More than 10,000 garages are being contacted and asked to join the RAC’s new real-time comparison website for car servicing, repairs and MOTs.
RAC Garage Compare.co.uk is being formed by a new partnership between the RAC and The Motorists Organisation, the company behind the former TootCompare site, and is being supported by an extensive consumer marketing campaign.
Working on the same principles as comparison websites covering products such as motor insurance and other financial products, RAC Garage Compare is designed to provide RAC members and other motorists with absolute transparency when they compare prices and service standards from independent and franchised garages all around the UK.
Users simply enter their postcode and registration number plus details for the kind of services they require from a menu – choosing from three pre-defined levels of servicing with the option of an MoT. They then book online, receiving a confirmation and are also encouraged to rate the garage after use.
For garages, the new site provides free listings and access to a potentially entirely new pool of local customers as well as the opportunity to build a strong reputation through customer ratings. Each can list up to three different types of service schedule. Their profile can include accreditations along with details of memberships including the RAC Approved Network.
Phil Ryan, RAC’s technical director, said: “Since its formation in 1897, the RAC has been consistently at the forefront of developing new motoring services, and the launch of RAC Garage Compare will allow our eight million members and any other motorists to benefit from increased transparency in the MOT and servicing market place.
“We have chosen to work with The Motorists Organisation because we were impressed with their existing TootCompare comparison technology and their commitment to absolute transparency for customers when it comes to pricing and service standards.”
Douglas Rotberg, chief executive of The Motorists Organisation, said: “We are delighted to partner with the RAC for this exciting relaunch of the Tootcompare comparison website as RAC Garage Compare.
“We believe that this move will prove to be a turning point for service, repair and MOT comparison web sites in the UK motor industry thanks to the strength of our underlying technology and the high level of credibility of the RAC brand.
“We are contacting more than 10,000 garages to invite them to join RAC Garage Compare. It takes moments and there is a definite ‘no work, no fee’ rule with just a small commission charge for each booking. We believe that we can provide them with access to significantly many more new customers and drive up workshop utilisation.”
Results from RAC Garage Compare are ranked in terms of availability and garages can easily update their current status in real time, providing the opportunity to drive bookings higher when there is spare workshop capacity by influencing their position.
Douglas said: “Our data shows that customers very rarely opt for the cheapest price and are instead usually looking to book a service or MoT as quickly as possible, while also mindful of factors such as garage rating and customer feedback.”