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Can I use my car maintenance skills to make money?

Evans and Lewis

If you are regularly looking after the cars of friends and family, you may have considered this as a motor trade business idea or a side income. The good news is that anybody can start a car repair service. There are no legal restrictions. But before you get started here are some things that you might want to keep in mind. There are many general considerations to make when starting a company, and some unique to car repair businesses. We will look at these examples here, such as qualifications and insurance.

Although you may have learnt the ropes, tinkering with vehicles, customers will expect their mechanic to be qualified. There are various vocational qualifications available in the UK. If not already qualified, it might be valuable to invest in your education. There are some colleges that offer this as an evening course, so that you can complete this alongside your existing commitments. These range from the ABC award for Motor Vehicle Studies, to the City and Guilds Level 2 Technical Certificate in Automotive.

While no general licence for carrying out this type of work, some specific activities do require a licence. For example if you wish to perform MOTs you will need to file the relevant paperwork. Luckily the government website has a licence finder which helps you to confirm this.

Although you need not apply for official licence, you may choose to sign up for a scheme which demonstrates your ability to work on cars. Often clients seek out assurances they they are getting value for money. Unlike with friends and family, customers will seek signs, such as a good garage scheme poster. Fortunately more of these are now accessible for small start-ups. Mobile mechanics can now demonstrate their ability and efficiency through rated trade websites. An example of this is TrustATrader.com. Clientele can leave their review online. This allows potential customers to see your trustworthiness even without a sign.

Car trader’s insurance coverage, needs to be looked at, even when operating part time from home. This is an insurance product bespoke for those working in this niche. Where most start-ups only need a limited liability insurance, a motor mechanic will likely need others. This is due to the risks involved in the job. For example a motor trader will benefit from a policy which allows them coverage for driving customer’s vehicles. Luckily this type of insurance policy is more affordable than you might think. This is because part time trade coverage is usually built bespoke for the business.

There are lots of options for entrepreneurs in the motor trade. It is important to take a practical approach to turning your motor mechanic skills to profit. By detailed planning and research, you would be best set to realise these goals in a pragmatic and efficient manner.

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