Posted on Thursday 25 February 2016 by Ulster Business

Car mechanic comparison site woos funders

Managing Director of MyCarNeedsA.com, Scott Hamilton, with Alan Watts, Director of Halo, based at the NI Science Park

A Portadown-based car repair comparison site has managed to raise nearly £2m from investors in only 18 months.

MyCarneedsA.com has just completed a round of £400,000 funding which adds to the £1.5m raised since the company launched in October 2014.

The money has been raised through a combination of corporate and UK private investors, including £500,000 from Northern Ireland private investors from business angel network Halo and from from the NI Co-Fund.

Alan Watts, Director of Halo, has high hopes for the firm.

“MyCarNeedsA.com is a company which understands the reality that no longer do people go for a “garage down the road’ because they are the cheapest or the closest,” he said. “We are a nation that wants the best deal in the most convenient way and online can be the solution.

“In just a short space of time the company has expanded across the UK, opened up new headquarters and acquired thousands of reputable providers. We expect them to be a major player in the automotive sector in the next few years.”

MyCarNeedsA.com allows car owners to post the work required on their vehicle online which is then offered to a network of garages.

Car owners then sit back and watch the garages bid for their work then select the quote that suits them best. Customers can choose the most suitable quote based on the cost, services offered or previous customer feedback.

MyCarNeedsA.com has already seen over 70,000 car owners visit the site, with over 3,000 automotive service providers signed up to the service.

Managing Director of MyCarNeedsA.com, Scott Hamilton, said online comparison sites in other sectors were the inspiration for the business.

“It struck me that there were no such sites for consumers to compare trusted alternatives for vehicle repairs, despite the fact that research shows that car owners are often uncertain about where to find quality services that can still offer great value,” he said.

“It’s clear that, up until now, consumers have often been forced to sacrifice quality in their efforts to secure the best deal. Our performance so far, with almost 11,000 jobs per month (a figure which is rising every month), suggests I was right. Almost 40% of customers do not accept the cheapest price. Instead, the quality of service provided along with the transparency of viewing previous customer feedback, allows customers to make a decision based on trust, convenience and price.”

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