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Former Tesco Cars' boss launches web business to boost dealers' service work

A real-time comparison site for car servicing and MoTs has been launched, offering dealers the chance to promote their deals and drive incremental aftersales revenue.

Called TootCompare, the site works like a combination of Gocompare.com and Lastminute.com. It allows dealers to promote their service and MoT prices and launch special offers in real-time. 

It also offers dealers the opportunity to post offers when their workshop bays are quiet and fill the void when there are last minute cancellations.  Dealers pay TootCompare when the customer has paid for the work.

Chief executive of the new venture is Douglas Rotberg, former managing director of Tesco Cars and founder of web-based used car remarketing service Auto-Online.

He said: “Around 10 million people use price comparison websites each year and they are very much a way of life for UK consumers. They're quick, convenient and save us a lot of time shopping around.

“However, up until now, it has been a different story for car servicing and MoTs.

"Traditionally, motorists have had to call round to compare prices and increasing numbers, have been attracted by the low-cost deals offered by the fast-fit service centres. Now motorists can use TootCompare to search and compare the best MOT and servicing prices locally, from franchised dealers, independents and garages. 

“Franchised dealers need help to win the trust of motorists who still believe they are too expensive.  TootCompare enables like-for-like comparisons for the same services from a host of different providers.  This gives dealers a golden opportunity to increase their aftersales revenue and drive footfall into the showroom. And with a ‘no work, no fee’ pricing structure, dealers have nothing to lose.”

The new site enables motorists to compare the prices from more than 10,000 franchised and independent dealers and garages in minutes. TootCompare is independent and is not affiliated with any garage.

One advocate is Martin Augier, principal of Brighton Suzuki. He said: “Many consumers still have the misconception that it is cheaper to get their car serviced by an independent garage or high street servicing and repair chain. 

"We have been heavily promoting our very competitive servicing and MOT offers to our existing and potential new customers.  Like many other franchised dealers, we have a big job on our hands to convince consumers to come to us, despite our great offers. 

“I believe franchised dealers will benefit greatly from TootCompare as it will enable us to compete on a level playing field with the likes of Halfords.  Consumers need to see how cost-effective franchised dealers are for aftersales and this website will do just that.”

Tootcompare.com customers enter their car registration and their postcode, then the site provides a breakdown of the car service providers in the area. Users browse the list by price, by quality or by location. Once they’ve chosen the right dealer or garage for their needs, they can book through the site. Payment is only made once the work has been completed.

 

 



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Comments

  • Darren Bone MD Main Dealer Discount - 09/09/2013 15:39

    Good to see someone else 'flying the flag' for franchised dealers -welcome to the price comparison market.

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  • Steve Murray - 09/09/2013 17:27

    Fantastic concept, my only concern would be having the resource to administer the program on site. Most franchised dealers have cut back man power to the bone, now is the time to invest in the future.

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  • iceage - 09/09/2013 18:12

    it wont work

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  • Kel - 09/09/2013 18:48

    How on earth are users of this. site to establish quality. Seems to me just another attempt to grab some of repairers already thin margins. Tesco cars ? Doesn't that ring a bell ?

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    • TootCompare - 10/09/2013 14:39

      @Kel - Hi Kel, happy to answer this one. Each garage on the system can update their garage details page with information on whether they offer diagnostics, master mechanics, additional services etc. Also there is information available in the public domain with regard to garage feedback on both Motor Codes and GGS.

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  • William Stoutjesdijk - 10/09/2013 08:52

    Put my details of my car in, seems doesn't use the correct service interfal milage as specified by manufacturer for my car. Makes you wonder how accurate the tool overall is. Guess is down to teething issues.

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  • Neeskens - 10/09/2013 12:25

    They are database collecting prior to allowing you to see any search results. The service intervals & schedules for the car were not consistent with those of the relevant manufacturer; they appear to be generic & therefore potentially misleading in virtually all instances. The cheap & the shoddy will do well until they are rumbled. Imagine just picking a medical practitioner, or indeed a quack, based on lowest price offering. It works for insurance because the quality of the insurer's response to a claim is only an issue when an insured event occurs.

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    • TootCompare - 10/09/2013 14:54

      @Neeskens - There are some very important points in your comments and I will try to answer them without coming across as adversarial. Do you think Halfords, Kwik Fit, National Tyres, ATS Euromaster, Mr Clutch, Formula1 Autocentres etc are offering servicing based on a vehicles manufacturers service schedules? The reality is they are not, they are offering interim/full/major servicing and collectively they are doing hundreds of thousands, if not millions of services a year. From a franchise perspective the question is do you want to compete for this type of business. Most consumers do not even realise they can get a franchise quality service experience at costs that are competitive with the fast fit chains and often offer better value. We are trying to develop a method to reduce the bleed of motorists away from the franchise network after the warranty period has expired and give garages a method to market themselves effectively against huge national marketing spends from some of the fast fit chains. And yes we do collect consumer information, one reason for this is to try to ensure there is some quality control of the consumer information we pass to garages. Regards

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  • 'been there done that' - 11/09/2013 11:48

    Doomed to failure, the MD - Rotberg, has no idea of how to run a company...! See Tesco Cars..!

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  • yesuraj - 10/10/2013 10:59

    i wat to sut boss car workshop

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  • Tough Peanut - 21/01/2014 16:56

    Should be following manufacturers service schedules otherwise all sorts issues will arise. These can be supplied by any reputable 3rd party information provider. I tried looking at the services available for my car and the mileage options were completely different to what the manufacturer states.

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