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How to Start a Garage Business in Kenya

Daisy Neema
Daisy Neema Kenyan SMEs

Starting a garage business in Kenya is an excellent idea if you have the skills. You will have the privilege of owning and managing your own business. It is a profitable venture if you know how to run one. Also, with the increase in the number of vehicles on roads, there has been high demand for car repair services. 

Many people in Kenya can now afford automobiles, making it necessary for mechanics to set up garage businesses. The automotive repair sector in Kenya is currently making huge profits for those in it.

Read also: How to start a car wash business. 

How to Start a Car Garage Business 

This is how to start and run a garage in Kenya.

Prepare an Auto Repair Business Plan

Like any other business, you will need to write a business plan. A business plan should list startup costs, opportunities, and how many customers you expect to serve in a day. It should also state the services the business will offering (specialized services such as tire repairs, or oil changes or all car repair services).

Read also: How to write a business plan.

The following are the items that you need to include in your auto garage business plan.

Garage Business Name

It is crucial to choose the right name for your car repair business. There are probably many vehicle repair services around, so it is important that you choose a unique name. The name should be simple, easy to remember, catchy and give a hint about the services you are offering.

You may also need to register your garage business. You can visit the eCitizen portal for online business registration.  

The Model and Scope of the Garage business

It is essential to define the model of your business when starting a car repair business. State whether your business is a sole proprietorship or partnership. 

You can decide whether to start a new venture or buy an already garage. This should be stated in the business plan. If it is starting a new business, then you need a list of items and tools you need. Some tools you need in a garage include spanners, tool box, tyre changer are important when starting.

Business Locations and Your Target Market

You will need to identify a suitable location for your car repair business. Locations with access to main roads or highways are excellent since they have a very high potential to attract customers. If your business is in a hidden location, customers might not spot it.

If you have a strained budget, you can start your car repair business from home and your initial customers can be your neighbors. With time, you can hire a place for your garage as the business grows. 

Read also: How to start a car hire business in Kenya. 

Car Repair Equipment and their Costs

Every business requires unique business equipment. You will need to include the equipment necessary to run the garage business and the respective costs in your business plan. State whether you will rent or buy new equipment. Other costs include rental costs, employees' salaries, business license, registration costs, and business insurance.

To start an average car repair business in Kenya, you need a capital investment of between Ksh 150,000 to 250,000. However, you can start small and grow your business. Alternatively, you can start by getting employed as a mechanic before starting your own garage. However, starting your own car repair business is better. 

Identify Your Source of Finances

You will need finances to start and run your car repair business. In your business plan, state your financial sources. You can get funding form a SACCO, bank friends or relatives. List your source of business funding in the business plan and state how you plan to repay.

Obtain Necessary Car Repair Business Licenses and Permits

For the smooth running, you will need to obtain auto repair business license and permit from the relevant authorities. You can obtain them from your county government offices or city council. Costs will depend on the size of the business. Alternatively, you can visit the Kenya Business Licensing Portal for online services.

Apply for Business Insurance

Getting insurance for your car repair business is essential. In case of an eventuality, you can get compensated for the losses. With a business insurance, you will be protected against damages to your property and clients' vehicles parked in your garage. An insurance can cover you against losses  due to theft, fire, or flooding.

Tips on How to Run a Garage Business in Kenya

The success of your auto repair business depends mainly on how best you will market it and your relationship with your customers. This is how you can run a successful car repair business.

Get Training and Experience

If you are working on your own business, you must acquire the necessary car repair and servicing skills. Many schools and especially Tvets in Kenya are offering Motor Vehicle Mechanic courses at pocket friendly prices. For a full mechanic course, charges are between Ksh 100,000 and 200,000.  

On the other hand, if your business will employ mechanics, ensure that they are qualified an honest. No client wants to take his vehicle to an quack mechanic. You need to know that technology keeps on changing and automobiles are being designed differently from earlier models.

Read also: How to start  a car dealership business.  

Offer Excellent Customer Service

Clients get to stick where they get the best customer service. This begins with how you will address customers. You should be able to explain to your clients the problem with their car and how you will fix it. It is good, to be honest to your customers.

Make Your Brand Known

Marketing your business is a sure way to get more customers. You can print eye-catching flyers and distribute them to potential clients or place them where they are can be seen by customers like in car parking lots. 

Consider Offering Mobile Car Repair Services

You can visiting your customers' homes for minor car repairs like tire change. Sometimes vehicles breakdown and they need to be repaired beside the road. In such cases, a mechanic needs to go to where the car is. If you can offer mobile car repair services, it  will be convenient for your customers. This way, they can stick to your repair services.

You do not have to charge your customers for each service you offer. For instance, if a customer comes for an engine repair, you can offer him free oil change. This is an indication that you care and the customer will come back.

Read also: How to start a boda boda business in Kenya.

Final Thoughts

Apart from repairing cars, you can offer other services like car washing to make an extra income and tap get more customers. Finally, the success of your car repair business will depend on your relationship with your customers, and your marketing strategies. Ultimately, running a garage business requires hard work and persistence.