One of the questions we get frequently asked by our current and soon-to-be users is: “How can I build an app without having access to a car?”

Until today, the answer to this question was a little complicated. In order to easily build and test your app, you needed access to a real vehicle with active credentials (i.e. an active subscription to the Tesla app, Volkswagen Car-Net app, etc.). If you didn’t have access to a car or its credentials, we exposed a “mock vehicle” that was confusing to many of our developers.

Starting today, you can build and test your app in “test mode.”

Today, we’re proud to announce that from now on, you can quickly and easily build and run your app, even without access to a real car. This is how it works:

  • When starting the Smartcar authorization flow, you get the choice between “live mode” and “test mode.”
  • If you choose test mode, you can use test credentials (any email address and any password) to authenticate with any of the car brands that Smartcar supports. Each brand will return at least two simulated vehicles that you can use for testing.
  • Of course, you can also choose live mode and log in with the credentials of a real vehicle, if you have access to one.
Smartcar’s authorization flow in test mode

Doesn’t that sound like a Sunday drive? Feel free to learn more about live and test modes in our docs, or get started right away with our demo app!


Smartcar is an API that allows mobile and web apps to communicate with cars (think “check odometer” or “unlock doors”) — across vehicle brands, hardware-free.

Want to take our API for a spin? Check out our and get started with our ! Have any questions or feedback? Shoot us an ! 🚀

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