Put together the perfect business plan for a car repair shop and ready to take the next step?
We’ve put together a simple guide, providing you with all the information you need to open your very own mechanic garage. Keep reading!
What kinds of auto repair shop are there?
- Car garages;
- Motorbike garages;
- Heavy vehicle garages;
- All-terrain vehicle garages;
- Electric car garages.
What types of auto repair shop are there?
- Repair shops;
- Maintenance garages;
- Painting garage;
- Collision centre;
- Mechatronics garages;
- Air-conditioning garages;
- Tyre shops.
What kinds of services does a auto repair shop provide?
- Steering alignment;
- Tyre fitting and balancing;
- Car diagnostics;
- Preventive maintenance/ Scheduled servicing;
- Charging air conditioning units;
- Car body repairs and painting;
- Automotive electronics;
- Repairing exhaust systems;
- Windshield repairs;
- Car transmission repairs.
What you’ll need to open an auto repair shop: 8 Steps
Check out the steps you’ll need to follow to ensure your new business is built on solid foundations, ensuring its success!
1. Draft a business plan
A well-structured plan is essential to your success as an entrepreneur.
Planning will help you map out the specific characteristics of your business as well as resolve uncertainties.
Some important topics to consider – and questions to ask – include:
- What are the initial and recurrent costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How much can you charge your customers?
- What sets you apart from the competition?
- What is your value proposition?
- What will you name your company?
- How will you manage your garage?
2. Register your business
If you’re unsure what you need to open a car garage, this is one of the fundamental steps.
Will you be operating as a sole trader, or will you be setting up a company? To answer this question, you must know the characteristics and implications of each:
- Sole traders
- Self-employed individuals;
- Limited liability companies;
- Single Partner Limited Companies;
- Multi-shareholder companies;
- General Partnerships;
- Limited Companies;
- Private Limited Companies;
- Limited Partnerships;
Registering your business protects you from being personally liable if your garage is sued for any reason.
3. Register to pay taxes
The third step to opening your own garage is registering your company, which will require you to pay certain taxes before and after you’re officially up and running. Make sure you’ve done your research before you get started.
Certain taxes shall apply to your business, the four main ones of which are as follows:
- Corporate income tax (CIT);
- Value Added Tax (VAT);
- Social Security (TSU);
- Municipal Tax (tax paid to the municipality in which your garage operates).
In addition to these taxes, you may also have to pay Municipal Tax on Onerous Property Transfers if your company is buying or selling real estate, as well as state tax should your business register profits of over 1.5 million euros per year.
4. Open a business bank account and register for a credit card
Using separate, dedicated business bank and credit accounts is essential to protecting your personal assets.
When you mix your personal and business accounts, your personal assets, such as your home, car, and other valuables, are subject to being put at risk.
In addition, applying for business loans can help you get credit cards and other funding in your company’s name, which may give you access to better interest rates, larger loans, and many more benefits.
5. Sort out your books
Recording your expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding your company’s financial performance.
Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also goes a long way towards helping you file your annual taxes.
6. Get all necessary permits and licenses
Failing to get the proper permits and licenses for your garage may lead to heavy fines or even your business being shut down. Don’t get caught out.
7. Get business insurance
As well as licenses and permits, your business needs insurance to operate safely and legally.
Business insurance gives your company a financial cushion – or emergency fund – which could also benefit you and your employees.
In addition to financial security, your employees must be protected. This will require everyone to follow all safety regulations in your garage.
You should ensure you’re following all safety regulations required by law, leaving no room for error on any job.
Check out our article Safety at Work: Essential rules for Garages, to find out all the regulations you must keep to in your new business.
Don’t forget to check out the various types of insurance available on the market and choose the one that best suits your company.
8. Establish your brand
Your brand is a reflection of your company and the image your business presents to the general public.
Strong branding will help your garage stand out from the competition.
These steps may not cover everything you need to open a garage, but they’re certainly crucial steps you’ll need to follow to register and develop any business.
Which garage tools should you invest in?
Tools are a vital part of any garage, as it is your tools that allow you to serve your customers and build an income.
When it comes to opening your own garage, these are the main tools you’ll need to get started:
1. Air Compressor
If you don’t have one yet, add an air compressor to your “must buy” list, as a compressor can be used to operate many tools in your car garage, including pneumatic hand tools and some automatic lifts.
Get a compressor with a good capacity, so you can be sure it has the power you need to meet your customers’ needs.
2. Battery charger
Many customers seek out a mechanic because of a dead car battery or car battery charging problems.
It is important that your garage has a good battery charger to handle these services.
If you’re looking to learn more about how to charge your car battery, check out our article How to charge your car battery: 3 Essential Tips.
3. Transmission jack
Transmission jacks make maintaining and replacing transmissions much easier and more efficient.
Jacks can have distinct maintenance capabilities and features.
As such, we advise you to buy one able to provide the services your customers need and that is also compatible with a variety of brands and transmission weights.
Click on the image below to find out more about our 1-Ton Transmission jack 940-1940mm (ref. 4845).
4. Coil Spring Compressor
A good coil spring compressor is handy for repairing suspensions.
This equipment will help improve your services, ensuring ever higher customer satisfaction.
Click on the image below to find out more about our Springs Shock Compressor (ref. 2637).
5. Jack Stands
For cars that need to be lifted to be repaired, there’s no tool better than a jack stand to ensure more secure support.
Click on the image below to find out more about our Jack Stand 6TON (ref. 4856).
6. Engine crane
When it comes to repairing, reconstructing, or replacing a car engine, there’s no better investment you could make than a crane.
There are several models on the market, so make sure you buy the folding crane that best meets your needs.
Click on the image below to find out more about our 3-Ton Shop Crane (ref. 4866).
7. Vehicle lifts
Vehicle lifts are key pieces of equipment in any garage, as they ensure your tasks can be carried out more comfortably, quickly, and safely.
There are several types of vehicle lifts. So make sure you buy the lifts to meet your needs from a trusted car parts store to ensure the availability of parts and services and effective after-sales support.
If you want to find out more about the vehicle lifts in the KROFtools catalogue, check out our article, Vehicle lifts: Types and maintenance.
Click on the image below to find out more about our 5T four columns lift 5.19M for alignment (reference 9854).
Now that you know what you need to open your own auto repair shop, you’re all ready to set your plans in motion!
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