Need to service car? Compare workshop prices with new app

Motorists who need to service their cars can now compare the prices of services at different workshops just by using a mobile application.

Through the mobyCar app, motorists can choose from 14 different companies that offer services such as changing of tyres.

Produced by software company Philip Tang and Sons (PTS), the app took 11/2 years to develop, at a cost of about $200,000, and was initially created to help plan group road trips to countries such as Malaysia and Thailand.

It continues to offer this feature, which also helps to guide lost drivers to the nearest checkpoint.

PTS chief executive Franklin Tang said the inclusion of quotes for services was to address what he saw as a lack of transparency in the market.

"Car enthusiasts will already know where to get the best deals, but mobyCar saves the average motorist the hassle of travelling to different workshops to compare prices."

All the companies featured on the app, launched earlier this year, were evaluated to ensure their trustworthiness, Mr Tang added.

Other features on the cards include a fuel-cost calculator and a concierge service, which Mr Tang said will cost users an annual fee in the "low hundreds".

Companies that have partnered PTS for the app said it has made them become better known among tech-savvy motorists, although that has yet to translate into sales.

"A lot more people need to download the app," said Mr Jeremy Soh, director of car maintenance company Ricardo Auto Centre.

Finance manager Shahjehan Ibrahim Kutty, 48, felt that mobyCar was more suitable for car enthusiasts than the average motorist.

"Most of us would just go to our known service centres and let them make the decisions for us," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 19, 2016, with the headline 'Need to service car? Compare workshop prices with new app'. Print Edition | Subscribe