THE INC. LIFE

Give Your Car Some TLC Without Having Go to a Repair Shop

Pitstop wants to change the way people take care of their cars

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BY Ezra Ferraz - 30 Oct 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Going live in Singapore this November and soon after in other Southeast Asian countries, Pitstop is a Canadian SaaS (software as a service) company that wants to change the way people take care of their cars all over the world. Instead of taking your car to a service center, the start-up wants to bring the car mechanics to you.

Founder Mihir Mohan felt that car owners would only turn to authorized service centers — even as they would get overcharged or upsold — because they had no other reliable alternative. Putting off taking a car into such centers only compounded the problem.

“As the cars are not maintained properly, the car owners end up paying more money for additional issues which can be avoided by timely general service,” Mohan says.

Dibyamrit Jana, vice president of marketing, explains how Pitstop works. Through the Pitstop website, he says any car owner can book a two hour slot for periodic maintenance of their vehicle. An in-house doorstep team then goes to the customer’s place and does the service in just two hours, a task that usually takes one to three days in an authorized service center.

During this routine maintenance, Pitstop team members also inspect the car and make recommendations for necessary repairs, complete with pictures and descriptions. Advanced repair or paintwork is referred to workshops in the Pitstop network.

“Car owners can get their car serviced at a certified garage or right in front of their house or parking lot at their own convenience, without having the hassle to drive to a workshop,” Jana says.

Pitstop plans to target 70% of car owners who need service on their vehicles, but whose warranty has already expired. It gets a commission ranging from 10 to 25% when referring work to garages and when buying in bulk from spare parts dealers.

Moving to fleet information

One of the company’s more promising developments is a fleet information system for taxi fleets, leasing companies, and self-driving fleets. It provides them with a one-stop, real-time view of service repairs.

“It works in conjunction with an Android app for garages, mechanics, and drivers who use the app to manage orders in real time and provide a transparent access to fleets and end-customers,” Mohan says.

As for future plans, Jana says while they have so far worked through a network of 150 garages, they also want to focus on doorstep services and will invest in adding vehicles.