When you think about car repair, what is the first thing that comes to mind? A brick and mortar repair shop? Dropping your car off and hoping it will be ready sooner than later? Sitting in a waiting room wondering how much damage will be done to your pocket?
Well, two internet-based companies have set out to change this experience – Openbay and RepairSmith. Before we go any further, it is important to note one main difference between these two companies. Openbay connects car owners to a marketplace of certified repair shops, while RepairSmith is a full-service mobile car repair company that offers on-site mobile repair services as well as a network of certified shops.
So, when it comes to convenient car repair, how do Openbay and RepairSmith compare? And which should you use to service your vehicle?
Established in 2012, Openbay connects car owners with its wide network of service professionals. Through their website or app, vehicle owners either choose the service they need or describe the problem they’re experiencing. Openbay then reaches out to its network of service professionals to request binding service offers on the car owner’s behalf.
Founded in 2018, RepairSmith provides car owners with the first full-service mobile car repair solution. This means that not only do they employ expert technicians who provide a wide range of mobile repair services, but if the job requires shop-level tools, they’ll bring the vehicle to one of their certified shops and back when the job is complete. Car owners can get upfront pricing and book appointments directly through the RepairSmith website.
Online Booking, Certified Shops – Tied
Openbay and RepairSmith actually have a few things in common despite one being a shop-based and the other being a mobile service.
Both Openbay and RepairSmith offer easy online booking through their websites. You can choose from a long list of available services ranging from routine maintenance like battery replacement and oil changes to more complex repairs. If you’re not sure what your vehicle needs, you can simply describe the symptoms, and a professional will reach out to help. Both companies also offer free instant quotes.
As previously mentioned, the main distinction between Openbay and RepairSmith is that Openbay is primarily a network of certified auto repair shops, while RepairSmith is a mobile repair service. Openbay connects car owners with vetted shops in their area, while RepairSmith primarily offers on-site mobile car repair service. However, in addition to their mobile services, similar to Openbay, RepairSmith also has an extensive network of fully-vetted repair shops for any jobs that require shop-level tools.
Service Warranty – Winner: RepairSmith
Warranties are a must when you talk about anything car related. You wouldn’t buy a car without inquiring about a warranty, so why would you get your car repaired without a warranty?
RepairSmith stands behind their work by offering a 12-month/12,000-mile service warranty, giving car owners peace of mind long after their car repair is completed.
While Openbay does offer a guarantee that covers credit card payments processed through their system, they do not directly offer a service warranty on all repairs. Rather, they leave it up to the shops. While parts and service warranties are one of the criteria to join the Openbay network, Openbay provides no guarantee that these warranties will be upheld. So, it is up to the car owner to do their due diligence and inquire with the shop about their warranties before agreeing to the job.
Appointment Availability – Winner: RepairSmith
When it comes to appointment availability, RepairSmith offers several available date and time slots upfront. Depending on when you inquire about a service, you can even get same-day or next day appointments. Simply choose from the available time slots, and a RepairSmith technician will arrive at your selected date and time to work on your vehicle. Car owners can also call in to schedule appointments.
Openbay, on the other hand, doesn’t offer actual appointments. Rather, car owners can designate a preferred drop-off time. The drop-off time lets shop owners know when to expect your vehicle. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your vehicle will be worked on as soon as it arrives at the shop. Additionally, car owners can also call the shops directly to schedule an appointment. Openbay makes it easy to see local shop information all in one place.
Convenience – Winner: RepairSmith
RepairSmith offers the ultimate level of convenience when it comes to car repair. After booking an appointment, an ASE-certified RepairSmith technician will arrive in a state-of-the-art company vehicle with all the tools, parts, and equipment necessary to get the job done. If your vehicle requires shop-level tools, they can tow it to one of their certified shops and back again when the job is complete. The true convenience lies in the fact that you’ll have a dedicated technician working on your car (and your car only). This saves you time because you no longer have to wait for cars ahead of you, drive a loaner vehicle, or even worse, be without your vehicle for a number of days.
Openbay is convenient in that car owners can easily see a thorough list of repair shops in their area and manage their service directly through the Openbay website or app. When booking through Openbay, you’ll receive multiple service proposals based on location, customer ratings, and price. You can then book an appointment and pay for everything directly through their secure website or app. However, at the end of the day, you will still have to drop your vehicle off at the shop, which will inevitably take time out of your day. You are also at the mercy of the shop’s schedule as your drop-off time does not guarantee that your vehicle will be worked on right there and then.
In the end, it really depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a nearby brick and mortar repair shop to bring your vehicle, Openbay is a great choice in that they’ll compile a list of certified shops in your area based on location, price, ratings, and service offerings. They help you facilitate the booking process from start to finish and offer guaranteed upfront pricing.
On the other hand, if a mobile mechanic service is what you’re looking for, RepairSmith is the way to go. They offer a wide range of repair services performed by ASE-certified technicians directly in your driveway. All technicians are RepairSmith employees, and they come cleanly uniformed in company vehicles stocked with all the tools, parts, and equipment necessary to complete the repair.
In the end, the choice is yours – both offer a level of convenience that helps car owners save some precious time when it comes to car repair!