The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in many ways than we know yet. It's not just our routine that's now different, but the way we avail services have also been altered and companies are getting innovative in how they address the new normal. While e-commerce websites hit the jackpot in the wake of the lockdown, another industry that has seen a spike in demand is the app-based online vehicle service platforms. Led by several start-ups, the service has seen immense traction in the past few months and we expect this trend to stay as customers are getting used to the convenience and transparency. With the new normal in mind, we list down the auto mechanic and repair companies that offer doorstep services for cars and two-wheelers at your home.
Bengaluru-based Pitstop was founded in 2015 and is one of the providers of the doorstep service model. The start-up offers repairs and vehicle servicing at the owner's premises with a well-kitted van carrying all the equipment. Pitstop's services can be availed via the app or its website that provides an instant quote based on the nature of the job. With the lockdown in place, the company introduced its zero contact service that ensures the vehicle is sanitised after every repair including the key fob before being handed over to the customer. Pitstop also offers a real-time update on the car condition and status during the repair. The start-up raised $2.5 million earlier this year from the TPG Growth-backed Group Landmark and aims to expand its services to 15 cities by the end of the year. The company also plans to have over 1000 garages and 1500 vans operational by the end of 2021.
Speaking on its operations, Mihir Mohan, Founder & CEO of Pitstop said, "COVID-19 has changed the services industry worldwide. The consumer is demanding and receiving services at home, and this trend is observing unprecedented growth. We are receiving a huge demand for doorstep car services and with our vans, we bring the garage to your doorstep, at your convenience."
Availability: Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad, Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad
Working on the same lines as Pitstop, Home-mechanic is a Delhi-based full-service auto repair shop without a brick and mortar shop. Home-Mechanic offers doorstep services at your home and office with its technicians carrying all the necessary tools, spares and spares to carry the repairs. Much like other operators, Home-Mechanic too requires a drive-way or garage to carry out the service. The company claims to offer 50 per cent lesser rates compared to its rivals with the online service ensuring lower overhead costs. They say their costs are lower than the local shops, OEM authorised workshops and even multi-brand workshops. Given the comparatively high-profit margins, the brand says it is able to control labour and spare part prices passing on the benefit to the customer. Home-Mechanic also offers a warranty of up to 1000 km/1 month, whichever is earlier.
While there have been ample doorstep services for cars, Hoopy, established in 2016 has been doing the same for two-wheelers. The bike servicing provider promises to offer transparent servicing that includes genuine spare parts and mandatory checkpoints for every vehicle, along with payment and bill breakup. Expanding its services, Hoopy recently announced its tie-up with Shell Lubricants India to engage and generate business for up to 5000 mechanics pan India. The company aims to employ those mechanics that may have lost their livelihood in the wake of the pandemic and empower them using the platform. Interestingly, Hoopy now faces competition from manufacturers like Royal Enfield and TVS that are offering doorstep services for their respective vehicles.
Availability: Bengaluru, Mysore and Mumbai
Delhi-based automotive service startup Go Mechanic was founded in 2016 and has been partnering with local garages and mechanics to expand its presence in different markets. The company does not offer doorstep services but does bring more transparency in the vehicle repairs and servicing process that has been missing from the unorganised sector. The app-based service has been partnering with corporates to offer a hassle-free ownership experience for fleet operators. For individual customers, it helps to service the vehicle without the high costs involved at a company service centre. GoMechanic promises contactless service and while it may not offer doorstep repairs, the company does provide complimentary pick-up and drop-in for the vehicle.
Speaking on its services, Amit Bhasin, Co-founder, GoMechanic said, "Keeping the new normal of our lives in mind, GoMechanic workshops & mechanics have been upgraded & trained to provide a higher level of car sanitization services under our GoMechanic Suraksha program. With our regularly sanitised workshops, temperature checked mechanics with masks and gloves, WHO protocols and training measures, we are ensuring top quality sanitisation."
Availability: Pan India
Unlike most of its rivals that either offer car or bike services, GoBumpr dabbles into both widening its scope of accessing customers. GoBumpr was founded in 2015 in Chennai and works with local garages to bring more transparency in the process right from the payment terms to the use of genuine spare parts. The company helps local service centres adapt to digital and mobile technology. The service industry is worth $6 billion in India and GoBumpr aims to tap into that pool.
Availability: Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune
Auto i Care
Unlike its most companies here, Mumbai-based Auto i Care offers roadside assistance instead of being a doorstep car service company. The app-based platform allows users to look for the nearest service station or local garages that can repair your vehicle or ferry you to the nearest service centre. Auto i Care will help the stranded customers with common issues like tyre replacement, jump-start, low fuel, and vehicle unlock, or to have it towed to a local garage or mechanic. Since 2019, Auto i Care has tied up with 48,000 local garages, mechanics and service centres and is available in 998 cities across the country. The company aims to reach the customer within four clicks from its app, with the service claimed to be available at a reasonable cost. The RSA promises to reach the stranded customer in 20 to 30 minutes after the order is placed on the app.
Speaking on the service, Sagar Joshi, Founder Auto i Care said, "Even during the current COVID pandemic lockdown, we have been out there on the roads helping essential services to keep working. During COVID-19 lockdown, maximum queries we got from places like Faridabad, Jaipur, Gurgaon, Nagpur, Mumbai, Orissa, Pune, Delhi, Telangana, Maharashtra and Noida. Daily we are getting over 1200+ enquires nationwide, and with two service centres for every 10 km, we are in a position to reach out to a wide customer range. We have covered 228,000 km throughout India and 238 national highways."
Availability: Pan India
Mumbai-based CarCrew works on the same lines as its rivals as a one-stop-shop for all car-related requirements. The company helps the customer find the best car workshop in their vicinity from its network of garages. The company also offers doorstep services in cleaning, repairing and even roadside assistance. There is complimentary vehicle pick-up and drop available. The app-based service aims to expand to 20 cities with more than 2000 workshops across India. More recently, the Chennai-based TVS Group acquired CarCrew for an undisclosed amount and will be investing further to help expand its operations pan India.
Availability: Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Gurugram and Noida
Based in Delhi-NCR, Automen provides its services for all car brands at the customer's doorstep within 90 minutes. This includes changing the engine oil, air, oil and fuel filters, brake pads, spark plugs, fan belts and more. The company also provides repairs that can be done at the owner's home but does not undertake major repairs or accidental damage. It intends to provide a simpler solution for timely service and preventive maintenance, while the saving the customer's time. The company does a 25 point check on the vehicles to diagnose any drivability issues and also inspect the car for damages. It will also recommend any major repairs that need to be carried out after completing the diagnosis.