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Home / Case Studies / Profit and Cost of Auto Repair Shops Overhead, Setup, and Business Ideas to Help You Succeed

Profit and Cost of Auto Repair Shops Overhead, Setup, and Business Ideas to Help You Succeed

How Much Do Auto Repair Shop Owners Make?

Owning an auto repair or body repair shop can be a lucrative endeavor for the right investor. After all, cars, trucks, and work vehicles are certainly not going anywhere anytime soon. And having a trusted resource for quick and efficient repairs is something every automobile owner wants and needs.

In most cases, auto repair shop owners start as mechanics, with their hands directly on the pulse of the industry. Over time, their needs may grow, and some may make the transition from employee to shop owner. But to make the most out of this evolution, you'll need to have a thorough understanding of the industry, as well as a working knowledge of the business.

Below, we’ll explore the finer aspects of owning and operating an auto repair shop, including the setup process, the overhead you can expect, and business ideas that can help maximize your commercial potential.

The Average Profit of an Auto Repair Shop

Starting your own auto repair shop can be an exciting venture, but it's essential to be well-informed about the costs involved. From obtaining the necessary certifications to investing in equipment and securing a space, each aspect plays a crucial role in the overall expense. Let's break down the key components of the cost of starting auto repair shop buildings.

Business License: $50 to $100

Before diving into the world of auto repairs, it's important to ensure your business is legally sound. Acquiring a business license typically comes with a modest fee, ranging from $50 to $100, depending on your location.

ASE Certifications: $36 registration fee, plus $39 per certification

Building credibility in the auto repair industry often requires Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications. While the registration fee is a one-time $36 expense, each certification, except for L1, L2, and L3, comes with a $39 cost. For these higher-level certifications, the fee is $78 each.

Insurance: $4,000 per year

Securing insurance is a non-negotiable aspect of starting an auto repair shop. On average, you can expect to pay around $4,000 per year for comprehensive coverage. Insurance ensures protection against potential liabilities and unforeseen incidents.

Mechanic’s Hydraulic Lift: $3,700

Investing in a mechanic's hydraulic lift is crucial for efficient and safe vehicle repairs. A quality lift can cost around $3,700, but this is a fundamental investment for any auto repair business.

Diagnostic Machine: $5,000 to $10,000

A reliable diagnostic machine is indispensable for identifying and troubleshooting vehicle issues accurately. Prices for these machines can vary, but budgeting between $5,000 and $10,000 should provide you with a dependable unit that meets your needs.

Shop Rental Fees: $1,500 to $15,000 per month

The location of your auto repair shop can significantly impact your expenses. Shop rental fees vary widely depending on factors such as size, location, and amenities. Budgeting between $1,500 and $15,000 per month for rental expenses is a realistic range to consider.

Mechanic’s Toolset with Specialty Tools: $15,000

A comprehensive toolset is essential for any auto repair shop. From basic wrenches to specialized diagnostic tools, investing in a quality set can cost around $15,000. This upfront cost ensures that your mechanics have the necessary equipment to handle a wide range of repairs. By calculating the above costs, you can expect a rough estimate of your startup costs to be around $50,000. It's important to note that many of these expenses are recurring and will require a continuous flow of income to support them. This will require you to develop a keen budget and a working knowledge of the industry to get you up and productive as quickly as possible.

Why You Should Own an Auto Repair Shop Building Rather Than Rent

As you can imagine, there are numerous advantages to owning your auto repair shop building rather than renting. With ownership, you’ll have the opportunity to build equity in the property, providing you with a valuable asset should you ever decide to sell.

Additionally, owners have more control over the property, allowing them to make modifications and improvements to meet the specific needs of their auto repair business without the restrictions often imposed by landlords.

If you’re considering starting an auto repair business and want a cost-effective way to own your infrastructure, metal building are a tried-and-true option. Steel buildings are incredibly durable, built to any size, and far more customizable than most stick-built structures. They’re also far more affordable than alternatives, providing you with a low-cost way to get your business off the ground.

Let’s look at a few popular auto shop metal building sizes:

1. 24x30 Auto Shop Building

The 24x30 metal building is a compact yet efficient choice for smaller auto repair businesses or those with limited space. This size allows for a dedicated work area while providing enough room for essential equipment and vehicle maintenance.

2. 30x40 Metal Garage Buildings

For a mid-sized auto repair shop, the 30x40 metal building offers a well-balanced alternative. This metal building size provides ample room for multiple workstations, storage, and the installation of auto repair equipment, making it a popular choice for many growing businesses.

3. 30x50 Metal Building Auto Repair Shop

The 30x50 metal building provides even more workspace for larger auto repair operations. This size accommodates a greater number of service bays, additional storage, and the flexibility to expand your range of services.

4. 30x60 Metal Building for Auto Repair

Ideal for larger auto repair shops with a higher demand for service, the 30x60 metal building offers a spacious layout that’s perfect for repairing larger vehicles such as semis and construction equipment.

5. Or Customize Your Own

One of the stand-out features of metal buildings is their ability to be built to almost any size or configuration. Basically, if you can think it up, it can be made. By working with a metal building expert like Probuilt, you can design a building that's perfectly suited to your business needs and property limitations.

Additional Business Ideas in the Auto Repair Industry

There’s much more to the world of auto repair than installing tires and performing oil changes. If you’re thinking of forming your business in this industry, there are a number of avenues you can take. Let’s look at just a few options available to you:

1. Specialized Auto Shops

Beyond general auto repair, there's a growing demand for specialized services catering to specific vehicle makes or components. Consider establishing a niche auto shop that focuses solely on electric vehicles, luxury cars, or vintage models. By becoming an expert in a particular area, you can attract a dedicated customer base seeking specialized knowledge and skills.

2. Detailing and Customization Shops

Car owners often take pride in the appearance of their vehicles. Detailing and customization shops can capitalize on this by offering services such as paint correction, ceramic coating, and interior detailing. Additionally, providing customization options for accessories, such as rims, decals, and interior features, allows customers to personalize their vehicles to reflect their style.

3. Car Washes

While car washes may seem commonplace, incorporating modern technology and eco-friendly practices can set your business apart. Providing convenient options like automated touchless car washes or premium detailing packages can attract a broad customer base seeking efficient and high-quality services.

4. Car Rentals and Ride-Sharing Platforms

Establishing a car rental service or partnering with ride-sharing platforms can provide convenient solutions for individuals who require a vehicle for a specific duration. Consider offering a diverse fleet to cater to various customer needs, from compact cars for daily commutes to larger vehicles for family trips.

5. Vehicle Accessory Store

Car enthusiasts are always on the lookout for ways to enhance their driving experience. Opening a vehicle accessory store allows you to capitalize on this demand by offering a wide range of products, such as performance parts, audio systems, navigation devices, and aesthetic enhancements. Stay updated with the latest trends in the automotive industry to provide customers with cutting-edge accessories.

Need Help with Your Business Infrastructure? Probuilt Steel Buildings Can Help!

Whether you're searching for the backbone of your new auto repair shop or you just want to keep your family vehicle safe from the weather, Probuilt Steel Buildings has your back with a wide variety of metal building solutions to meet any need. Our structures are built with advanced engineering techniques and backed by industry-leading warranties, so you can rest easy knowing they're ready to tackle any job and any climate.

So, what are you waiting for? Give Probuilt a call today at (877) 754-1818 to learn more about how to turn your metal building needs into a reality. We'll guide you through the design process, provide you with valuable information, and deliver a building you can count on in any weather and for any business venture.

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