Cars, vans, and other vehicles form a crucial part of today’s modern transportation options. At the time of writing, there are just over 38 million vehicles on Britain’s roads. They help people get to work, transport goods and socialise with family members and friends.
Of course, vehicles won’t remain roadworthy or reliable for very long unless they can get maintained. Some car owners, for example, pay local garages or dealerships to maintain and repair their vehicles, and a few may even attempt some repairs themselves. But, a growing number of motorists prefer a more convenient option: they want a mobile mechanic to maintain their vehicles at their homes.
As you can imagine, a mobile mechanic business has many advantages for motorists, and it’s a lucrative startup idea.
If you’re thinking of setting up a business as a mobile mechanic, it’s worth noting the following points before you take actionable steps to set it up:
1. You have to improvise shelter
One fact that you won’t fail to avoid is that you must work outdoors when attending to each customer’s vehicle. The UK isn’t known for having favourable weather conditions most of the year, so you’ll probably spend much of your time working in the rain or snow.
With that in mind, you won’t have any shelter to shield you from the elements. That’s why you must improvise shelter. For example, you could erect a pop-up marquee to provide some cover during a torrential downpour when you’re trying to carry out a clutch change.
2. You need a big van
As a mobile mechanic, you need to have access to all the tools and accessories required to successfully conduct various repairs and tasks. That means you’ll need a suitably-sized van to transport all your gear.
You should also take steps to add additional security to your van, as you won’t want to keep unloading and loading your tools and accessories each day. Security measures you can take include deadlocks, an alarm system, and lockable cabinets.
3. You can carry out mobile engine changes
Many motorists assume they need a garage to carry out an engine change in their vehicles, but that’s not the case. A mobile lifting gantry can get constructed on a customer’s driveway to help you lift out an old engine and install a new one in its place.
Of course, it’s possible to remove and install engines in other ways, such as removing the subframe and lifting the car above the engine, rolling it out of the way, and doing the reverse to install a new engine.
As a mobile mechanic, you can offer mobile engine changes to customers that don’t want to use a garage or have specific needs, such as installing a high-performance engine with custom engine mounts.
4. You need to invest in diagnostic tools
Today’s modern vehicles have sophisticated electronic systems, much of which can only get diagnosed using specialist tools typically found at dealerships. A cheap OBDII fault code reader can only provide basic diagnostic information at best.
What you’ll need to do is invest in high-end diagnostic tools, such as those used by established garages. Such tools will help you to trace faults and perform mechanical tasks like resetting electronic handbrakes after a brake calliper change.
5. You can offer add-on services
As a mobile mechanic, you might think that the only services you can provide are vehicle repairs and maintenance. However, it’s possible to add extra complementary services to your repertoire and provide your customers with a “one-stop-shop” solution.
For instance, you could offer welding, key cutting and programming services, mobile ECU remaps, and even valeting and detailing. It’s those value-added services that will make your customers prefer to use you instead of your competitors.
6. You might need an assistant
There will inevitably be some jobs where you need someone to help you lift or do something while you’re busy doing something else. Most mechanical work can get done alone, but for specific tasks, you will need a helper.
When you first start your business, it can make sense to avoid two-person jobs until you reach the stage where you can afford to pay an assistant that comes out and helps you with each job.
7. You’ll need communications management
Lastly, when you’re busy doing a service on a vehicle, you’ll find it challenging to deal with calls and messages simultaneously. That’s why it makes sense to have someone deal with your communications for you.
Some mobile mechanics pay virtual assistants to take care of calls and messages and respond to enquiries on social media during the day. Others may have a relative that is willing to do that work for them.