Auto repairs are a $150 billion part of the U.S. economy, but leads and advertising for auto repair shops remain relatively underdeveloped — even though fewer than 30 percent of U.S. drivers can claim a trusted mechanic. Seeking to change all that are two companies that register cars and make repair and service recommendations: RepairPal and DriverSide.
RepairPal is mostly focused on providing expert and unbiased information and delivering its “AppointmentsPlus” leads for scheduling repairs. The company has partnered with players such as Cars.com, AutoNation and AAA. It also just announced a partnership with the Automotive Services Association and has a longstanding relationship with the Automotive Services Council of California.
DriverSide’s focus is on getting car owners to build free “online garages” for each registered car, where they can receive information on repair estimates, ask an auto mechanic, find a mechanic, find parts, get alerts on recalls, etc. The site has formed key partnerships with companies such as eBay Motors and Precision Tuning, and will soon have 700,000 garages. Advertisers buy monthly lead package programs, with leads priced at different rates, based on categories.
As of today, DriverSide is also providing an online diagnostic tool based on what owners “see, smell, hear or feel.” If the site can virtually diagnose the problem, it offers advice for how to fix it, including “how to” videos. If the problem requires professional work, DriverSide will recommend local mechanics and tell the user how much they should pay for the service.
“A hundred dollars spent in proactive car care can save drivers thousands in repair costs down the road,” says DriverSide.com CEO Jad Dunning in a release. “Our site is designed to be a resource for car owners who want to keep their cars running and in good condition, but need a little help along the way. We save drivers both time and money through every step of car ownerships, from purchase to repairs, insurance to accessories.”