Do You Need a Licence to Repair Cars?

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licence repair cars

By the end of 2016 there were around 37 million vehicles licenced for use in Great Britain (Department of Transport). So long as there are cars on the road, repair businesses will continue to be in high demand. In fact, the British public is prepared to spend an incredible £21 billion a year on repairing and serving their pride and joys (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders).

The number of cars on the road is increasing year on year too (IBIS). In the past five years, the UK vehicle maintenance and repair industry revenue has increased at a rate of 3.3 percent to a hefty £27.5 billion (IBIS). According to Trend Tracker, the market value for primary car body repairs in the UK is predicted to rise by 14 percent to reach £5.43 billion.

With there being clear evidence demonstrating that the vehicle repair market value is rising every year, what better time to start a car repair business.

Car Repair Industry Based on Location

Over 80 percent of people in the South West, the South East and the East of England own at least one car (Department for Transport). This exceeds the UK average of 76 percent. This of course influences how many businesses they are in those areas.

Although setting up a shop in those areas would be good because of the higher number of cars, if theres already an abundance of businesses there, you might be entering an already crowded marketplace. This highlights the importance of conducting detailed research into your local area and the competition before making any commitments. This should be incorporated into the business plan.

Why is the car repair industry important?

Providing a reliable car repair service is essential in keeping our roads safe. People can encounter problems with their vehicle when they least expect them. Without a fully functioning car, day-to-day activities are either put on hold or made much harder. To avoid this, car-owners should get their vehicles inspected regularly.

What are the typical responsibilities of a mechanic?

A mechanics duties mainly involve inspecting and repairing motor vehicles. They can specialise in certain areas, including anything from engines, to air conditioning to exhausts. Mechanics can operate from a garage, or some operate as a mobile van business. This is something to consider when starting up your own car repair business.

Operating a mobile business will involve lower start-up costs and you can work flexible hours. This is a great choice for people who want to fit work around other commitments. Also, when your van is parked outside a customers house, other residents on the street may see your van and then use your services in the future. However, a brick and mortar location would be better suited to entrepreneurs who dont want to spend a lot of time driving around.

Do you need a licence to repair cars?

The topic of whether mechanics should be licence d is one of controversy. 70 percent of car repair service users think that car repair businesses are regulated by the Government. But they are wrong

Anyone in the UK can start a car repair business without needing a certain level of experience or expertise. This is completely legal, which contrasts to many other countries in Europe. No licence is needed to sell repair services to the public, whether its a petrol, diesel, electric or hybrid vechiles.

A report by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) and Loughborough University calls for the Government to implement a licence to practice for mechanics. It also asks for it be against the law for untrained technicians to do any repair work on hybrid or electric cars.

Pros and Cons of Licensing

Pros

  • Rogue and unskilled mechanics would be deterred if the Government enforced a licence to trade.
  • You need a licence to operate in other trades, for instance a plumber, so why should repairing cars be different?

Cons

  • Some people believe it isnt necessary and adds an unnecessary expense.
  • According to Motor Codes, the answer is self-regulation, not a licence issued by the Government.

Although it isnt essential to have qualifications to operate as a mechanic, customers are more likely to trust you if you can prove you have the necessary knowledge and skills. Lets take a look below at how you can train.

How can I train to repair cars?

You dont need a degree to repair cars, many people learn on the job as a trainee or an apprentice. Before applying to be a trainee, some people often take a college course. The two main ones are Level 2 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair and level 3 Diploma in Vehicle Technology. You can start an apprenticeship as a motor vehicle service and maintenance technician and complete it at either an intermediate or advanced level. This generally lasts between two and three years.

Car Repair Franchise Opportunities

Hometyre

This franchise provides a mobile tyre service for a large variety of vehicle owners. The rapidly expanding brand is a frontrunner in the market and a keen innovator. The established brands success has not gone unnoticed, and so it has formed partnerships with some of the biggest global brands including, Michelin, Dunlop and Good Year.

When you become a franchisee, Hometyre will run a three-week training course, covering the ins and outs of the business and providing hands-on experience. Part of the training will include focusing on your customer relations skills. As being an excellent communicator and interactor is important to establish long lasting relationships with customers.

If youre keen to invest in a car repair franchise that has a revenue of around £5 million, you will need to make a minimum investment of £20,000 and a total investment of £40,000.

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