Side business ideas for mechanics
Side business ideas for mechanics
If you are a mechanic or just someone who is really mechanically inclined I have come up with a list of potential side business ideas AKA Mechanic side hustles to bring in some extra cash.
Right up front, I want to discuss some of the negatives to avoid so you do not get in trouble.
If you are currently working for a shop be very careful not to get fired, side jobs are not worth losing your day job. Try to stay within the guidelines of your employer. Personally, I do not agree with the fact a company can regulate your personal life as long as you are not stealing materials or customers but that’s another story.
Second, try to keep it legal if you do not have insurance or proper zoning to do the work at your home try to avoid advertising to the public. Keep it limited to personal friends, family, and referrals. Now with that being said, there are a lot of opportunities for you to create a nice side work income.
Perhaps the first thing to consider is whether or not your employer is cool with you doing extra work at the shop on the weekend if you work for a small company that is really busy this may be a win-win, the shop gets more work done and you can make some extra money.
Focus on working on your friends and families cars, I would recommend doing simple repairs and maintenance to avoid getting in over your head. Since most people need their car back ASAP you may not want to tackle a week-long transmission job in your driveway. Fluid changes, tune-ups and basic repairs like water pumps and wiper motors may be ideal to get done on a Saturday and have their car back in time for their Monday morning commute.
Specialize in custom modifications, as mentioned above working on someones daily driver can be stressful since they need that car back right away and you may not have enough time to get the work done on a Tuesday night, so focusing on custom upgrades may be a nice niche. People who have second vehicles may want upgrades done and have time to wait. Doing lift kits, custom light bars, body kits, bolt-on accessories or whatever someone may want done to their “toy” might be a nice stress-free and cool side job.
Do small engine repair, this is great since again most people don’t need small engines back the next day and it probably does not conflict with your day job. Working on mowers, dirt bikes, motorcycles, generators, 4 wheelers, side by side, or whatever else that has a small motor and can easily be fixed in your garage may be ideal.
Marine mechanic, working on boats, jet skis and other marine motors is a high demand and lucrative income. I remember when I had my boat all of the boat shops in the area where booked weeks in advance and very few mechanics would come to your location if your boat was in the water. One gentleman specialized in working in one boating community alone just because he came to the customer and was able to repair most things right at the dock behind their house. He worked by word of mouth only and was busy year round.
Motorhome repair, this one is a bit more to tackle but worth mentioning on the list. Working on motorhomes and campers is also a high demand specialty. RV dealers can be scheduled months out on work and many will not even work on units if the customer did not buy it there. Mobile RV mechanics often work on other systems as well as the drivetrain so having a well-rounded knowledge of an RV is important.
Chop shop, ok not an illegal chop shop but finding old cars people are willing to have you tow away for free is an awesome way to make some really easy stress free money. Place some ads on Craigslist or Facebook. Post some flyers and keep an eye out for old cars people may just want to get rid of. Tow the car to your location and take pictures of all the usable parts. Body panels, interior panels, seats, motor, everything that can be salvaged and reused then post those pictures on eBay. Once someone buys a part from you, (let’s say rear view mirror on a 95 Honda Civic which is currently selling for $44.95 including shipping.) you walk out to the car remove the mirror, put it in a well-packaged box and ship it out. Once you have sold enough parts from the car, cash in the body at the scrap yard for a few more bucks and move on the next one. As long as you have a place to keep the old cars for a couple of months while you part them out this is an awesome side hustle.
Become a Car Inspector, people are nervous about buying used cars via private party sales. Perhaps offering a car inspection service is a great way to get paid and do very little work. A car shopper could hire you to come along and look over their potential purchase, do a basic diagnostic, test drive and visual once-over to help them negotiate the best price, be sure to have them sign a waiver that you are not warranting the car and this is just your opinion.
Flip cars, in the state of Florida you can sell 3 cars a year before you become a dealer, so find great “mechanic specials” and fix them up for resale. Connect with someone who has a dealer’s license and gain access to the auctions. You could even just drive the car for 3-6 months and sell it at a break-even to eliminate your personal car expense.
Car detailing, detailing cars on the side is another easy way to make some good money. Perhaps even your current employer would allow you to market to his customers as a side hustle.
Partner with small car lots and work on their cars on the side making them ready for sale. Small dealers usually do not have the money to keep a mechanic on staff and have lots of little projects to make used cars look and run better.
I’m sure I’m missing some other great ideas and I will update this list as they come to me, but I just want to stress again that you do not want to jeopardize your day job or become liable for faulty repairs so be sure to use common sense and if your business grows beyond friends and family invest in the proper insurance. In today’s economy, we all need to look for ways to produce multiple streams of income. You never know when your current employer can lay you off, sell the business, or you may have a bad day and get fired.