new or used car over the space of five years. The app needed to help motorists understand the real associated costs of owning a car, depending on how they would use it; to help make decisions on whether the car was right for their needs over the long term. Initially the application would use What Car?’s expert data to inform the calculations, taking into account average MPG and service costs, for the initial phase and roll out for the app.

WhatCar Car Cost App in-app screenshot


In order to create the My Car Cost app in a shorter time period, Haymarket sourced the data from CAP, the source of motoring knowledge and data for over 30 years. Despite the data being ready for mobile, the web services were designed for CAP’s website. This meant that some of the initial designs for the app had to be altered to match the data sources.

To match the specific requirements, Mubaloo created API documentation for how the app would present the data. Although CAP’s resource covers data running back to the 1970’s, thus providing access to a wealth of data, cost of ownership data is only available for the last five years. As a result, a large amount of data had to be excluded and sorted through, in order to make the app as efficient and easy to use as possible.

Due to Haymarket securing a sponsor for the app, there were strict deadlines in place for when the app needed to go live. This meant Mubaloo and CAP had to work closely together to fully optimise the requirements of the app and quickly agree on the best way to proceed when faced with any obstacles.

Monetisation was key to the apps perceived success. As the app was designed to be used by people who are close to the buying process, users have the opportunity to be contacted about products or services that can help them buy or sell a car.

WhatCar Car Cost App in-app screenshot


Over the next few months, the My Car Cost app will benefit from promotion by Haymarket to readers across its motoring brands. Further optimisations are being made to the app, and to the data, to deliver the best overall experience. The app is continually being optimised and improved, based on user behaviour, driven by in-app analytics. Improvements are being made to how the data can be surfaced and interpreted.

WhatCar Car Cost App in-app screenshot

MyCarCost has been the biggest learning curve for us in terms of understanding how to best utilise complex data for a mobile audience. We are still in the learning stages, but look forward to pushing this out to the market and seeing the traction it can get.

Chris Lowe, Publisher, WhatCar?
  • Deloitte Tech Fast 50 winner 2014
  • Appsters winner for best use of API 2014
  • Ranked as the top app developer outside of the US by research firm Clutch
  • UXUK Winner 2014
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  • Mubaloo innovation lab
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Company registration number: 0‌6770774.

Registered address: Mubaloo, 3 Grosvenor Gardens, London, SW1W 0BD