Getting started


Smartcar is an API that allows mobile and web applications to communicate with vehicles across brands (think "check odometer" or "unlock doors"). This guide will help you get up and running with the Smartcar API.

In the Getting Started guide, we will create a simple web application that displays your car information.

By the end of this guide, you will have learned how Smartcar works, retrieved your API keys, learned about our authorization process and made your first request to Smartcar using a Smartcar SDK.

How Smartcar works

Server-Side Rendered Application Architecture with Smartcar's API.

  1. The Application redirects the user to Smartcar Connect to request access to the user's vehicle. In Connect, the user logs in with the username and password for their vehicle's connected services account and grants the Application access to their vehicle.
  2. The user's browser is redirected to a specified redirect_uri. The Application Server, which is listening at the redirect_uri, will retrieve the authorization code from query parameters sent to the redirect_uri.
  3. The Application sends a request to the Smartcar API. This request contains the authorization code along with the Application's client id and client secret.
  4. In response, Smartcar returns an access_token and a refresh_token.
  5. Using the access_token, the Application can now send requests to the Smartcar API. It can access protected resources and send commands from and to the user's vehicle, such as retrieve the location and unlock the doors.

Get started

Follow along with our step-by-step tutorial to build our simple web application.

Our tutorial is split into 3 sections -

  1. Set up - Set up your environment to develop on Smartcar
  2. Authorization flow - Learn about Smartcar Connect and how to get an authorization code
  3. Send a request - Learn how to exchange an authorization code for an access_token required to send a request to Smartcar