Introducing... Roadster

Market Gravity and Deloitte embarked on an open innovation initiative called D5. The aim of the work was to spend 5 weeks uncovering the biggest challenges automotive customers face when it comes to car maintenance, and design solutions for those problems.

Car maintenance is a negative, anxiety-inducing experience for most car owners, described as “like going to the Dentist”. There are 37 million cars licensed in the UK alone, that’s a huge market, ripe for innovation.

Over 5 weeks, we spoke with 60 customers, mechanics and dealers across Europe. We immersed ourselves in the stories and experiences of every one of them.

Our plan is to share this work with each and every player in the automotive industry. It’s worth saying these ideas are works in progress, we welcome feedback and our next steps are to find ways of making them real for the benefit of automotive customers across Europe.

The Big Problem

Car maintenance is an anxiety-inducing experience, with customers often feeling fearful and apprehensive before taking their car in for an MOT or a service. One customer described the experience as “like going to the dentist…this could be painful”.


A lot of that uncertainty and anxiety stems from the worry that they will suddenly receive a big bill that they weren’t expecting – as customers generally don’t understand what their warranties and insurance covers and what they will have to fork out for. 


Introducing… Roadster

Roadster finally offers customers the peace of mind that everything they need to keep their car safe, and on the road, is covered! With Roadster customers can choose a cover plan that suits them, whether that’s completely comprehensive - including wear and tear and major repairs - or just covering an MOT, road tax and insurance. Roadster is also open to customers at any time, from purchasing a brand-new vehicle to 5+ years after you bought your second-hand car.


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Who loves Roadster?

Customers we spoke to loved Roadster, they liked that it gave them absolute clarity on what their car maintenance would cost and that this was in a manageable payment plan. They felt it aligned more to how they manage their finances - with most of them owning at least one subscription service. Customers, particularly young drivers, also loved the feature that allowed them to keep tabs on their car value and provided recommendations on how to maintain the value of their car, as they currently don’t really understand how their behaviour can affect the re-sell value.


Roadster also appealed to parents as a product they could fund for their children who are starting to drive. One parent said she wants to know her child is driving a car that is road-safe and Roadster comforts her that her son won’t avoid doing important repairs because he can’t afford it. Roadster could also be beneficial for fleet managers, like those starting Drive businesses (see our blog Shifting Gears: Aftersales and the gig economy), helping them to manage their monthly outgoings while ensuring their assets are road-worthy and remain income-generating. 


We were inspired by the likes of Peugeot Just Add Fuel, which offers inclusive payment covering insurance, tax, warranty, roadside assistance and routine servicing. However Roadster goes further by offering wear and tear cover and protection for everything inside and outside your vehicle, including the likes of alloy and in-car technology protection – making sure customers are covered for every journey. Additionally Roadster is available for any customer at any time, rather than just for new-car buyers and the term is flexible as opposed to a set 3 year period. 

So what’s in it for car manufacturers?

By offering easy-to-understand tailored care plans, car manufacturers can generate additional revenue through the monthly subscription fees, increased genuine part sales (for any repairs customers don’t choose to cover) and increased new car sales encouraged through discounts on future vehicles.

What’s next

Well if you're a car manufacturer or business within the automotive industry, we'd love to make this idea real. It's not perfect, we know that but customers we tested this with LOVED it. So let's make it happen together.

Get in touch to find out more via the contact us page.

Lucy Winship