A new company backed by Daimler AG is aiming to make car repair more transparent.
Based in Los Angeles, RepairSmith wants to expand beyond the Golden State in time.
Experienced mobile technicians will travel to a customer’s home or place of business.
There is a sound, a vibration, a rattle; something that makes you think it’s time to get your car looked at. Between a busy work and family schedule, it’s hard to drop your vehicle off someplace for the day. Then the questions: will they be able to fix it quickly, will it be expensive; is the shop being truthful with me? Does my car really need that repair? Sound familiar? These are the types of concerns RepairSmith, a new California-based startup, is hoping to alleviate.
Like pizza or flower delivery, RepairSmith sends a certified technician directly to the customer. Technicians perform nearly all repairs on the customer’s territory, most often at their homes or places of business. Company leaders say the business model revolves around transparent pricing and flexible scheduling.
“People are busier than ever, and car repairs are something that can eat up an entire day,” explained RepairSmith CEO Joel Milne. “We can fix 80 percent of the typical maintenance issues in the driveway. If we can’t fix it there, we bring the vehicle to one of our certified shops and return it to the customer when it’s ready. And we’re clear from the beginning about what the cost is going to be.”
A 2017 study by AMCI Global found that consumers are still hesitant to fully trust car dealerships. Over the years, dealers have worked to adjust their practices to better meet customers where they are. Still, for some, a bad experience lingers. “Car owners are frustrated by the inconvenience and lack of transparency of the traditional experience,” Milne continued. “Our mechanics have full-time hours, are equipped with company vehicles and tools, and trained to deliver a new kind of experience for car owners in their driveway.”
When a service is requested, a certified technician arrives in a company van with the tools and parts for the given repair. If more sophisticated tools or additional diagnostic work is needed, the RepairSmith technician takes the vehicle to an actual shop within the company’s network. If a customer prefers to drive to that particular shop instead, RepairSmith’s RS Drop Off service allows just that. Regardless, all work comes with a 12-month/12,000 mile warranty.
“If someone needs to go to a repair shop instead of having us come to their driveway, we can do that,” Milne added. “We’re the only car repair service offering solutions from both ends – at your home, or at our certified shop. In the end, our goal is to make sure the customer has the best experience.”
Based in Los Angeles, RepairSmith is backed by one of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers in Daimler AG. “They are a great partner to us,” Milne said. Currently, RepairSmith is servicing the greater LA and San Francisco metros, and adding more areas in California in the near future. In time, RepairSmith plans to branch outside the Golden State.
“Daimler is committed to delivering innovative mobility services and leading the technology transformation of our industry,” said Andreas Joerg, Director of Remanufacturing and Value Parts & Service, Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars. “The team at RepairSmith is taking a long-view of changing customer expectations and technology requirements in the car repair industry, and designing solutions to improve the car ownership experience.”
“We are delivering an entirely new way to repair and maintain your car,” Milne added. “By providing a trusted online pricing and booking platform, we can meet the needs of car owners directly.”