How to Start an Auto Mechanic Garage

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Mechanics have had to adapt their garages to accommodate the technological changes in automobile industry over the years. Today, auto mechanics need to be able to work with computers and electronic systems inside vehicles if they want to start a business. As a mechanic, you need to be familiar with computer diagnoses and electronic equipment if you want to own your own garage. In addition, mechanics must be certified after receiving extensive training. According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a mechanic is $37,540, as of 2008.

Hire qualified mechanics who are ASE certified, or become certified yourself. You and your mechanics should have training for the automobiles you plan to service. Visit the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence website for training information in your area.

Find a prime location for your auto mechanic garage. Consider purchasing a franchise or existing garage if you have the funds available. Look into buying an old repair shop that you can renovate to fit your needs. Your garage needs to have enough space to accommodate the growing demand of your business and a parking lot. Contact your local zoning commission to make sure the location is zoned for a commercial auto repair garage.

Contact your state and local business administration for the proper licenses you need for your mechanic business. Contact the EPA and local health department to conduct an inspection of your facility. Look over the Health and Safety checklist to ensure that your garage is compliant with state and federal guidelines. You may need to establish a policy on countermeasure and control parts and oil spill prevention. Purchase workers' compensation insurance and general liability insurance for your auto mechanic garage.

Stock your mechanic garage with tools, supplies and equipment. Purchase a vehicle lift, storage containers, safety gear, brake lathe, spray cabinets, tire changer, wheel balancer, oil drains, muffler tubing bender, leak testers, diagnostic scan tools, inspection sticks, storage racks and fire extinguishers.

Market your garage. Mail promotional fliers to businesses and residential neighborhoods. Offer same-day maintenance and oil changes to local business owners. Advertise a shuttle system for customers who work during the day. Offer discount oil changes to new customers. Place ads on the radio, television and in the local newspaper when you can afford to do so. Join the local Chamber of Commerce for networking resources.


Specialize in repairing hybrid cars if they are a popular vehicle in your region. This could set your garage apart from other mechanic shops in the community.


Business laws vary in each state. Hire an attorney to advise you on starting your own business.