While many brick and mortars are still going strong, internet-based services have sprung up in just about every industry you can imagine. From the obvious food delivery and rideshare services to now telemedicine and automotive services, you can find almost anything you need directly on the internet.
Two of the leading internet-based automotive repair companies are RepairPal and RepairSmith. Before we take a deeper look at each company, it is important to mention one main difference – RepairPal is a website and app that connects car owners to a network of certified auto repair shops, while RepairSmith is a full-service mobile car repair company that offers both mobile service and shop repairs.
So, when it comes to convenient car repair, how do RepairPal and RepairSmith compare? And which should you choose to service your vehicle?
Established in 2007, RepairPal’s mission is to bring trust and transparency to auto repair. RepairPal provides car owners with free car repair estimates and connects them with trusted shops that guarantee fair prices, quality parts, and expert staff. Car owners can get estimates and book appointments directly through the RepairPal website.
Founded in 2018, RepairSmith provides car owners with the first full-service mobile car repair solution. 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, Service Warranty, Certified Shops – Tied
Even though the comparison isn’t exactly apples-to-apples, the two companies actually do have a few similarities.
Both RepairPal and RepairSmith offer easy online booking through their websites. Upon entering your year, make, and model, choose from a long list of available services ranging from routine maintenance like brake pad replacement and oil changes to more complex repairs. If you’re not sure what your vehicle needs, you can skip selecting a service and simply describe the symptoms you’re experiencing. Both companies offer free instant quotes as well. Their websites are so easy to navigate that all you need to know is the type of car you drive, and they’ll guide you from there!
Both RepairPal and RepairSmith stand behind their service by offering a service warranty, so car owners can continue to have peace of mind long after their repairs are completed. RepairPal recently rolled out their RepairPal Nationwide Warranty™ program which extends the repair shop’s local warranty to cover car owners nationwide. This nationwide coverage is free when using a RepairPal Certified shop. RepairSmith also makes sure that car owners are taken care of after the job is complete by offering a 12-month/12,000-mile service warranty on all jobs.
As previously mentioned, the main distinction between RepairPal and RepairSmith is that RepairPal is primarily a network of certified auto repair shops, while RepairSmith is a mobile repair service. RepairPal essentially connects car owners with vetted shops in their local area, while RepairSmith primarily offers on-site mobile car repair service. However, in addition to their mobile service offerings, similar to RepairPal, RepairSmith also has an extensive network of fully-vetted certified repair shops for any jobs that require shop-level tools.
Appointment Availability – Winner: RepairSmith
When it comes to actual appointment availability, RepairSmith takes the lead by offering 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.
RepairPal, on the other hand, doesn’t directly offer appointment slots. Instead, they allow car owners to designate a preferred drop-off time. After selecting a shop that seems best suited to your needs (taking into account distance, price, hours, etc.), you are prompted to fill out a form to notify the shop of your preferred drop-off date and 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, and RepairPal makes it easy to see local shop information all in one place.
Convenience – Winner: RepairSmith
RepairSmith provides car owners with the ultimate level of convenience when it comes to car repair. After booking an appointment online or over the phone, car owners can sit back and relax as their appointment approaches. 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 also have the ability to tow it to one of their certified shops and back again when the job is complete. On top of all of this, you’ll have a dedicated technician working on your car (and your car only) which saves you from having to wait at a shop for your turn.
While it may be convenient to use RepairPal to book an appointment at a nearby shop and receive an instant quote, you’ll still have to bring your vehicle into the shop, which still takes time out of your day. Additionally, there is no guarantee that your will be worked on as soon as it arrives at the shop – though designating a drop-off time does help by giving the shop a heads up. In the end, you’re still at the mercy of the shop’s schedule, rather than having a dedicated technician work on your car directly in your driveway.
In the end, it really just depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a nearby brick and mortar repair shop to bring your vehicle, RepairPal does a great job compiling a list of shops in your immediate area that are ready to take care of your car’s every need. They help you facilitate the booking process 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 array of repair services performed by expert ASE-certified technicians directly in your driveway. All technicians are RepairSmith employees, and they arrive neatly uniformed and prepared 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!