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eBay Motors previews mobile app for iPhone

eBay Motors' upcoming iPhone app has some very cool features beyond simply searching for cars and parts.

eBay Motors' mobile app for iPhone is set to debut in early 2011.
eBay Motors' mobile app for iPhone is set to debut in early 2011. eBay

eBay Motors gave us a sneak peek at its upcoming app for iPhone at the 2010 SEMA Show. While we expected the app to be capable of searching eBay auctions for parts and vehicles, the developers managed to think up a few features--such as VIN scanning and a virtual garage--that truly piqued our interest.

The app allows you to set up a custom home-screen search, which displays a sort of slideshow of the top results when the app opens. You can also simply perform individual searches for vehicles by make, model, year, etc. Once a vehicle is selected, the app gives access to all of the specs and details available on eBay's full site, as well as access to vehicle history reports and photo galleries. At the touch of a button, users can share the vehicle with friends and social networks or send the seller a question.

Things get interesting when you pop over to the garage tab. Here, vehicle owners are able to manually input and store the vehicles that they own or scan the VIN barcode with the iPhone's camera to autopopulate vehicle info for easy retrieval. You can store custom parts searches for each vehicle in the garage (for example, headlights for a first-generation Miata), set up To Do lists for vehicle projects, or share your garage with social networks or other eBay Motors app users over Bluetooth or 3G.

Obviously, whether searching for parts or cars, you will be able to use the eBay Motors app to bid on auctions.

We're told that the final kinks are being hammered out before the eBay Motors app shows up in the iTunes App Store in early 2011. Expect an iPad-specific version to follow shortly, as well as an Android OS version.