Having a passion for cars can be one of two things – a distracting and expensive hobby or the foundation for a lucrative career built on your passions. If you’re good with your hands and know your way around an engine then the latter might have sprung to mind at one point or another.
But if you’re a petrol head with aspirations of starting your own business fixing up cars, there are a few things you’re going to need to do first to make sure you’re prepared for a professional take on your hobby.
Sign the paperwork
Before operating as a business, you must obtain and send off the correct paperwork and documentation to your council. This is so you can get any permits you may need to work and this is crucial whether you’re setting up as a sole trader or a limited company. You’ll also need to register with HMRC as a place of business and check what kind of insurance you’ll need and the rules you’ll need to follow.
Make sure to send off the paperwork earlier rather than later, as councils can often be overwhelmed by applications and you don’t want to have to delay your grand opening if it can be avoided!
Choose a speciality
Always wanted to wrap cars? Or specialize in classic models? Pick a niche you know you can excel in and use this as a selling point for your business. Because there’s no such thing as a master of all things, particularly when it comes to cars. Carving out a corner of the market for yourself is always going to be important in business. When it comes to car work, there are always going to be dozens of other mechanics based in your area alone. So, find your niche and really make the most of it.
Get the right tools and set yourself up
From safety gear to airbrushes, making sure you have the right tools to carry out a successful and safe car repair business is essential. Make sure you have a workshop with plenty of room to move around in and that it meets all safety regulations. As for what tools you’re going to need, the following should get you started on the right foot, but there are always going to be plenty of other mechanics tools to add to your collection.
Impact wrench –
A battery-powered impact wrench is going to be your best friend when it comes to making short work of long screws.
Engine lift –
You’re going to need to see what you’re doing under the body as that’s generally where all the good stuff is. So invest in an engine lift, crane, or hoist to raise and lower the cars you’ll be working on at will.
You might assume stethoscopes are solely for doctors but an automotive stethoscope can be just as vital to a mechanic when it comes to diagnosing problems.
Pliers and screwdrivers –
The absolute minimum. These should be the foundation of any great toolbox and the more you have at your disposal, the better!