Top tips for becoming a mobile mechanic

There are many good reasons why a mechanic would choose to ‘go mobile’ as opposed to setting up a garage in a fixed premises.
Firstly, working as a mobile mechanic is usually cheaper, as there are less overheads involved. It’s also easier and quicker to set up a mobile mechanic business, and it can offer more variety – you get to work somewhere new each day.
The flipside to this is that, as a mobile mechanic, you will be out on the road a lot from day to day. You’ll also have to transport your tools, and might have to work a little harder for business – because, unlike with a garage, customers can’t just walk in to see you with their car troubles.

That said, a lot of people will appreciate the convenience of having a mechanic come to them, rather than the other way around.
Regardless of whether you set up base in a fixed premises or go mobile, you need to make sure you have motor trade insurance in place before your business gets up and running.

Insurance Factory can arrange cover on your behalf, comparing quotes from our panel of specialist providers to find you a policy that best protects your specific needs.
We thought it would be useful to put together some top tips for anyone considering setting up a mobile mechanic business. Here they are:

1. Get your qualifications

You might already be in the car repair business but, if not, you’ll need to get some qualifications before you can start working on cars.
The National Careers Service writes that you can learn the trade and get the relevant qualifications by studying a college-level course, or by enrolling on an apprenticeship.

There are intermediate and advanced apprenticeships available, while college courses include Level 2 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair, and Level 3 Diploma in Vehicle Technology.
As vehicle tech is changing all the time, you can gain a competitive edge by staying ahead of the latest developments with NVQ Levels 1, 2 and 3. Some of the otions, writes Thomson Local, include Vehicle Body and Paint and Vehicle Fitting Operations.
You also need Trade Licensing Plates to work on vehicles, which need to be renewed either every six or 12 months.
A mechanic using a ratchet while working on a car engine

2. Buy your equipment

To work as a mobile mechanic, you’re going to need tools – and something to transport them in! As Click Mechanic writes, you’ll most likely need:
  • Diagnostic equipment – so you can establish the cause of a fault quickly (in most cases diagnostic equipment is an absolute necessity).
  • Hand tools – don’t underestimate the importance of a good quality set of wrenches!
  • Transport – you need to make sure you buy a van big enough to comfortably transport all of your tools). Because you’re likely to be out on the road a lot, make sure you look for a van that’s not only the right size, but reliable and efficient.
  • Tool chests – it’ll make your life easier if you can keep all your tools organised in the back of your van using a chest.
You’ll also need to think about storage for your tools when they’re not in use. You might have space in your garage, or you may have to hire a secure storage unit. Of course, tools aren’t cheap – their value soon adds up. So, it’s important to make sure your motor trade insurance policy covers your business equipment.

3. Start advertising

When you’ve covered all the basics in setting up your mobile mechanic company, you need to start telling people you’re here and ready for their business! 
Don’t overlook the importance of advertising – it will be essential to the success of your business especially in the initial months, when you start to build up your customer base and get your name out there. Here are 10 simple ways to market your mobile mechanic business:
  1. Create a simple website that’s easy to navigate and contains all the essential information, like services and prices, and contact details.
  2. Create an informative and engaging blog that will provide value to your target audience, hopefully inspiring them to use your business if or when they need to.
  3. Register with reputable sites, such as Trust a Trader (lots of people fully rely on customer reviews these days).
  4. Advertise in your local newspaper (this is especially important if you only want to serve the local area).
  5. Visit trade events and exhibitions.
  6. Make sure you have good quality business cards and flyers to hand out to prospective customers and at trade events.
  7. Delivering flyers to homes in your local area. You might consider offering a time-limited promotion.
  8. Get to grips with the basics of SEO to give your website a good chance of featuring high up in search engine results pages.
  9. Make sure your business is on at least one social media channel (Facebook is a good choice). You should update it regularly, sharing your blogs and other insightful (and relevant) articles, and engaging with your audience.
  10. Make the effort to visit businesses in the local area to introduce your services. People like putting a name to the company and could feel more inspired to use you in the future.
There are several other tips that you can do when promoting your mechanics business can be found here.
 A mechanic wearing overalls holding up a customers keys

4. Get covered by the right insurance

As we’ve mentioned, you need to take out insurance before you can start working on people’s cars. Insurance protects you, your business and to some extent your customers against any unforeseen circumstances.
Motor trade insurance can protect your business against accidental damage or other issues that may arise when working on a customer’s vehicle. Here are some of the cover types, features and benefits you’ll get if you compare and take out insurance with Insurance Factory:
  • Combined traders insurance can include contents insurance, business equipment, employer’s liability, public liability and business interruption
  • Road risk only cover available
  • Criminal convictions considered
Motor trade insurance is always a wise investment, and we can help you find great cover at a good price. Get a competitive quote today.