On-demand car repair service YourMechanic expands to Phoenix – interview with CEO Art Agrawal
Instead of taking your car in for repair, managing life without transportation and paying exorbitant prices, have the mechanic make a house call.
YourMechanic, an on-demand car repair service, has expanded to the Valley from San-Francisco.
“We follow the demand [and] Phoenix is in the top five cities we received requests,” CEO and co-founder YourMechanic Art Agrawal said.
Agrawal and co-founder Dongyi Liao grew up in Asia and were never around cars until they came to the US. “We found [fixing our car] inconvenient…[we] didn’t know if the mechanic was qualified, if you can trust them or getting the best price…we didn’t know what to expect. We looked into the mobile repair space to solve the transparency problem, and we mixed technology, transparency and convenience of coming to you,” Agrawal said.
The company mainly focuses on oil maintenance items and light repairs, and offers over 150 services.
“It’s amazing what mechanics can fix in your driveway,” Agrawal said
Because of the minimal overhead, YourMechanic is able to pass along the savings to the customers — up to 20 to 30 percent compared to a shop, Agrawal said.
Through their mobile device, customers input the type of car they own, repair requests and location. A quote will be returned to the customer under 24 hours; the price doesn’t change if the job takes longer to complete and parts come from their wholesalers.
Through the platform, mechanics are then matched up based on their skill set and automotive specialty.
“We qualify the mechanics in-depth. They go through an interview and on-boarding process, we understand what cars they’ve worked on, and then match you with the mechanic,” Agrawal said. The company also has mechanics that specialize in luxury brands, exotics and classics.
But what if the mechanic gets in there and the repair is larger than expected? “Things do come up and the mechanics will give you a quick detailed report and cost of the repair. [At that point] the customer can research or decide to book another appointment for the mechanic to fix it. This is a no pressure situation for the customer,” Agrawal said.
With each service YourMechanic includes a 12 month or 12,000 mile warranty.
“The experience should be super easy and convenient; customers book everything online, the mechanic will show up and you don’t have to worry about anything,” Agrawal said.
YourMechanic was a winner at TechCrunch Disrupt 2012. Agrawal said they spent two years fine-tuning their platform before they launched.
“Auto repair is a different beast,” Agrawal said, “We spent almost two years building the logistics and infrastructure structure for delivering car maintenance to ones’ home and office. It is a complex system to match the parts with the car, ordering parts, matching the mechanic, the warranty, (etc.). In June 2014, we were comfortable with the infrastructure and started launching in three to four cities to see how it works — and now we are in 300 cities and expanding nationwide.”
To date, the company has raised $1.8 million in seed money.
One of the most surprising things Agrawal discovered along the way is the how mechanics are treated at repair shops and the amount they make in comparison to dealership markup.
“You’re probably paying $105 per hour and 100 percent markup on the parts, and the mechanic probably is taking home $17 per hour. You truly have an opportunity to provide convenience to customers [and] help mechanics earn what they deserve given their skills,” he said.
Your Mechanic is located in 300 U.S. cities and has close to 50,000 car repair requests per month.
“It’s been a good market for us and one of the top five markets with lots of demand. We’re excited to be in Phoenix,” Agrawal said.
Learn more about companies expanding to Arizona here.
Graphics provided by YourMechanic & YourMechanic.com