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The Openbay app lets drivers compare auto shop bids based on price, distance, customer ratings and reviews and amenities.

The Openbay app lets drivers compare auto shop bids based on price, distance, customer ratings and reviews and amenities. (Photos: Openbay)

Here’s a car service app Cambridge won’t fight – one that aims to get your car fixed as cheaply and conveniently as possible while bringing auto repair shops new customers.

The app, called Openbay, launched late last month from offices on Third Street in East Cambridge (just a few blocks from the onetime home of another Cambridge car startup, Zipcar) with support from Google Ventures and other venture capital firms and private investors.

Summed up as “like LendingTree for mechanics” by a publicist, OpenBay aims to help consumers find, book and pay for local auto repair and maintenance services.

Company founder and CEO Rob Infantino says Openbay gives auto shops a new revenue stream.

Company founder and CEO Rob Infantino says Openbay gives auto shops a new revenue stream.

Users download the app (or visit the website), submit their problem and any special requests, such as early drop-off or the need for a loaner car, and ideally bids come back within minutes from mechanics who have joined the Openbay network. The system lets drivers compare bids based on price, distance, customer ratings and reviews and amenities, then pay through the same system.

The Oct. 28 national launch follows a Greater Boston pilot program that drew more than 600 vehicle owners and nearly 400 auto shops to its member network.

“With the launch of Openbay, we have a unique opportunity to significantly impact the way people and businesses get their vehicles serviced,” said Rob Infantino, the company’s founder and chief executive. “We’ve taken an uncertain and risky process for consumers and businesses with fleets and reengineered it.”

City government actually went to court a year to stymie the coming of app-based services such as Uber and Hailo that competed with Cambridge taxis. But Openbay is an online innovation that instead of adding competitors, means “service professionals have a new channel through which they can stand out and grow,” Infantino said.

Membership and use of the service is free to the car owner. Openbay makes its money by taking a slice of what’s paid to auto shops for completed repairs.

The service has the support of Barry Steinberg, the owner and president of Direct Tire and Auto Service, a Watertown-based chain with four locations.

“Openbay is turning a notoriously fragmented industry on its ear,” Steinberg said in an Openbay press release. “Letting customers drive the selection process on their terms is brilliant. It builds consumer confidence in the decision-making process, ultimately bringing in consumers that may have [otherwise] decided against getting their vehicles serviced – a great thing for both consumers and our industry.”