Tyre time

Tyre retailer enters servicing market thanks to Unipart deal

Published:  26 October, 2009

TYRE RETAILER Blackcircles.com has joined forces with Unipart to launch an online vehicle servicing scheme.

The initiative will enable motorists to book and pay for car servicing online and have it carried out at a choice of 1,200 independent garages across the UK.

Blackcircles.com claims it will offer servicing discounts of up to 60% compared to manufacturer dealerships.

Mike Welch, founder and managing director of Blackcircles.com, said: "We are moving into the vehicle servicing sector with the same innovative business model that has allowed Blackcircles.com to capture around £13 million of the UK tyre market.

"The EU lifted Block Exemption to clamp down on the selfish behaviour of manufacturers that forced motorists to go back to their dealers every time their vehicle needed servicing.

"Until now, independent garages have lacked sufficient voice to tell consumers that they have a choice (of where their cars are serviced) but we aim to change that.

"Unipart is a brand with real heritage and resonance within the vehicle aftermarket," continued Mike. "Our relationship with them will help to generate new revenue for independent garages and ultimately reduce the costs of running a car for UK motorists."

According to Blackcircles.com, customers will receive what it calls 'bespoke service pricing' that is specific to their vehicle, in contrast to the broader 'menu pricing' model used among many dealerships and fast-fit outlets.

Blackcircles.com recently announced plans to expand its network of garages by 30% by the end of 2009.

The move will see some 400 garages benefit from additional revenue, customer footfall and national marketing, helping them to compete with major high street brands.

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