Not wanting to be left out of the growing market for online vehicle service booking, the AA has partnered with vehicle ownership website Motoriety to launch a servicing comparison intermediary website, the AA Garage Guide.
The AA Garage Guide promises to help motorists find the best local franchise dealerships and independent garages to carry out service and repairs, ranking them by quality and standards rather than price.
The company says it currently has 1,600 participating garages and aims to have 3,000 in place within 12 months.
The AA are pitching dealers and garages to join with the offer of no subscription or listing fee and a Booking Widget to put into their website. The AA will make their money by charging what is described as “a low flat fee per accepted booking”. Asked to be more specific about the level of the fees for bookings, a company spokesperson told Motor Trade News “Garages/dealers pay a set administration fee for MOTs, and for SMR bookings via the platform. These fees have been set at a competitive level and were deemed agreeable by our garages via direct feedback from garages and dealers we have spoken with.”
As well as helping dealerships and garages to win new business, AA Garage Guide also helps them retain customers: once a customer has booked at a particular dealership or garage, the AA Garage Guide will always refer them back there as the first choice for their next booking or when advisory work on a customer’s record becomes due. Vehicles under the manufacturer warranty period will be directed to a franchise dealer.
The Motoriety involvement means that the AA app linked to the Garage Guide will allow drivers to manage aspects of their vehicle ownership such as tax, MOTs, insurance documents and vehicle servicing and repair service records in the cloud.
Talking about the launch, Lucy Burnford, co-founder of Motoriety and the AA Garage Guide, says “In recent years, there has been an explosion in online service booking platforms, but these are price-focused rather than quality-led, which we don’t think best serves UK motorists or attracts the best businesses. Also, many of these booking platforms aren’t available to franchised dealers, so are not genuinely whole-of-market.
“As a result, AA Garage Guide hosts both franchised dealerships and independent garages with the focus on quality and standards rather than price. The platform is something we feel will really appeal to; and benefit, both the industry and the millions of UK motorists.”
AA president Edmund King, is quoted as saying, “Nine out of ten (88%) of our members tell us that trust and reliability are more important than price when choosing a dealer or garage and it was very much with this in mind that we created AA Garage Guide. The goal of this powerful new search tool is twofold: to deliver more custom to high quality dealerships and independent garages, and to provide a premium experience to our members. The AA Garage Guide is a unique online system where car owners in search of quality service can effortlessly search for, and book online, the very best dealers and garages.”