12 Top Auto APIs

The automobile industry is transforming before our eyes. Recent technology is making vehicles more connected, smarter, shared, sustainable, efficient, and automated. Additionally, auto manufacturers, sellers, service centers and insurers have adopted tools to make their businesses more efficient, profitable and customer-friendly.

At the heart of this Digital Transformation of the auto industry are Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs, which allow developers to tap into resources and create applications. The best APIs for creating automobile applications can be found in the Auto category of ProgrammableWeb.

In this article, we highlight the top twelve Auto APIs based on page visits to ProgrammableWeb. The list includes APIs for checking license and registration information, ride-sharing services, finding tires, buying and selling cars, gathering images and auto data, hacking a Tesla Model S, and more.

1. Hotwire Rental Car Shopping API

The Hotwire Rental Car Shopping APITrack this API delivers data describing rental car shopping results similar to those that can be obtained when shopping for rental car rates on Hotwire.com. Each result returned includes a URL that can be used to view additional details and complete a purchase on Hotwire.com.

2. Search French License Plates API

Search French License Plates APITrack this API is an API that allows users to look up car number plates in France. For instance, users of the application would enter a car registration plate like "2590 MA 64", and it would return that the number plate belongs to a 2011 Ford Taurus. The API uses SOAP XML standard format (ASMX), ideal for .NET applications, but also suitable for PHP.

3. VinFreeCheck Vin Decoding API

VinFreeCheck database contains more than 6 million records of vehicle salvage information. The VinFreeCheck Vin Decoding APITrack this API allows developers to decode VIN numbers as well as get accurate vehicle specifications and the salvage title. The VIN decoder works within North America, Asia, and Europe.

4. Car Imagery API

The Car Imagery service allows users to include licensed stock images of cars on their websites. Developers can utilize the Car Imagery APITrack this API to enable applications with the Function to search got stock photographs of cars by make, model, options, year and trim. The API is available in both free (with query limits) and paid versions.

API for Car Imagery database and downloads is available

API for Car Imagery database and downloads is available. Image: Car Imagery.com

5. Unofficial Tesla Model S API

Tesla Model S JSONTrack this API is not an official Tesla API. However, it is based on the Tesla Model S and it provides Documentation used by the iOS and Android apps. This API can help developers in the auto industry to go beyond controlling just one car since logged in users can add several vehicles at a time. Unofficial Tesla Model S API works like a remote control from a mobile phone, with vehicle controls to charge the car, Flash the lights, honk the horn and get status reports about battery charge and open doors.

6. VIN decoder API

VIN Decoder is a VIN information service where users can input a vehicle's VIN number and the decoded information back. The VIN will return manufacturer data including: manufacturer, manufacturer address, product type, make, check digit, model year, plant code, and sequential number, as well as data from police databases. The VIN Decoder API uses REST API to allows users to submit VIN numbers. The service is free to use, but the API has tiered pricing for usage.

7. AutoScout24 API

The AutoScout24 API allows developers to manage the life cycle of classified listings on the AutoScout24 Platform. Users of the API are able to read and write vehicle data, access make/model information or create classified ads. The API offers a RESTful interface to interact with the resources. AutoScout24 is a car marketplace for Europe.

AutoScout 24 API

Screenshot: AutoScout24

8. UK Vehicle Data DVLA Vehicle Database API

UK Vehicle Data DVLA Vehicle Database APITrack this API offers UK vehicle information in JSON format. Developers can customize their own data-packages to receive essential and technical DVLA data, keeper V5C data, registration, condition, and color information.

9. car2go API

car2go is a car-sharing service available in several European and U.S. cities with flexible credits and rental rates. The car2go APITrack this API will provide up-to-date information on which vehicles are available, places to park, and local gas stations. There are protected functions for developers who register. Applications can be written to manage short term user bookings and more.

10. Manheim API

Manheim is an automobile remarketing company that wholesales vehicles in live and online auctions. The Manheim APITrack this API returns data about the inventory of car dealerships for developers to integrate vehicle remarketing services into third-party applications. The API can be used to manage auctions, buy and sell autos, plus gather or get notifications about real-time inventory data.

Manheim Developer Portal

Manheim Developer Portal Screenshot: Manheim

11. Size My Tires API

Size My Tires provides a service for finding the correct tire for a specific automobile. The Size My Tires APITrack this API allows tire shops to search for the stock tire size of a specific make, model, and year of a vehicle. The API can be integrated with tire shop websites. It is free of charge for tire shops that place a backlink to sizemytires.com.

12. Edmunds Vehicle

Edmunds publishes automotive pricing guides plus car reviews, vehicle maintenance guidance, resources, tips, and advice on buying/selling vehicles, insurance, fuel economy, and more. The Edmunds.com Vehicle APITrack this API allows partner developers to access to year/make/model information, as well as style, True Market Value, and Vehicle Incentives offered by auto manufacturers. The API is RESTful and returns responses in JSON/ JSONP. All Edmunds APIs are only offered to partners.

But this list is only a small sampling of the resources from the ProgrammableWeb Auto category, where readers can find more than 220 APIs, 35 SDKs, and 90 Source Code Samples.

Be sure to read the next Auto article: Daily API RoundUp: MTN MoMo, Amazon Polly, Monetizr, TomTom, Golfbert