Vehicle servicing and repair is set for radical change with the emergence of a wave of very serious looking new businesses targeting the multi billion pound market using business models akin to the comparison shopping formats of the likes of Just Eat, and Compare the Market.
One of the front runners in the space is WhoCanFixMyCar, founded as an online start-up in 2011 with the aim of connecting Britain's 32 million car owners with local garages, mobile mechanics and dealerships.
The car enthusiast founders Ian Griffiths and Alistair Preston who have backgrounds in securities and investment banking managed to get investment from media giant Trinity Mirror in 2013 which amongst other things has allowed them to bring in Google's Automotive Industry Manager and former BMW Dealer Marketing Executive Alex Rose as Marketing Manager.
Speaking to Motor Trade News Alistair Preston said, "We are feeling very good about the business and how it is developing. There are over 5,000 businesses registered with whocanfixmycar.com, and whilst most are independent, I am delighted to say that 9 out of the top 10 UK franchised motor dealer groups are signed up too."
Preston goes on to say, "Outside of the big groups, one nice example is Patrick Patel's Automotive Components Specialist Ltd (ACS) in Enfield. ACS do MOTs, Car Services and Brake Checks and he now gets over 90% of his business from us. The good news is that we have many customers similar to ACS, both independent and franchised. These are garages who've generated tens of thousands in revenue thanks to us and for whom we are now their primary marketing channel."
The business model for WoCanFixMyCar.com sees the firm charge participating dealers a small annual registration fee plus a commission based on the types of jobs won through the system. Rather than being a percentage of an impossible to audit invoice value, the job-fees are set according to the type of job with MOT's costing garages £4.49 and a major job like a clutch replacement costing garages £15.49.
Looking to the future, Preston says, "In terms of growth, as you can see from the graph, the number of leads for garages that we are generating each week is tracking up at an increasing rate. Over the past 6 months that has grown by over 200%, and we are on target to assist 10,000 motorists per month with their requests by the end of this year. "
More information about WhoCanFixMyCar.com can be found at http://www.whocanfixmycar.com/howitworks