Check My Ride
    Category: Entrepreneurs By : Ulisari Eslita Read : 178 Date : Tuesday, May 01, 2018 - 15:09:35

    Agoes Rudianto For Forbes Indonesia

    Finding the right used car is tricky—it’s hard to know what kind of hidden problems they may have, a good deal might become an expensive lemon. Those concerns bothered Jeffrey Andika, co-founder of Otospector, when he was trying to buy a used Mazda CX-5 back in 2015. “I just came back from the U.S. and wanted to buy a used car. My family and friends advised me to buy a new car instead of a used one since they are not reliable here,” says Jeffrey.

    Like most people, his biggest concern about buying a used car was the reliability issue—the last thing you wanted was to waste money on car that needed frequent repairs. He wanted to have the car checked by a professional and independent inspector. “I googled whether there was an authorized car inspection service here. Unfortunately, there wasn’t such thing here,” says Jeffrey, adding that in the U.S. companies such as Carfax provide this service.

    After a long quest, Jeffrey found a mechanic trusted by his family and set a schedule to inspect the car he wanted to buy. “The mechanic was unconvincing. But what could I do? I needed someone with experience to check the car,” says Jeffrey. The journey to find a quality used car, while unpleasant, inspired Jeffrey and his brother, Sterly Yulius, to set up Otospector, an online car inspection firm.

    Founded in April 2016, Otospector lets customer hire a mechanic to help inspect a used car that the customer wants to buy. They will come to the specified location, and spend one hour checking the car to give an independent assessment of the car’s condition. For the service, customers will be charged between Rp 295,000 to Rp 395,000, depends on the age and type of the car. Requesting a mechanic to do the inspection can be done online. “Later on, our customer service will contact the customer to set the schedule,” says Jeffrey. The market for used cars is huge in Indonesia, estimated to be about $35 billion.

    According to Jeffrey, getting the used car’s owner approval first is important since many owners don’t feel comfortable having their car checked by a third party. “In my experience, before I could buy a used car from a car showroom, they won’t let me check the car without first making a down payment,” Jeffrey remembers—and, if anything, a sign that this service has a big potential market.

    During the car inspection, if the customer can’t be on hand for it, since Otospector can report the results directly to the customer by phone, right after the inspection completed, and by email, within 24 hours. The inspection itself includes checking the car’s overall condition, the interior, exterior, engine and the suspension. For the interior, the inspector will check the dashboard, instruments, seat, door panels and carpet. Meanwhile on the exterior, inspectors will check the car’s body, windows, lights, tires, and undercarriage. As for the engine, the inspector will check the engine’s oil, and other parts, and may even do a test drive.

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