Stranded on the road? This app will get you a mechanic

A user shows the MyMech app on his phone on September 17. The application helps stranded motorists access mechanical services and petrol stations, among others, in case of an emergency while on the road.

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The motorists also have the opportunity to rate the services they are given.
  • The platform further gives more elaborate details on the providers of these services including their charges, precise locations, customer ratings and other incentives that they offer, which further eases motorists decision-making, according to Mr Ng’ang’a

During a routine work-related trip to Kisii County in mid-2019, Victor Ng’ang’a, a marketing assistant, experienced what millions of motorists go through when they are far away from their mechanics.

His vehicle stalled just outside Bomet Town, leaving him stranded within the backwoods of the region.

Not knowing anyone in the area, he essentially relied on chance passers-by for help to find a good mechanic.

But the wait to have the mechanic reach his exact location and have the car fixed delayed most of his scheduled appointments, and threatened to render the entire trip futile.

His saviour in the ordeal came in the form of an unqualified mechanic who, for a hefty pay, offered a rudimentary solution – at least until Mr Ng’ang’a got to the next urban centre, where he found a more established garage and mechanic to fix his vehicle.

The long and anxious wait as the ‘good Samaritan’ rummaged through the car’s bonnet fixing and unfixing the components therein provoked his thoughts, setting in motion an idea that he believes could revolutionise the way motorists access vital motoring services from wherever they are.

Vehicles stall

Motorists, he says, time and again, go through challenges especially whenever their vehicles stall or break down in places far away from facilities like gas stations, garages, verified independent mechanics, and quick vehicle service stations, among other such amenities.

This is why he thought of the MyMech platform which offers the motorists access to a range of solutions for their motoring needs through their mobile devices.

The idea, he says, is to get the job done in the easiest way possible and conveniently, and in the end of their meeting, both the motorist and the service provider benefit.

The motorists also have the opportunity to rate the services they are given. These ratings come handy in guiding other prospective users on the best service providers to pick whenever they are stuck in similar situations.

“It essentially brings all automobile solutions within a specific radius from your current location right to your mobile phone so that you can choose which services suit your prevailing circumstances. These are all accessible from the comfort of your mobile device. With the application, the nearest fuel refill stations, carwash services, established garages and independent mechanics, quick motor vehicle services, insurance brokers, car valuers and assessors, vehicle body repair and works, painting, tyre sales and repairs, breakdown and towing services, among many others, are all accessible,” he says.

He continues to explain that when one launches the application – which is downloadable from app stores or accessible through an internet browser – they are able to locate their position within the app and see all the registered providers of these services in their vicinity.

The platform further gives more elaborate details on the providers of these services including their charges, precise locations, customer ratings and other incentives that they offer, which further eases motorists decision-making, according to Mr Ng’ang’a.

“It works a little like cab-hailing platforms only that in our case, the “cabs” are represented by the diverse services offered for motorists. You could ease your search using available filters so that the displayed results only offer specific services that suit you. Also when stranded, probably due to fuel, the app shows you the distance to the nearest refill station, including the company’s brand,” he says.

Mr Ng’ang’a further alludes that partnerships with a number of these service providers have also played a key role in making certain that there are many providers to pick from and hence the services are conveniently delivered to motorists as each tries to outdo the other in offering the best services to customers in order to advance their ratings.

The platform, which he reveals went live on July 21 this year, currently has slightly more than 4,000 registered service providers and several hundred motorists spread across the country using it.

bokinda@ke.nationmedia.com