The sharing economy has obviously done very well in certain sectors, so it’s no surprise see the concept applied to a number of other services. Uber and AirBnB may have cornered ride-sharing and vacation rentals, but there’s definitely more that can benefit from this model. Could we see a road service app become the next big success?
Urgent.ly is an app and website where you can input minimal information (seriously, it’s just your name and car model) and then receive roadside assistance quickly. It’s meant to be like Uber in that you hit the request button then receive help. They’re not meant to do full-scale repairs obviously on the side of the road, but if you need gas, a tow or managed to locked yourself out, then you’ve got a friend in them. They advertise their rates are actually lower than the most popular roadside assistance membership (they conveniently leave out the name) because they charge flat fees as opposed to hiding them in other costs. Also, they have the location sensors which pick up where you are based on your phone, something that other groups haven’t quite managed to accomplish. Considering it can be difficult to tell someone your exact location, this is definitely a sellable feature.
Can it really succeed though? How many service technicians want to drive around all day, every day just waiting for someone to contact them? This company actually does seem to give quite a large percentage of its fees directly to its drivers. If a customer is paying $75 for a battery replacement, the driver would get $50 after the repair. Contractors would need the volume before they wanted to participate which is difficult to accomplish if no one knows who you are. Uber has worked, in part, because it allows people with a certain set of skills to start making money on their own terms. The current climate of the workforce has eliminated a lot of different types of jobs, and seems to require a more specific set of skills every day. Services like Uber and Lyft help take the talent of drivers everywhere and give it back to the community to combat drunk driving and overcrowding on the road. Drivers are excited to not only see instant rewards for what they’re doing but also being given the freedom to make their own schedule. Choice in the workplace has become extremely valuable to people as well, and it can definitely apply to Urgent.ly’s drivers too.
The app also allows you to pay for friends or family to receive services. It can also track the repairs so you see what’s going on, and where people are in real time. If there’s some type of accident, it can detect the collision and then send out alerts to your loved ones to so people are kept in the loop.
So, let’s look at the reviews for more answers. Urgent.ly does not run in every area of the US, but those who have tried it seem to genuinely be impressed with its efficiency. This bodes well for how they’re organizing everything over there, and the potential the company has to increase its locations and user base. They do not appear to discriminate against cars, being able to service any make or model. The very few negative reviews we came across unsurprisingly had to do with wait times and sometimes users felt the services were overpriced. However, it is worth remembering that over time, it could work out to be a much better rate if you consistently pay for membership dues you never end up using.
The bottom line here is this is definitely an entirely acceptable option for receiving roadside assistance. Staying safe means having as many options available to you at your fingertips. You likely already know a defensive driving course can make the difference between points on your license and a higher car insurance bill, but did you know it may be able to lower your insurance even if you’ve had no run-ins with the cops?