London start-up Caura has announced its first product, an app to allow UK drivers to manage their parking, tolls, MOT, road tax, car insurance, and congestion charges in one app.
The firm, first founded in 2019, hopes its FCA-approve app will minimise admin and mitigate penalty fines.
After entering a licence plate number into the app, users can see the status of the car’s tax, MOT and insurance renewal dates and pay for parking, toll roads and congestion charges.
In-app notifications remind drivers when it’s time to pay for the car-related tasks, with the hope of reducing the millions of automated fines or PCNs (penalty charge notices) issued to Britons each year.
The firm said currently a quarter of all UK MOTs are conducted late, meaning at any time 8 million cars on the road have potentially dangerous defects such as bald tyres, worn brakes or blown bulbs. It claims that late or incorrect payments cost UK car owners £2bn every year.
Caura was founded by Dr Sai Lakshmi, who also founded Echo pharmacy, a platform that works with the NHS to help more than 250,000 Britons order repeat prescriptions.
“The billions of pounds in penalty fees UK consumers incur from mistakes or late payments for parking, congestion charges, road tax, tolls, MOT and insurance are totally avoidable,” said Dr Lakshmi.
“The incumbent system – fragmented, confusing and outdated – is not only costly but a massive source of anxiety. By eliminating the need for dozens of apps and services, we are removing hassle, confusion and unnecessary expenses of car ownership.”
Caura has completed one angel round of £1.4m since its inception and was recently awarded a place on Tech Nation’s Fintech 2020 cohort.
Investor Rob Wilmot said: “Caura uniquely provides digital infrastructure desperately needed in today’s fractured and outdated ecosystem to provide a 21st century driving experience.
“The team has done a remarkable job bringing together an entire industry, integrating private and public companies, government bodies with proprietary technology into a beautiful and simple-to-use app. Aggregating these services into a single interface will make life easier for millions of people every day.”