Auto Trader, operator of the popular car buying and selling website, reports that one million users have now downloaded its iPhone app, a development that reflects a growing trend for car-buyers to search for their next car using mobile devices.

In January this year alone, about 924,000 mobile users carried out a remarkable 10.5 million vehicle searches. About 510,000 users accessed the information using the mobile version of the website, and about 414,000 used specialised apps developed for specific devices such as Nokia's Ovi-capable smart-phones or Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch, which accounted for the lion's share.

Auto Trader says that the growing use of mobile devices is starting to modify car-buying behaviour; for example, mobile users are able to initiate new searches on the spot and continue looking for another car if one they have just inspected doesn't meet their requirements, whereas those relying on the main website would typically have to break off the search, at least temporarily, until they had access to a computer at home or at work.

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