Australian startup DingGo plans to take its online platform for smash repairs national as it joins the digital trend that’s transforming the automotive industry.
Initial expansion this year will centre on Perth, Adelaide and Tasmania, with $248,262 funding from the Federal Government’s Accelerating Commercialisation Grants, which the company will match dollar for dollar following successful growth in Victoria, Queensland, NSW and the ACT over the past two years.
As part of the expansion, DingGo will integrate its platform with ASX-listed Australian fleet management company sgfleet and expects to be fully national by May.
“The smash repair industry has reached the digitise-or-die stage,” DingGo co-founder Josh Sandford said.
“Our platform vets and classifies capabilities of all repairers, offering a trusted recommendation by matching reliable, skilled panel beaters with drivers’ specific needs.
“It also provides a level playing field for small and independent repairers to access new work, while identifying and catering for the types of repairs which are becoming more common and may require the development of new technical skills and technology.”
Repairers do not pay a fee to be on the platform, only a commission to DingGo when they get a job, and there is provision for insurance claims.
A handful of smash repairers have already signed up in Perth, with more expected in April when the platform fully launches here.
A recent report from Insurance Australia Group showed the increasing complexity of modern vehicles, including new materials and designs, advanced driver assistance systems and other electronics, was having a significant impact on the smash repair industry, making it difficult for people to find the right repairer for the job.
From car sharing, finding a park, or buying a car completely online, the digital world is transforming vehicle ownership.
“We’re in a transformational period and it will keep changing,” Motor Trade Association WA chief executive Steve Moir said. “You’re getting a lot of car sharing coming through on the east coast.
“There’s been exercises done in NSW which show if you live in the city, you’re probably better off not owning a car with all its associated costs.”
Here are some of the platforms currently available:
CAR NEXT DOOR
Gives you the option to hire a vehicle from someone in your neighbourhood when you need to drive somewhere, rather than paying big money to run a car that’s seldom used.
Is sort of a Tinder for cars that matches users wanting to temporarily or permanently trade, buy, sell, rent or borrow with others nearby.
Brings you the cheapest fuel prices and servo deals on takeaway items. If you’re driving somewhere, you can enter your route and find out where the cheapest option is.
Is like a parking Airbnb, connecting people with unused spots to rent in high-demand areas at a fraction of the cost charged by councils and private operators.