Jalopy is an Irish company that simplifies car servicing for car owners by allowing users to compare and book garages close to them using a free app.
Jalopy is a free app that allows car owners to get quotes for car servicing and car repairs from multiple garages near them

Jalopy is an Irish company that simplifies car servicing for car owners by allowing users to compare and book garages close to them using a free app. I recently spoke to Jalopy co-founder Vincent McElwain about the benefits of the app and the attitude of Irish consumers towards using technology for traditional services like car servicing.

1) What is Jalopy?

Jalopy is the GoCompare of car servicing and repairs in Ireland. Our platform allows car owners to compare prices, location, qualifications and the availability of garages across Ireland. For every car service you book through our platform, we offset a tonne of carbon emissions on your behalf helping us all to do our bit for our environment. We can typically save customers between 20%/30% on car servicing and our platform is free to use. Jalopy also helps garages provide a superior digital experience for their customers, helping them with a new source of revenue.

2) What inspired Jalopy?

We have all been in a situation where we have struggled to compare the prices and quality of garages available. As technology people, we love to solve technology problems and we felt the garage after market is globally under served by the technology giants. We also felt that the car industry in general has a poor reputation when it comes to environmental issues so we felt there was an opportunity to build something that would help a lot of people and genuinely help the earth at the same time.

3) What problem does Jalopy solve?

Jalopy helps car owners to shop around for the best deal for car repairs and service. We all have busy lives now and people don’t have the time to phone around to get a bargain.

We have also found that some of our partner garages really want to connect with the smartphone user base and we make that possible. One of the really positive findings for garages here was that most of the time the customer does not go for the cheapest price – they usually pick a price point in the middle. Customers really like the garage profile on Jalopy where they can read through the garage’s bio, certifications and look at images of the premises.

Location information is also an important deciding factor for customers and Jalopy allows you to compare transit options so you can figure out how to get there and back. The garage can offer up to 21 days of availability to customers, which allows customers to choose a time slot that suits them. There are loads of other cool features built into Jalopy: the Jargon Buster helps customers that don’t know the difference between a carburettor and a carbonara; a chat feature; and an online service history. We even allow you to manage multiple vehicles under one profile so you can organise a car service for your son, mother or grandparent.

The Jalopy app is simple and easy to use for car owners and garages
The Jalopy app is simple and easy to use for car owners and garages

4) How does Jalopy work?

Simply visit www.jalopy.io and sign in. Enter your car registration and you’re off. We will automatically send your job request to garages near you and you can even look for a mobile garage to come to you if you prefer. Multiple garages will send you an estimate and you select your preferred option. Visit your chosen garage as per your booking and pay them as you would normally. The garage then sends you a notification through the app of your service record or receipt and we offset a tonne of carbon on your behalf. All done at no extra cost to the customer.

5) What sort of feedback have you received from users of the app?

The feedback has been very good. We worked very closely with garages and car owners to design something that would be useful and easy to use. We all have a responsibility to our environment and customers love that they can help reduce their carbon footprint without having to do a thing other than book their service through Jalopy.

One of our customers recently failed her NCT. She heard our ad on the radio and signed up immediately. She had estimates back in minutes and booked her car through the app straight away. She was back on the road the very next day. We have had a lot of repeat business also, which is a great sign that we are doing something right with our platform.

6) From your experience how ready are Irish consumers to use technology for traditional services like booking a car service?

This is a great question. At Jalopy we are offering a unique service to car owners in Ireland, so some time will be required for people to become comfortable with this model. But more and more people want to engage with businesses through their smartphone and spend less time talking to someone like a mechanic. People also want to potentially look for a garage on a Sunday or late at night. Jalopy.io makes this possible.

There are a lot more people moving into Ireland and around Ireland so there are many people out there who don’t have a garage they would regularly go to. From some of our research, there is a significant growth in the number of people searching for car services online and people really do like to get a bargain, especially if they can do this with little effort. Our customer base is growing fast and we are also growing our garage partner network across the country. We have had really positive feedback and adoption.

7) How responsive is the car service industry to embracing technology to improve the customer experience?

Jalopy has some wonderful garages on our platform really interested in offering a great customer experience and treating people well. Garages are busy places with a lot going on but they realise technology is beginning to over take their traditional business models. People book everything these days through their phone whether it’s tickets or taxis and why would the garage industry be any different? Jalopy is really pleased with the take up from garages but largely this is because we listen to them and have honed our product to serve them well. We have built in some accelerators and some other “Jalopy Secret Sauce” items to minimise how long they need to spend replaying to customers. We have already signed up over 50 garages and that grows almost daily.

8) Future plans?

We have more really good new features to be rolled out that will further assist both garages and customers. Ideally we would like to bring Jalopy to other countries. We are solving a global problem so we are currently looking at possible export markets. We are growing fast and have loads of ideas about how we can expand. We are always looking for additional partner garages to join us. Please visit www.jalopy.io to sign up!