A new startup called Repair Jungle wants to make it easy for car owners to compare car repair shops and get competing quotes for how much a particular repair will cost. The company is initially offering these services only in the Washington D.C. area, but hopes to expand if the business model proves successful.
When you visit the website you can click to get quotes and after filling in your personal information and describing your car repair needs you will get quotes from member an auto technician at each member shop telling you what you can expect to pay. One of the questions that remains to be seen is how they will deal with issues that are not easily diagnosed by the layperson. In that case you may still be better off taking your car to a shop initially to see what the problem is and then looking for quotes for the repair advice that the auto technician provides you.
When submitting a request online you first answer what kind of work it is (mechanical or body work), what the part is that needs attention and how soon you need the repair advice so you can get the repair done. There is also a box to describe any issues in detail so that the auto technicians can provide an accurate bid. The site also has a feature which allows user reviews and ratings of participating repair shops.
“Our goal was to create a competitive marketplace for automotive repair. The website saves customers time and money and also gives them comfort in knowing they are getting a fair price from a top mechanic or auto body shop,” said Fred Yu, one of Repair Jungle’s founders in a prepared statement. It certainly seems like an idea that could catch on. Car owners universally hate shelling out cash for car repair and when you find out that you spent more than you would have at a different auto repair shop, you tend to get annoyed (to put it mildly).
The company says its business model also helps car repair shops, because it has the potential to drive more business to them. It also points out that consumers will likely see very competitive bids because car repair shops want their business so that they can convert them to a lifelong customer. It remains to be seen if users of the website keep coming back to look for competitive quotes every time they need some repair advice or if they will stick with the same auto technician if that individual wins their trust, which is what often happens now.