Cars are constantly getting more and more high tech, and mechanics have had to adapt—but you wouldn’t know it, unless you’re looking under the hood.
For consumers, however, car repairs and service hasn’t changed much in decades.
Now, one startup is trying to change that. Fiix wants to be the Uber for car repairs.
“You can pick up your phone or go to our website and say any repair you need for your car and an expert licensed mechanic will actually come to your house and repair your car for you, so you don’t have to go to a repair shop or waste your time,” says Khallil Mangalji, the company’s co-founder and CTO.
He says that customer experience is something that’s often missing at traditional auto shops—which for consumers is a major priority, particularly when it comes to price.
“You get a fixed up-front price,” Mangalji says. “With Fiix you always know how much you’ll pay before you commit to anything.”
It’s able to do that by gathering data.
“We built this in-house software that provides instant quotes by learning from previous repairs,” Mangalji says.
“We wanted to changed an industry that was untouched by technology,” he added.
While the team tried a number of different startup ideas – approaching each one with a fail fast mentality – this was the one that connected with large audience.
“The market just tells you that they want it. Despite doing very little marketing,” says Arif Bhanji, Fiix’s co-founder and CEO.
Bhanji says that once he was committed to the auto repair industry, he started to see more and more opportunities.
“We saw that this industry has a lot of potential for growth and fixing, it just seemed like the place for us to introduce tech and offer this new and innovative service that people want,” Bhanji says.
There are some limits to what can be done, though.
“There are definitely some major, major repairs, like removing a transmission or engine that we can’t do on a driveway but there’s a good 80 to 85 per cent of the jobs that currently happen in the shop that can be done right on the driveway, as long as you have an experience mechanic doing it and he has the right tools,” Bhanji says.
While the three co-founders of Fiix say they weren’t car guys before they started building their startup, that’s given them a fresh perspective, Mangalji says and they’re also getting help form the mechanics on the platform.
“We’ve been able to attract some of the smartest mechanics in the industry,” says Mangalji. “We get to come at it with a new set of eyes. We take a fresh take on an old industry with expert knowledge.”
For mechanics, it’s a chance to make extra money – the Fiix team says they pay around twice as much as the average dealership, but because they have lower overhead costs, they’re able to charge less.
Right now Fiix is only available in the Greater Toronto Area but plan to expand to the United States within the next couple months.