In a period of continually rising prices, one business is delivering potentially big savings and changing the way thousands of owners get their cars serviced.
It’s also giving an unexpected boost to hard pressed independent garages.
We are all accustomed to doorstep deliveries and collections and Fixter is what is nowadays termed a disruptor in the motor repair business.
Co-founder and chief executive officer Limvirak Chea’s Fixter company essentially links independent garages with those who need work on their cars and offers guaranteed servicing and repairs between doorstep collection and return by an agent at times to suit the customer.
He started the business in Manchester in 2017 and enjoyed a 20% annual growth, moving into London, which is now his biggest location, and intends to continue developing his nationwide reach.
Fixter has reached South Wales with customers from Newport to Swansea and more are joining each month in Wales as it expands.
Hundreds of independent garages are signed up with Fixter and its services are used by thousands of car and van owners. Fixter inspects each garage before working with them and has a database of their abilities and services which it uses to match to customers’ requirements.
“The customers simply go on-line and make the booking and we do the rest,” said Limvirak. “We can collect from a person’s home or place of work, choose the best garage for the work and then return the vehicle.
“Prices are quoted before work starts and if a particular job reveals something else which needs to be done we inform the owner before to authorise the additional work.
“Owners can save 30% on normal franchised garage rates and all work is guaranteed with the collection and delivery insured by a prominent insurer.”
The independent garage sector has long been struggling to compete with franchised dealers and many have become specialists for particular brands. They have access to the necessary testing equipment and tools but they are not so widely known and Fixter is a potential lifeline to them.
In the current coronavirus lockdown, many garages have closed but others remain open and can work to social distancing rules which are enforced by Fixter agents so that owners don’t have to worry about social contact. If they are at home or work the motor repair is done while they don’t need the vehicle.
There is another current service Fixter provides and that is essential food or medicine deliveries for vulnerable or shielding people.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for our customers, to give work to independent garages and keep down costs in these difficult times,” he added.