Image Courtesy Of Chad Kirchoff

Tired of knowing so much about cars that everyone always brings their car issues to you?  You can only survive on getting paid with a six-pack for so long. Now is the time to invest in a garage and open up your own auto repair workshop.  

Here are some of the essentials that you need to make sure you have before opening up for the first time.

Money for Equipment

It goes without saying that you will need equipment.  A lot of equipment. And, of course, it won’t be cheap.  Do your research on the best equipment available to you (more on that later).  Spending a little more on more durable equipment will save you money in the long run.

You want to create files for all of the equipment manuals that you get.  The manuals and service directives will be something that you will frequent more than you probably think you will.  If you can get an electronic version of it as well you can save them on your computer and place them in files. Many will come in a zip drive.  If you need help with how to unzip and save your files, especially if you are using a Mac, visit

You will also need to set money aside for training purposes.  Nobody should be using any of the heavy equipment if not properly trained ahead of time.  Many of the companies will do it for free and onsite. But, if they don’t offer that service, you want to pay to have it done.  

Clean Premises

Obviously, an auto repair shop is going to have grease and dirt around the shop.  But, there is no reason that it isn’t cleaned up each day. If you are starting a new business, you are going to want to draw in as many customers as you can.  If they see a shop that looks clean and organized, they are more likely to stop in and be a repeat customer.

All repair shops will need quality hoist.  And depending on the size of your shop, you will need multiple hoists.  Customers know that their cars are going to go up on those hoists, so be sure that you have something that really looks sturdy and safe.  

Having wide access is also very important in your workshop.  Cars should be able to enter and exit with ease. If you don’t have a ton of room, you will always have the option to use rolling jacks.  You should be able to back each car off the hoist inside of the building. If not, you need to find a bigger space.

A high roof is needed for the floor hoists (roughly 15’ from floor to ceiling) and a strong floor made of concrete.  This is needed to solidly mount the hoists to. A flimsy floor will lead to major accidents that you would not want to deal with.  

You will need office space and bathrooms for your workers and customers.  These don’t need to be huge, but they should be clean and welcoming to employees and your customers.  A little cleanliness goes a long way.


Sounds simple enough but not having an adequate amount of light can lead to your mechanics missing little details.  Natural light always works best so the more you can open up your shop, the better. The walls and the ceiling should be painted white to help  brighten up the room as well. Spend the extra money to purchase high-quality lighting. Again, it is a safety hazard and a money saver in the long run.

Permits, Drains, Equipment, Etc.

These are the little, but big details that you want to make sure you have covered for safety and legal reasons.  Here’s an auto repair shop safety checklist that you should go through before opening up your shop.  Your auto shop should also be checked for:

  • Correct drainage in case of large spills

  • A safe place to store chemicals

  • Machinery is legally installed

  • Electricity supply is 400 volt 3 phase

  • Air hoses are installed overhead

  • An emergency spill kit is installed and updated

  • Fire extinguishers throughout the shop

There is a lot of equipment that you will need to invest money into when opening up your shop.  Check out tools needed for auto body repair to go through each of the essentials to see what you need and what type is recommended.  As stated up above, if you decide to go cheap with your parts, it will cost you more in the long run.  Buy the most highly recommended and sturdiest equipment that you can to save you a lot of trouble in the long run.  

Hire People You Can Trust

You want to hire the best employees that you can.  That certainly isn’t a newsflash. You want people who know what they are doing and are able to perform tasks on a variety of automobiles.  The more services that you can provide to your customers, the more customers that you will get. Try to hire a diverse group that knows cars on the inside and out as well as audio and speaker knowledge and accessories that would best suit the car. You never want to have to refer them to another shop because that is business lost.

Hire people that have good communication skills with people.  When explaining problems to your customers, it needs to be done in a way that they can understand.  They don’t want to feel like you are talking above them and almost forcing them to not understand what you are saying.  Remember, they don’t know a lot about cars. What may sound simple to you is complex to them. Hire people who can understand that.

Check it, Check it Again, and Then Re-Check it

Sometimes the excitement and enthusiasm for opening up a shop can force you to miss steps along the way.  It is so crucial to make sure you have everything you need before opening up the garage. Check out this very comprehensive checklist for auto repair shops.  It can be very overwhelming when you first open it.  But, in the end, it will make sure you have covered all of your bases before opening up your dream auto repair shop!

Business photo created by peoplecreations -
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