What You Need to Start Your Own Auto Repair Garage

Auto mechanic apprenticeshipMost people who graduate from mechanic colleges will go on to work as an employee at an auto body shop. However, those with an entrepreneurial spirit may decide to open their own auto repair garage. And these business-minded individuals are surely aware that starting a garage from scratch involves a lot more than just fixing cars. You must have knowledge of advertising, accounting, marketing – and be conscious of the start-up costs. Auto entrepreneurs can make things easier on themselves by purchasing an existing auto body shop, which will have much of the necessary equipment and perhaps even some customers from the area. No matter which way you go about it, there are key elements to opening an auto repair garage that any first-time business owner must keep in mind.

Obtaining the Property

First things first: find a location. Alongside highways and in the middle of the city are key locations for an auto body repair shop, because these are typically high traffic areas. In Canada, a Public Garage licence is required for businesses such as a gas station, car wash and auto body repair shop. The approximate cost of a Public Garage licence is just $231 per year. But keep in mind, most of the expenses associated with starting your business will be far more substantial. To get off the ground, you will more than likely require a bank loan upwards of $50,000. To get this loan from the bank, you will need to devise and compose a business plan which will outline the goals for your business, advertising costs and other start-up expenses.


While most garages offer general repairs and services, you can increase business by offering niche repairs which other auto body shops may not provide. Some examples of specialized repairs and services include repainting, detailing and collision repair. As auto trends shift toward eco-friendliness, your inner-city repair shop could make a profit specializing in hybrid or plug-in electric vehicles. New mechanics graduating from auto technician courses will be equipped with cutting-edge knowledge and skills, perfect for carving out a specialty or niche at a new auto body garage.

Mechanic colleges

Hire the Right Employees

Finding exceptional employees can be a difficult and time-consuming task. However, it’s important to remember that there are auto mechanic colleges across the country ready to provide garages with newly trained employees. You’ll want to strike a good balance between experienced employees and recent grads, so your garage has an effective ratio of experts and novices. Most garages engage in the apprentice system. An auto mechanic apprenticeship is a paid position, which can last from one to four years. It is assumed that after the apprentice period, the employee will continue to work for the repair garage. By hiring apprentices, a new auto body shop can establish a long-term, fruitful working relationship with a skilled mechanic – carefully trained by its own experts.

Market Your Business

Good advertising will get customers to your shop, but fulfillment of promises made in your ads will keep those same customers coming back, year after year. Online advertisements can go a long way, especially if you have your own website on which to showcase promotions. As for your advertising content, a popular route is to offer customers guarantees, such as a guaranteed free repair if your brakes wear out within a certain time limit. Guaranteeing your work gives customers a reason to trust that you will do a good job. You may also choose to create an ethics statement which can be featured prominently in your workplace, or online. This may outline your duty to satisfy customers, conform to established laws, and to keep customers fully informed of costs throughout the repair process.

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