Top 10 automotive business ideas in 2007

We’re deviating from our regular schedule to bring you the best new business ideas of 2007. Over the next two weeks, we’ll feature our personal favourites, categorized by industry. This isn’t a trip down memory lane—all of these smart concepts will continue to provide entrepreneurs with plenty of opportunities in 2008. First up: automotive. Enjoy!

  1. Person to person parking space rental: Peasy.com is an online marketplace for parking spaces, enabling drivers to search for and book spaces before they leave home, and letting British homeowners monetize unused parking spaces by adding them to the network. More »
  2. Stress-free car shopping: American buyers who are in the market for a new car, but don’t want the headaches of searching and haggling for the best price, now have an alternative that can help them sidestep the usual dealership woes. More »
  3. Integrated auto insurance for teens: A combined package of insurance and a GPS tracking device (the ‘Safety Beacon’), Teensurance offers parents the ability to monitor their teenager’s behaviour on the road. More »
  4. Mobile car rental, wherever it’s needed: Aiming to become more nimble, car rental company Europcar is introducing mobile car rental facilities in the UK. Small rental booths are hooked up to the company’s central booking system and are manned by an agent during peak hours. During off hours, customers can drop off keys and make their own reservations over a built-in reservation hotline. More »
  5. Car dealership catches female fever: Although research finds that women are responsible for the bulk of purchasing decisions, one arena that continues to overlook this important target market is auto dealerships. Not so at Vancouver’s Clutch. More »
  6. Ridesharing with a social twist: One of the problems with traditional carpool matching sites has been the anxiety most people feel when faced with the prospect of sharing a car with someone they don’t know. The solution? Tap into the power of social networking. More »
  7. Insurance discounts for GPS-guided drivers: Drivers who use GPS devices are less damage-prone than their old- school brethren. Which is why a Dutch insurance company is giving them 10% discount on their auto insurance. More »
  8. Crowd clout & Japanese auto parts: An Australian start-up is focusing on a ‘group buying’ niche: parts for Japanese performance cars. Auto Group Buy aims to combine the purchasing power of car owners with a keen passion for modifying, tuning and styling their vehicles. More »
  9. Zipcar uses mobile GPS to pinpoint nearest car: Zipcar members can use their GPS-enabled cell phones to find the nearest vehicle and make an instant reservation, making spontaneous car-sharing easier than ever. More »
  10. Navigate with your own voice: While most personal navigation devices come with a variety of voices to select from, from soft-spoken to stern, they all get boring after a while and aren’t, well, personal. Now they can be: it’s possible to have your own voice, or that of a loved one, tell you when to turn right. More »
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