How Scraping For Car API Data Can Simplify Vehicle Purchases and Sales

In today’s economy, the demand is high for pre-owned vehicles. The highly competitive market is moving fast, and it is important for both buyers and sellers of used cars to have a firm grasp on the different prices, features, and sales offered by a wide variety of auto sellers in the area. To ensure they find the best deal on the perfect vehicle for them, buyers must examine a seemingly endless stream of information to narrow down their choices. On the other hand, vehicle dealerships or independent sellers also need access to a great deal of information to be sure their prices, features, and offers are competitive and continue to draw customers.

There are many car API websites on the internet designed to make it simple to list a car or shop for one. The problem with these websites is that some focus on new cars, some display only used cars, some are devoted to rental cars, and some connect users with car parts. If you want all that automotive API information compiled for easy analysis, the best way to obtain this breadth and volume of data is through web scraping.

In this article, we will discuss how web scraping for various types of data can benefit someone searching for their perfect used vehicle and a company seeking to maintain a leg up in the competitive pre-owned vehicle market. We will also provide tips on how to scrape car data and how best to avoid common web scraping obstacles.

You can use the table of contents to jump from section to section within this guide.

 

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Vehicle Data Explained

vehicle data

In our introduction, we mentioned car API websites, which can be a treasure trove of information. For those unfamiliar, an API or application programming interface is a software interface that allows two or more computer programs to communicate with each other.

In terms of vehicles, these car API websites essentially aggregate information about vehicles or parts for sale or rent from the software or websites belonging to local dealers, service centers, and others. Compiling this information makes it possible to analyze a massive amount of data or even multiple data sets at once without visiting hundreds of websites to glean the same information.

When it comes to data surrounding car sales API, car rental API, car parts API, or any other vehicle API, there is a huge amount of readily available data to mine on the internet. This data can be categorized in many ways, but some of the main categories include:

  • Vehicle prices
  • Design features such as anti-theft devices, navigation systems, power doors, locks, windows, steering, etc.
  • Stock available at local dealerships
  • Make, model, and year
  • Mileage
  • Powertrain information such as motor, transmission, etc.
  • Interior and exterior colors, finishes, and materials
  • Fuel type, hybrid, or electric
  • Financing or leasing options
  • Consumer ratings and customer reviews
  • Vehicle maintenance, warranty, and recall information
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Contact information for the current owner
  • Seller name, address, and contact information
  • Background information, prior accidents and repairs, and resale value

You can also obtain data relating to rental cars, replacement parts, and more.

How vehicle data can help you purchase a car

You may wonder how all this data can be helpful when seeking to buy a car, which is a fair question. A vehicle purchase is usually a significant event in someone’s life, and most people tend to take their time shopping for such a large item. Obtaining and analyzing car API data can make shopping for your next vehicle much faster and easier.

There are multiple ways of analyzing data from, for example, a new or used car API, and we will delve into some of them.

Finding the right price

Purchasing a vehicle is not like buying your weekly groceries or splurging at the department store. By purchasing a car, you are making an important investment. Because this can be such a big decision, there is no doubt you want to find the best deal. Whether you want a sturdy, reliable vehicle that will stand the test of time, something compact that will save precious dollars at the gas pump, or your lifelong dream car, you can filter millions of choices down to the options within your price range. This will make shopping for a vehicle you can afford far less intimidating and prevent you from wasting time looking at vehicles outside your budget.

Many used vehicle purchases and sales are completed through consumer-to-consumer (C2C) or peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions. Examining used car API data can help you connect with local sellers you may otherwise have missed, or you can use an API dedicated solely to larger sellers.

You will find many car sales API websites that include data about background checks, prior accidents, and other vehicle history information. If you are an industrious vehicle data scraper, you can find almost any information you could want.

Consumer sentiment analysis

Some of the most important information you can analyze before purchasing a car are ratings and reviews from other people who own or have owned the same year, make, and model. With a web scraper, you can compile data about car models and vehicle dealerships, service stations, insurance companies, repair shops, or any other company you may consider doing business with.

Additionally, within dedicated online forums, many vehicle enthusiasts discuss particular vehicle makes and models, share repair tips, give advice, and more. This information can be invaluable to someone shopping for a vehicle and come in handy after your purchase too. Web scraping forum data can be a priceless source of helpful tips and connections to specialists, buyers and sellers, and car communities.

Comparing design features

Web scraping is a simple way to compare various vehicle design features against each other and the features of one vehicle to those of another. Even within the same make and model, the design features of each vehicle are constantly being updated and upgraded. Certain safety features may be of the utmost importance depending on your priorities, such as child locks, seat sensors, and rearview cameras. You may place more weight on options such as a leather interior and Bluetooth functionality. Do you want a car that runs on gasoline, diesel, or electricity? Do you need four-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes, or your VIN etched on your windows?

Another important detail you can seek while web scraping is recall information for the vehicles you are considering. This can be added to your automated web scraping request and organized along with the other data to ensure you are aware of any pertinent recalls or safety warnings about your potential vehicles.

Using a web scraper to collect pertinent data about vehicle options can allow you to sort, structure, and organize the information based on what is most relevant to you.

It is very important, however, that you ensure before you scrape that your target website allows such data collection. One way to do this is to check the site’s robots.txt file. To do so, simply append “/robots.txt” to the end of your target URL. The resulting file will give you details about the site’s rules on web scraping. It is equally important to be mindful of copyright laws and to understand the concept of fair use.

Some of the most commonly used sites for purchasing vehicles for sale include:

  • AutoTrader.com: The AutoTrader website has existed since 1997 and now has over three million listings nationwide, pulled from 40,000 dealers and 250,000 private sellers. It offers an immense selection of vehicles, which you can narrow down with a wide variety of filters. You can even save searches on AutoTrader and apply for insurance and car loans.
  • Edmunds: Originating as a paperback booklet available at newsstands, Edmunds has evolved over decades of experience. The website allows you to save searches and favorites, filter your selections, and refine your choices more thoroughly than other websites. It also offers advice and articles to educate car buyers about the purchasing process and vehicles themselves.
  • AutoTempest:  AutoTempest is an aggregator of classified advertisements posted online with the intent of selling vehicles. This site aggregates data from multiple websites, such as eBay Motors, AutoTrader.com, Cars.com, Auto Trader (Canada), and more, providing millions of listings from a variety of sources.
  • KBB: The Kelley Blue Book is the gold standard in automotive pricing. “Blue Book price” is part of the American lexicon. KBB offers the most accurate estimates of a vehicle’s market value, expert reviews, top ten lists, recall postings, and even tools for checking your credit score and calculating your monthly auto payments.
  • Hemmings: This auto website specializes in classic cars, trucks, and motorcycles. It also allows you to track down hard-to-find parts for project cars and to search for vehicles or parts by make, model, type, price range, and category. Hemmings also maintains a blog and sends out regular periodic newsletters, and the website also sells merchandise related to its niche market. Finally, Hemmings offers videos, special events, an email list, mobile apps, and print publications.
  • CarMax: For an effortless car shopping and buying experience, CarMax offers listings for high-quality certified pre-owned cars. Many of the vehicles listed on CarMax come with a notorious CarMax warranty. Although CarMax has a policy against haggling, its ease of browsing makes it an excellent option for vehicle shopping.

Automotive API Data Can Help With Vehicle Maintenance

api data helps vehicle maintenance

All vehicle owners know one simple truth: every vehicle requires maintenance from time to time. It can be something as simple as an oil change, a tune-up, a car wash, or a more labor-intensive procedure like bodywork, an entire body paint job, or replacing the brake pads, rotors, and calipers. Either way, at some point during the life cycle of your vehicle, it will need to have some kind of work done.

How can web scraping vehicle API data assist you with your car’s required maintenance?

Aggregating and organizing car parts API

Many websites specialize in selling car parts, whether original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts or aftermarket parts. Visiting an API car parts website allows users to browse various product catalogs, reviews, and warranty repairs information. There are a variety of mail order OEM and aftermarket parts websites touting their performance auto parts, accessories, tools, and even apparel.

You could easily get lost amid the various websites and their virtually endless supply of parts for vehicles of almost every conceivable make, model, and year. Web scraping allows you to aggregate this vast amount of information and filter the data by part, price, shipping speed or method, or any other criteria that fits your needs.

Some of the most popular car parts API websites include:

  • JEGS: JEGS High Performance is the second largest mail order automotive equipment company in the United States. JEGS sells performance auto parts, tools, aftermarket accessories, and race apparel. It has been operating since 1960 as a small speed shop.
  • Summit Racing: Summit Racing Equipment is an automotive parts retailer operating four retail stores and distribution centers while also functioning as an online mail order auto parts distributor. You can purchase auto restoration parts, tools, and components for modern and classic cars through Summit Racing, as well as street performance and off-road parts, shop equipment, and more.
  • Advance Auto: Advance Auto Parts, Inc. is an automotive aftermarket parts provider based in the United States. In addition to a robust online presence, Advance Auto operates around 4,900 retail locations in the U.S. and Canada.
  • NAPA: The National Automotive Parts Association (NAPA) was founded in 1925. It is an American retailers’ cooperative (co-op) that distributes auto replacement parts, accessories, and other vehicle-related items throughout North America.

Choosing a mechanic, shop, or specialized service

Most people wouldn’t trust their car with just anyone. In many regions, there is a huge selection of options for mechanics, auto repair shops, service centers, and more. Web scraping car API data can allow you to filter these options by price, location, customer ratings and reviews, speed of service, and any other criteria you can imagine.

Some of the services you can potentially locate using web scraping may include:

  • Specialized car repairs: Some people cannot fathom allowing just anyone to work on their precious vehicle. Many brand-specific car enthusiasts insist that only a mechanic with particular expertise and experience working on their particular car brand is allowed to perform any necessary repairs, upgrades, or even maintenance.
  • General mechanics and repair shops: There are countless repair options available in most areas. Some shops specialize in bodywork, while others are qualified to perform repairs, maintenance, upgrades, and so on under the hood. Some are skilled in highly technological computer repairs, a skill demanded more frequently as more and more vehicles are built with sophisticated electronic and computer technology powering them.
  • Car customization shops: Many car enthusiasts enjoy upgrading their vehicles far beyond the performance intended by the manufacturer. Whether their desired upgrade includes a massive, booming sound system, an exceptionally powerful engine, or something as simple as a lift kit or larger, louder mufflers, there are customization shops willing to tackle these and many other upgrades to turn your serviceable vehicle into the car of your dreams.
  • Personal injury attorneys: Some law firms specialize in helping their clients obtain sizable settlements due to car accidents or vehicle-related injuries. Like any other service, you can locate and filter these attorneys using web scraping, allowing you to find the legal representation you need no matter your car-related issue.

Bringing car collectors together

Many people consider themselves aficionados of a particular vehicle make, model, and even year. Some even collect and rebuild these vehicles and either drive or resell them. Web scraping can allow these people to collect a vast amount of data about their vehicles of choice, connect with other experts and enthusiasts, and locate parts that may otherwise be extremely difficult to find, particularly for older vehicles that are no longer being produced.

Assisting auto repair shops that are looking for parts 

It isn’t just consumers who look for parts for specific vehicles. Auto repair shops also frequently shop online for OEM or aftermarket parts. Using web scraping to aggregate and organize information on a massive scale can allow an auto repair shop to maintain a database of available parts, prices, locations, shipping speeds, and much more. Scheduling regular web scraping can help the shop keep the database current, avoiding various problems in the process.

Aggregating and organizing car accessories API

On top of replacement parts for your vehicle, there are endless options for additional accessories you can purchase to make your ride more comfortable. Whether you are seeking sun shades, vehicle trash cans, storage solutions, add-on electronics, emergency kits, grocery organizers, or anything else, there is online data about the types and prices of these accessories.

Browsing car rental API websites and databases

In addition to car sales information, you can also analyze car rental API data if you need to rent a vehicle, whether to go on vacation or move homes from city to city. Web scraping can provide information about rentals, such as the size of the vehicle, its storage capacity, number of passengers, additional features, and, of course, price rate.

You can also scrape information from ride-sharing apps regarding pricing tiers, requirements, and more. There is no end to the amount and variety of data you can obtain through web scraping for automotive big data.

Where Big Data and Car Sales Intersect

big data and car sales

We have already discussed how potential buyers can use car sales API data to find a new or used vehicle that will suit their needs perfectly. What about vehicle sellers, though? Of course, there are plenty of ways that car sales data can help a business sell vehicles, as well. But why should you scrape and analyze used car data?

Pre-owned vehicle buyers predominantly use the internet

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers continue to prove they prefer online platforms and channels to find, research, compare, contrast, and buy used vehicles. Who wants to spend hours walking among rows and rows of vehicles that may or may not suit them when they can sit in the privacy of their own home and browse based on their selected criteria?

Understanding customer buying trends can help increase sales

The used car industry, and all sectors of the automotive industry, use web scraping more and more often to extract data. In particular, businesses involved in the sale of pre-owned vehicles use web scraping to obtain information about local and even nationwide consumer buying trends, such as:

  • The types of vehicles that most interest consumers within each vehicle category (e.g., sedans, coupes, hatchbacks, trucks, or SUVs)
  • Specific makes and models of vehicles that are popular at any given time
  • Average price points
  • Additional features that tend to interest buyers

Pricing data helps you stay at the top of the market

The used car market is highly competitive and always evolving. It is essential to know how your competitors’ price cars, what influences their pricing choices, what specials and sales they offer and when, and other pertinent sales data. Again, when scraping competitors’ websites, you must ensure web scraping is allowed on each individual website by consulting the website’s robots.txt file.

By analyzing used car API data, you can ensure your company offers competitive prices and even adjust your pricing strategy based on the sales and marketing of your competition.

Web scraping can enable your dynamic business strategy

Web scraping does not have to be a one-time process. Using this invaluable tool regularly to keep your finger on the pulse of consumer trends, competitors’ stock and prices, and more can allow you to maintain a competitive edge and a savvy insight into the car sales market. You can use the collected data to make predictions based on trends, facts, and statistics. You can also study market trends, track pricing variations, and gather customer ratings and feedback to help you hone your business model. Scraped data can assist your company in obtaining a stronger understanding of the market and streamline your pricing, operations, inventory, and other tactics to serve your customer base more effectively.

Develop an automotive database

If you do not yet have a database or are new to the business, you can launch a successful marketing strategy by performing a comprehensive market assessment. Scraping data from local and national used car dealerships, car sales API websites, and other sources will allow you to create a database of vehicles that gives you a comprehensive, high-level perspective on the industry.

Create a pricing strategy

The vast amount of used car price data available on the internet can give you, as an automotive seller, a strong understanding of how many factors influence the price of a vehicle. The relationship between pricing and various criteria such as year of manufacture, make, model, condition, mileage, transmission type, color, and more can assist your company in developing a price strategy for your inventory.

Understand customer behavior based on location

As a vehicle seller, you likely sell to individuals within your geographical area. It is essential to tailor your business strategy to the consumers in your specific region. Using web scraping data, you can learn more about local trends, such as which makes, models, years, and types of vehicles are most popular in your area, how pricing is determined, and more. This local knowledge can give your company a competitive advantage over other local competitors.

How To Scrape Car Data

scrap car data

Some of the data you can use for these myriad purposes can be manually gathered by a human being who is knowledgeable in the art of data collection and knows where to point and click. However, it simply isn’t possible for a person to collect the volume of data that makes it worth your while to analyze big data regarding vehicle purchases, sales, and maintenance. This is why we recommend using a highly rated data collection company like Scraping Robot to make the most of your data collection efforts.

A web scraper is a dedicated tool programmed to gather and organize huge amounts of data from online sources such as websites and APIs. Web scraping means automatically scanning a web page, website, or other data source and collecting information pertinent to what the user specifies. After collecting all of the relevant data (or “scraping” the data) from the source, the web scraper then compiles the data into a file in an organized, structured format that makes analyzing the data simple.

Using a ready-to-use web scraper like Scraping Robot can save you an untold amount of time attempting to gather massive amounts of data through manual searches, only to copy, paste, structure, and organize the data before you can analyze it. Scraping Robot’s robust, intuitive web scraping tools can often complete the entire process of data gathering, extraction, structuring, and organization in mere minutes.

The collected data is helpful in generating reports for increasing productivity and efficiency, creating design strategies, and understanding customer needs and behavior.

Some data collection companies use complicated pricing tiers or monthly subscription fees. Scraping Robot, however, charges a low flat rate per scrape while allowing you to initiate a large number of scrapes. In addition, Scraping Robot is constantly improving, adding new modules based on user feedback. The company regularly improves the customer’s experience by adding new functionality to its already powerful scraping tools.

With Scraping Robot, there is no need to worry about the potential issues that come with web scraping, like proxy management and rotation, browser scalability, CAPTCHA solving, server management, and vigilance for new anti-scraping technologies from target websites.

Scraping Robot also offers a reliable customer support system and twenty-four-hour customer assistance seven days a week! Scraping Robot’s already robust tools are updated regularly with solutions to constantly evolving anti-scraping technologies.

Possible web scraping roadblocks

Some websites do not allow automated data collection, or web scraping, even though it is a perfectly legitimate and widely used business practice. Many website owners fear that “bot-like” activity could overwhelm or even crash their servers or cause other issues with their websites. Some websites block all web scraper traffic based on the scraper’s IP address or geolocation to avoid these problems.

However, these scraping blocks are not infallible, and we highly recommend the following solution to circumvent them.

Crash through roadblocks with proxies from Rayobyte 

For those unfamiliar with a proxy server, we will describe what proxies are and what they do.

A proxy server is basically an intermediary server that acts as a go-between with the web scraper on one side and the target website on the other. Proxy servers also act as a firewall, protecting the user’s internal network from the many hazards found on the internet.

The proxy server affords you and your web scraper private IP authentication and anonymity, allowing you to get around scraping blocks based on IP address or geolocation. You can also access geolocation-specific content and perform a large number of high-volume scrapes without the target website’s detection. Proxy servers can offer various degrees of privacy, security, and functionality depending on your needs.

A proxy server is essential to keep your web scraper protected and anonymous.

Rayobyte offers multiple proxies that you can use with your web scraper to collect the volume of data you need from the websites you choose.

Data center proxies

As their name suggests, data center proxies are stored in data centers. These are the least expensive type of proxy, and you will find they are fast, plentiful, and readily available. Because of their speed, they are suitable for use cases requiring a fast rate of speed.

The one disadvantage to data center proxies is that their IP addresses belong to a data center, which makes them more easily identifiable. Because some websites see a data center IP address as a red flag, they may ban all activity linked to data center IP addresses. Some websites may even ban an entire subnet upon catching wind of any bot-like activity originating from a data center IP address.

To help counter these bans, Rayobyte offers not only C-class subnets but also A and B-class subnets.

ISP proxies

ISP proxies offer the proverbial best of both worlds: the built-in authority of residential proxies and the fast speed of data center proxies. Rayobyte’s premium ISP proxies, although hosted on data center servers, use IP addresses connected to internet service providers (ISPs) and appear to belong to individuals. These proxies are just as hard for websites to detect as residential IP addresses. In addition, ISP proxies offer fast, stable connections, and Rayobyte places no limit on threads or bandwidth, equating to customer cost savings.

Rayobyte currently offers ISP proxies from the U.S., the U.K., and Germany.

Residential proxies

Residential proxies carry the highest authority level of all the proxies. These proxies are the actual IP addresses of individuals and are associated with ISPs, giving them a high level of trustworthiness in the eyes of website administrators. Using residential proxies gives you access to a vast network of IP addresses belonging to millions of devices worldwide. The use of these trustworthy IP addresses gives your web scraping activity a more human and less bot-like appearance to your target websites. This comes in handy because websites generally do not block residential IP addresses for no good reason. As long as you don’t go overboard when scraping, your scraper will likely remain undetected.

Rayobyte’s residential proxies with geo-targeting functionality give you the freedom to scrape data from anywhere. Because your web scraper can appear to be located anywhere in the world, you can access information restricted by geolocation.

Another advantage of Rayobyte’s residential proxies is that they give you access to a large pool of IP addresses so you can collect data without being disturbed. Rayobyte does not place a limit on the number of concurrent connections you send. Each query is assigned a unique IP address. Our pool of residential IP addresses also helps you avoid CAPTCHAs and other anti-scraping technologies that many websites may use.

The importance of ethical residential proxy sourcing

Many proxy providers engage in unethical behavior when they source residential proxies. For example, they may bury their terms of service within blocks of tiny text to confuse end users.

Rayobyte takes ethical residential proxy sourcing very seriously. In fact, Rayobyte set the industry standard for the ethical practice of sourcing residential proxies. As a company, we take extra steps to ensure the use of these IP addresses does not negatively affect the end users. This includes ensuring the users are well-informed and compensated for affording us the usage of their IP addresses, and they can revoke their approval at any time. Additionally, Rayobyte ensures the end user’s IP address is only used when they aren’t using it and when their devices are adequately charged or plugged in.

Rayobyte’s commitment to ethics does not end there. In addition, we carefully vet our customers and do not sell our residential proxies directly on our website. Before we sell our residential proxies, we are especially careful to ensure the potential buyers of these sensitive proxies have legitimate and ethical plans to use them. Once the residential proxies are sold, we monitor their usage, ensuring their continued ethical use.

 

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Conclusion

conclusion on car api

Shopping for and purchasing a vehicle can be one of the most stressful retail experiences a person can endure. Web scraping for car data can put a massive collection of useful information at your fingertips. Using this data, you can find a vehicle within your budget, with the design features you need and the consumer ratings you trust. With more information, you will become a more confident consumer who knows what they want, the features they need, and the price range they can afford.

Vehicle sellers can also benefit greatly from the use of web scraping as a data aggregation method. Analyzing big data from car buying websites, competitors, and various other sources will allow your company to stay on top of the highly competitive used car market, offer sales and promotions that are most appealing to your potential customers, tailor your marketing strategies to your target customers, and maintain a competitive edge over other auto sellers in your region and online.

Let web scraping with the assistance of fast, reliable proxies simplify the process of employing car API data when buying your next vehicle. Contact Scraping Robot and Rayobyte today.

The information contained within this article, including information posted by official staff, guest-submitted material, message board postings, or other third-party material is presented solely for the purposes of education and furtherance of the knowledge of the reader. All trademarks used in this publication are hereby acknowledged as the property of their respective owners.

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