Trying to open a garage (shop)

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Trying to open a garage (shop)

Postby six » Sun Jun 22, 2014 2:57 am

I need everybodies opinion !!!!!! The good , the bad, and the well!!!!!

Im trying to get a garage open up for Brakes, Suspension, Mufflers, and lube!!!!!

Im a young guy at 21 years old and i want to do these within a year and half, i got experiece on oil changes and some brakes.... Since i work partime in a local shop doing oil changes and tire repairs.... But i want to go our on my own.

These in in Yuma Arizona...

Any advise and coment will be great thanks!!!
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Re: Trying to open a garage (shop)

Postby 1999Amigo4WD » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:38 am

Go to your insurance agent and ask what your premiums will be based on what services you plan to offer. Brake jobs done wrong kill people and total property. I think you might just be floored by how much it will cost just to get legal with the town and a liability insurance provider, let alone if you hire anyone.

Good luck!
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Re: Trying to open a garage (shop)

Postby Kev250R » Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:30 pm

I agree that insurance is a big consideration, another thing you'll need is a good Business Plan and a whole lot of $$$. Might be easier to buy an established shop that way day-one you get an established customer base you can then build from. I know someone who did that once with air-cooled VW's, he found a guy who was ready to retire, bought the place and picked-up where the previous owner left-off at.

Good luck,

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Re: Trying to open a garage (shop)

Postby wesharris » Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:58 pm

Liability is a huge concern as well as a number of other things
But if you want it don't give up
The once piece of advice I could give is GET MORE EXPERIENCE in general don't go to o fast. I started a horse barn one time when I was about your age it didn't turn out well for me
And like others said have a plan if you fail to plan you plan to fail
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Re: Trying to open a garage (shop)

Postby toomanytoyzz » Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:50 pm

If you asked me this question 25-30 years ago I'd say go for it. Opening a shop performing those type of services would have them lining up to get the regular maintenance done. With todays vehicles, it's just not the same. Most cars you buy today require little to no service other than the normal oil changes, air filters and brakes.

I know this is what you plan on being the business model, but the "stearlership" offers maintenance incentives that can take you right out of the game. Pair this with the mindset that most people who own vehicles out of factory warranty either do the regular maintenance themselves or know somebody on the side. Bottom line is the days of getting a tune-up and lube just do not exist any longer. To be a small time shop IMO today you need to specialize in a rare/performance/collector vehicle and do top notch work.
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Re: Trying to open a garage (shop)

Postby troy » Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:30 am

My shop' liability insurance was around $300 a month. It's not all that bad to get a mil of garage keepers insurance. Unemployment and workmanship comp insurance usually is worth it to have another guy or two at a shop. The start up and lease is what may get you just starting out, unless you also have living funds for about a year.

In my opinion, i would start a local mobile mechanic/lube and get a shop when you have gotten your name out. Insuring a truck full of tools and liability for the mechanics work should run about $150 a month. Low overhead means you can offer better pricing and get more clients that way, or charge the same and offer the covenience of them not getting towed or waiting for their car at a shop.

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Re: Trying to open a garage (shop)

Postby IsuzuGeek » Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:21 pm

If you do decide to stay the course and do something like this, I would say try to got at with some sort of specialization in mind. You want to stand out among all the other shops. This could be anything from specializing in 4x4 vehicles, or classic rods, etc. Just something to make your shop different and specialized. Otherwise you are just another grain of sand on the beach.

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Re: Trying to open a garage (shop)

Postby Med!c » Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:51 pm

sadly you're going to need more than just a couple years of experience at jiffy lube. get your certifications and work at a real shop where you diagnose tricky problems and fix difficult things. You'll need a lot of experience and you'll need a good amount of customers who know you and want you to do their work.
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Re: Trying to open a garage (shop)

Postby Wolffarmer » Sun Dec 07, 2014 1:25 am

Befriend some old foggy that has done a bunch of mechanical stuff, like farming, working on his own stuff, working on other peoples stuff. They can teach you a whole lot that is not in any class and can save your butt in a pinch. Someone like me for instance. It is hard for me to trust someone right out of school to work on my stuff, and not cause of the computerized stuff. Heck I can figure a lot of that out myself. Might take me a few hours and internet search.

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Re: Trying to open a garage (shop)

Postby JFoster » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:13 am

A good friend of mine went to UTI about the time I went to college. He's about 7 years into being a Toyota tech and... i never realized the earning potential for a factory tech. More than I earn with a bachelor's degree.

He wants to do his own thing too. Most people do. I'd definitely say do some schooling for the certs. Get into a big dealer as a tech, and bank your earnings for the day you step out on your own.

Spend the time from now until then detailing an excellent business plan, look at the resources at

If you're like most any 20 something, you really don't know as much as you should about money management. Personally or business wise. Unfortunately it's just not a part of our school system or culture like it should be.

Educate yourself. Books like "Rich dad poor dad" and "richest man in babylon" are a good start. They're not exciting to read, I don't even like reading anything. But, at 30 I wish I had read them at ..... 12.
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