Being in the automotive service equipment sales business for over 14 years now, we’ve seen a lot. One trend we’ve been seeing more frequently lately is the self service auto shop.
This is an interesting idea that we think will catch on more and more in the future as car owners who want to save money. It should also be popular with those who like tinkering on their own cars, but don’t want to invest in all of the expensive equipment that is necessary to be a full service shop.
Sometimes it’s just a case where a car owner used to work on his own car back when vehicles were simpler to repair, and they grew out of touch with all of the modern technological advances. Sometimes it caters to the customer who used to work on his car, but during better economic times in years past, deferred that work to the professionals, but now that money is more scarce, they would prefer to go back to working on their own vehicle.
Whatever the reason, these shops are springing up all over the country.
Case in point, a recent article in the Charlotte Observer points to a garage in north Charlotte aptly named, “Fix It Yourself Garage”.
The great thing is, if you are fairly proficient at some of the common aspects of servicing a vehicle, but need supervision, they will walk you through it, assuring that the job is done right, and best of all, at a much more reasonable price. Typical pricing will run about $20 per hour, and includes disposal of fluids. Plus, you can bring in your own parts to save even more money. Sure beats the $80 per hour you find at the car dealership, doesn’t it?
Plus, with less new cars selling these days, these older vehicles out on the roads need more service than ever. The average vehicle age has worked it’s way up to over ten years old, vs 8 years back in the 1990’s.
Now, the average Joe can have access to full service Car Lifts, along with all of the best auto shop tools and equipment on the market, including hand tools, parts washers, Tire Changers, brake lathes and more. Basically, you can have a fully outfitted auto shop at your disposal anytime you want. And you’ll get expert instruction as well as be able to meet with others with similar interests. The one concern for owners of these kinds of shops is liability. Insurance could tend to be a prohibitive cost.
Keep an eye on this trend. We predict this trend will expand.