Before you buy a used vehicle, it’s always a good idea to take the car to a mechanic. Knowing what’s wrong with a car before you buy it could save you a lot of headaches down the line, and it could help you negotiate the price of the vehicle. Disrupt Battlefield winner YourMechanic now wants to make it easier for used car purchasers to get vehicles checked out, with the launch of Pre-Purchase Car Inspections.
For those who might have forgotten, YourMechanic runs a marketplace that connects car owners with on-demand mechanics who come to them. All mechanics are certified to check out and repair vehicles at the drivers’ homes, meaning no more taking your car to the shop and waiting days for a fix to be made. YourMechanic also does all the work of figuring out which parts need to be ordered and installed. It’s like Uber for car repair.
Since last year, the company has been growing steadily — about 25 percent per month — and attracting a number of return customers along the way. It’s also been expanding over time: YourMechanic started out just offering service in the San Jose area but has grown to service pretty much the entire San Francisco Bay Area.
That said, it hasn’t always been easy-going. YourMechanic co-founder Abhas Art Agrawal said that, at the outset, the company had a fair number of problems with its part-matching algorithm. In March, for instance, about 40 percent of the parts it was shipping to its mechanics were wrong, which led to repairs not being able to be completed or on time.
Agrawal says that there are about 27,000 vehicles in its database, along with about 200 different jobs for each of those cars. That’s a lot of different jobs and parts that were necessary to clear up. Things have drastically improved since then, with mistaken parts down to about 5 percent now. That’s still not perfect, but the company continues to improve with time.
Anyway, so now that we’ve caught up, what about that new inspections service? About 10 percent of clients already request inspections, but the company wanted to standardize the ability to make that request. Car inspections cost about $100 each, but can save clients a ton of money in being able to negotiate the cost of a car.
For YourMechanic, the car inspections service also acts as a new way to sign up clients. After all, once a car buyer knows what work needs to be done, it’s pretty easy to sign up and have one of the on-demand mechanics show up and take care of things that should be fixed.
The company was a Y Combinator alum and has raised $1.8 million in seed funding from YC, SV Angel, Yuri Milner, Andreessen Horowitz, Lerer Ventures, Launch Capital, Jeff Clavier, CrunchFund (which is owned by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington), Paige Craig, A-Grade Investments, Jawed Karim, Justin Waldron, Joshua Schachter, and Kevin Freedman.