Note: We are affiliated with Openbay and may receive a commission for referring you. We personally tested Openbay and all opinions are our own.
Anyone with a car knows that getting it serviced can be a frustrating, time-consuming process.
You’re never sure if you’re being overcharged or when they can “fit you in” to service your vehicle.
Getting competing quotes and getting a service appointment means spending too much time on the phone with shops.
So much of the auto repair industry still feels trapped in the pre-internet era, where you have to pick a shop out of the phone book and pray it works out.
That’s where Openbay comes in. Openbay is a digital platform that provides you with an easy and convenient way to compare and book automotive services with local service professionals.
Openbay can quickly give you upfront price estimates from local shops. You can price compare, read reviews, compare proximity to the shop then book your appointment online.
The Openbay+ paid subscription can save you up to 25% on parts and labor.
But how does Openbay work in the real world? I used Openbay to get my car serviced and share my experiences below.
I also did the math on Openbay+ to see if you can actually save by becoming a paid member!
- Openbay helps you find local auto repair & maintenance services
- You can get multiple price estimates from local shops & book an appointment online
- With a free account, you can get estimates and schedule service appointments. No credit card required to book service.
- Paid Openbay+ subscribers can save up to 25% on services
- Get 50% off an Openbay+ membership — only $4.99/month or $53.95/year
- Openbay+ pays for itself if you spend more than $250/year on your car
Table of contents
- What is Openbay?
- The difference between free and paid memberships
- Openbay+ pricing plans
- My Openbay review
- Openbay prices vs other mechanics
- Is Openbay+ worth it? Doing the math
What is Openbay?
Openbay is a digital platform that provides you with an easy and convenient way to compare and book automotive services with local service professionals.
It is available online at Openbay.com, or in the Openbay app.
With Openbay, you can quickly get multiple price estimates on vehicle repair and maintenance services.
All types auto services are offered, from routine oil changes to complete transmission replacements.
After selecting the services you need, Openbay gives you multiple itemized price estimates from nearby shops. So you’ll know exactly how much each shop will charge for parts and labor.
You can browse each shop listing to see verified reviews from other Openbay customers, and you can see any amenities offered by the shop, like a shuttle service or a loaner car.
After you find a shop that you like, you can book appointments with Openbay’s scheduling tool. You pay for the services at the shop counter. No credit card required to join.
What kind of auto work can you get on Openbay?
Openbay can connect you with local shops that cover every type of auto repair and maintenance.
Common categories are routine maintenance, diagnostics, brakes, suspension and steering, engine, electrical, transmission, wheels & tires, and more.
Openbay has a powerful search tool that makes it easy to find any auto services you might need.
You can either search & browse a thorough list of services, or you can describe the problem you’re having if you’re not exactly sure what the technical term for your issue is.
The two types of memberships: Openbay and Openbay+
Openbay is free forever and Openbay+ requires a paid membership.
With a free account, you can get estimates, book appointments, and pay for services at the shop counter.
The paid Openbay+ subscription offers the same experience as Openbay with the benefit of unlocking discounts up to 25% off.
Openbay+ is billed monthly every three months, or annually. The annual level offers two months of free membership.
Openbay+ pricing plans
For everyday users, Openbay+ costs $9.99 per month or $98.99 annually. The monthly plan is billed every three months at $29.97.
Remember—Openbay+ unlocks the maximum savings on auto services, up to 25% off parts and labor.
You can use Openbay for free, but you can only get savings on services if you’re an Openbay+ member.
Special offer for rideshare & delivery drivers: $4.99/month or $53.95/year!
Thanks to our partnership with Openbay, you can get a big discount on an Openbay+ membership!
Our readers can get Openbay+ for $4.99 per month or $53.95 per year.
Using Openbay in the real world: My review
I’m a perfect candidate to try Openbay: I recently moved to a new area, and I haven’t found a trusted mechanic yet. I’m price sensitive, so I’m willing to try any shop that offers a good price and good reviews.
I drive an older car that is starting to need repairs that I haven’t done before, so I’m not always sure how much those repairs should cost.
I’m due for an oil change, and lately, my serpentine belt has become a bit noisy. It might be time for a replacement!
Openbay made it easy to compare prices at local shops and get multiple competing estimates.
I made my final decision based on price, shop amenities (loaner cars, free wifi, a waiting area, etc), and other customer reviews.
I didn’t choose to pay for Openbay+, but I would have saved 10% on my repairs if I did.
I called other shops that weren’t listed on Openbay, and their estimates were competitive with Openbay but required much more legwork.
With Openbay, I was able to quickly get estimates on some routine maintenance that I need and a quick overview of nearby shops.
Get 50% off an Openbay+ membership with our special offer for gig economy drivers
The steps to getting auto work on Openbay:
- Select the services you need on Openbay.com or in the mobile app
- Get multiple competitive price estimates
- Book an appointment
- Pay for services at the shop counter
I started at Openbay.com by entering my zip code and searching for “serpentine belt.” Serpentine belt replacement was an option, so I added it as a service.
Oil change was listed right beneath the search bar as a popular service, so I clicked on that to add it to my services. So far, so good. The search tool was easy to use and comprehensive, and common services were easy to find.
My next step was to enter my vehicle info and create a free account. That was easy—no notes!
Getting estimates: 20 competing estimates from local shops!
After confirming that I was done adding services, my next step was to request estimates. In my case, it took around 15 minutes for the Openbay system to find the estimates.
But you don’t have to wait around—Openbay will email or text message you when the estimates are ready.
I ended up getting 20 estimates! More than enough to make an educated decision.
You can view the estimates in a list or on a map, and you can sort them by price, shop rating, and distance.
Click on each estimate to see an itemized breakdown of parts and labor prices and more info about each shop.
The listing for each shop has customer ratings and a list of amenities. For example, you can see if the shop has a waiting area, shuttle service, loaner car services, early/late pickup & drop-off, and more.
I was surprised by how many amenities some shops had, and those amenities ended up making a big difference in my final decision.
Booking your appointment
Once you find an estimate you like, the next step is booking your appointment. Go to the estimate and find the booking button, then use the scheduling tool to select a convenient day and time.
Confirm the appointment details, then book! You can also message shops if you want to ask a question.
You will receive a booking confirmation via email & text, and you’ll also get a reminder the day before your appointment.
After you book, Openbay will let you know to pay the shop directly after the services are performed.
Openbay send you a unique code that you give to the shop to sync everything up on your Openbay account allowing you to track the history of services performed on your vehicle. This will help when you are ready to sell your vehicle.
What to do at your appointment
Bring your vehicle to the shop at your appointment, and let them know that you booked with Openbay. The shop will pull up your details and go from there.
After the service is done, pay the shop and present your Openbay code to the shop. The shop uses your code to ensure that the job is recorded in your Openbay profile.
How prices on Openbay compare vs other local mechanics
Openbay gave me 20 itemized estimates, but how do the Openbay prices compare to other local auto shops?
For a true price comparison, I got quotes from other local mechanics that aren’t currently partnered with Openbay.
Here’s what I found:
The Openbay quotes ranged between $178 and $273.
Estimates from 3 other shops for the same work ranged from $210–$310.
That was the proof I needed to confirm that Openbay prices are competitive and potentially even lower than the average shop in my area.
Calling around for quotes is a hassle. Getting Openbay quotes was easy
As I began calling nearby shops for quotes, I was instantly reminded why a service like Openbay is so convenient and why the local auto industry desperately needs help catching up with the 21st century.
The first shop I called would not give me an estimate over the phone for anything but the oil change.
For the serpentine belt repair—a routine repair that shops should be able to price out right off the top of their head—one shop said I had to bring my car in for an estimate. Not convenient at all!
Another shop I called left me on hold for 15 minutes. I gave up and called back 20 minutes later, and they finally gave me a quote.
Getting 20 quotes from Openbay was a game-changer. I don’t think I can go back to calling around!
Is Openbay+ worth it?
Using a free account on Openbay to get quotes from nearby mechanics is a no-brainer. There’s no cost or downside to trying it out.
But Openbay’s other big offering is Openbay+, a monthly or yearly subscription that promises to save you up to 25%.
Does it make sense to pay for the potential discounts that Openbay+ offers? Can you save more than the membership costs?
I ran the numbers, and paying Openbay+ is worth it if you spend more than $400 per year on your car or if you expect expensive repairs and maintenance in the coming year.
Doing the math on Openbay+ discounts
An Openbay+ membership costs $98.99 when you pay annually or $29.97 every three months when you choose the monthly plan.
The minimum discount you’ll get is 10% off, with a maximum of 25% off. So you can expect your average discount to be between 10% and 25%.
Running the numbers, the Openbay+ annual plan is worth it if you spend more than $400 per year on your car.
For the annual plan at $99, if your average discount is 25% off, you only have to spend $396 to recoup the membership cost. Everything after $396 is pure savings.
When the average discount is at the low end of 10%, you would have to spend $990 to recoup the cost of Openbay+.
For the monthly plan at $30 every three months, if your average discount is 25%, spending $120 would recover the membership cost.
For the low-end discount of 10%, spending $300 would recoup the $30 membership cost.
Doing the math on our discounted Openbay+ offer
When you get our discounted rate on Openbay+—$4.99 per month or $53.95 per year—Openbay+ starts to look like a no-brainer.
For the annual plan at $54, if your average discount is 25% off, you have to spend $216 to recoup the membership cost. Everything after $216 is pure savings.
Do you spend more than $200 per year on your car? You do if you’re like the vast majority of gig economy drivers. So you will save money with Openbay+.
If you only save 10%, you will have to spend $540 to recoup the cost of the annual $540 membership.
Most gig drivers spend a lot more than that, so you’ll save money even if your savings don’t always reach the maximum of 25%.
Imagine if you get a surprise repair for $1,000. If you have Openbay+, you’ll save anywhere from $100 to $250. I think that’s worth the $54 annual membership.
When is Openbay a good option?
The free level of Openbay is an excellent service that anyone with a car will benefit from.
The ability to get multiple price estimates from nearby shops is a game changer that will quickly help you find the most affordable, best-reviewed mechanic.
When you should use Openbay
- When you want lots of estimates without having to visit different shops or make tons of phone calls
- When you’re in a new area and need to find a new trustworthy mechanic
- When you don’t know how much you should pay for services
- When saving money on repairs or maintenance is essential to you
When is Openbay+ worth it?
A paid membership with Openbay+ is worth it if you’re the type of driver who spends more than $400 per year or puts more than 8,000 miles on your car each year.
If you do more than 8k/year, chances are that you’re spending at least $500 per year on your car—if not a lot more!
Openbay+ starts paying for itself after you spend around $500 per year.
It’s great for rideshare and gig workers—I know many of you are putting 20k, 30k, or even 50k miles per year on your car.
Imagine saving 10–25% on 30k miles worth of maintenance for only $54 per year. 30k miles of maintenance can easily be $5,000+.
Openbay+ might also be worth it if you have an older vehicle that needs frequent repairs and maintenance.
Surprise repairs are much more common on older vehicles, so it’s nice to know you can get a guaranteed savings of 10–25% when the inevitable happens.
When Openbay+ might not be worth it
Openbay+ isn’t necessarily for everyone: The membership isn’t worth it if you don’t put a lot of miles on your car.
If you’re driving 5,000 miles or less per year, you’re not going to get your money’s worth with Openbay+.
It’s not worth paying to get discounts when you’re only doing an oil change per year and occasional basic maintenance.
RidesharingDriver.com exclusive! Get Openbay+ for only $4.99/month or $53.95 per year!
Get 50% off an Openbay+ membership with our special offer for rideshare and delivery drivers.
You can save up to 25% off parts and labor with an Openbay+ membership.
Use Openbay to quickly get itemized price estimates from nearby shops, then get maximum savings with your Openbay+ membership!