Auto Trader does number plate reading app

Car-flogging mag Auto Trader has jumped on the iPhone bandwagon with an app that uses image recognition technology to read car number plates.

The mag's publishers say the app enables users to quickly search for details of the vehicle which should make car-buying decisions easier.

The Auto Trader Mobile iPhone App can provide make and model records as well as figures around the car’s performance and economy It also allows users to search for information on similar cars and dealers in the area.

A punter might spot a car they fancy and scan the number plate to find any similar models on sale nearby. The software uses GPS and Maps to help users to find their way to the nearest showroom.

Nick Gee, Director of Mobile at Auto Trader reckons, "Users will find the link between 'real world' and 'digital world' very compelling, providing a clear differentiator for mobile compared to other media."

Research conducted by the mag in January, 2010 showed 45 per cent of visitors to its mobile site have used their phone to access further information about a car on a dealer forecourt. And a stunning half of visitors to Auto Trader’s mobile site access it via an iPhone the firm said.

The App, is available for free from the iTunes App Store.