words Alexa Wang
If you’re looking to turn your car passion into a repair or renovation business, we’ve got the steps you need to make your dreams a reality. And with more cars on the road than ever, there’s no shortage of potential customers for you.
Decide what type of repairs and renovations you want to do
The average car garage tends to offer all general services and repairs. And whilst this might the path you want to go down, there are plenty of niche repairs that your local competition might not offer – which could be great for business.
You could offer custom work to clients with spray paint to create a truly bespoke vehicle, or maybe your passion and knowledge lies with classic cars. Hybrid and electric vehicles are set to be the future of travel, so now might be a great time to establish yourself as a leader in your area.
Whichever type of repairs and renovations you decide to do will impact on your business model and forecasting, so taking the time to think about what you need is important.
Invest in the equipment
Purchasing the equipment will probably be your most substantial cost after a securing a location if you don’t have the space at home. If start-up costs are tight you could look at renting your equipment and then when business picks up you can look at purchasing.
It’s important to think about your budget and invest in the best quality equipment your current budget will allow – once you have the cashflow you can consider investing in better models.
Get additional qualifications
There are no laws that require automotive technicians to have any particular qualifications but having credentials will demonstrate to your customers you have additional knowledge – and will build up their trust.
There are a number of BTEC options available in Automotive Engineering, as well as a number of NVQs including Vehicle Fitting Operations and Vehicle Body and Paint Operations. You may find that you’re eligible for an advanced learner loan to help pay for these too.
Obtain the legal documents
Depending on the type of car garage you want to open will depend on the necessary licences. You might be obligated to obtain a Motor Vehicle Repair Business Licence (MVRB) or MOT testing authorisation.
If you employ anyone to help you with your business, you’ll need to get Employers’ Liability Insurance. At a bare minimum you’ll need Public Liability Insurance.
Market your business
In order for a business to succeed you’ll need clients. Think about who your target market is, and where to find them. You’ll have to understand what they need or want from your garage, which will then help inform you of your marketing strategy.