Love cars and want to make money in your own auto-related business?
Yes, then check out my list of the best automobile business ideas to get you on the road to entrepreneurial riches. Vroom Vroom!
Best Automobile Business Ideas to Start in Your Garage
Buying and selling
The American automotive market is the largest in the world with $545 billion dollars spent annually. Every year, over 5 million automobiles are bought in the United States representing a great opportunity for car-related businesses of all sizes.
Car Dealership: New or Used
Selling cars can be very profitable and enjoyable. To stand out from your competition find a specialty niche. A client of mine makes a fortune selling used cars to students in his university town.
Private Car Sales
You can also buy and sell auto without a dealership or car lot, by using online and newspaper classified ads. A friend of mine funded both of his son’s college education this way. Brush up on your negotiation skills and start small then reinvest profits to increase your vehicle inventory.
Car Buying Agent
Car collectors hire knowledgeable buying agents to find rare, coveted vehicles to add to their collection. Use your passion and specialized auto knowledge to profit from this service.
Exotic car buyers are not the only type of people who hire buying agents, families looking for RV, hikers searching for off-road vehicles, and business fleet managers could be your customers.
My brother buys and holds certain car makes and models as long-term investments – just as other people buy coins or gold. He is extremely knowledgeable about market trends and values and loves his work.
Car rentals are a $92 billion dollar industry and rental at all levels of the market are needed. If your area has a tourist population, transients, or students it could be an excellent business opportunity for you.
Automobile Builds, Customizing, and Designing
If you are artistically inclined you could design cars, car wraps, websites about cars, auto magazines or automobile paint schemes.
Also, check out my list of the best art business ideas here
Car Accesories: Invention and Retail
Fortunes have been made inventing cool car accessories. Use your imagination and look for niches to develop new products. Accessories for speed, technology, decor, and sound systems are most popular.
Know that you don’t necessarily need to invent a new product to make money – you could retail (online or in-store, or at car shows), install or review available auto accessory products.
Car Customizing: Looks and Function
Billions of dollars are spent annually on car customizing from speed upgrades to electric conversions. Carve out a market for ourself with a special and unique type of customization products and services. Read more about trends in the automobile aftermarket here
Car Repair and Maintenance
Auto Repair Shop Mechanic
Car mechanics are amongst the highest paid tradesman in America according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is an essential and evergreen service that is always in demand.
If you have the skills and education you can set up your own mechanic shop. Study your local demographics and the existing competition to determine the type of shop you will open – standard repair, foreign cars or specialties such as radiators, tire, or transmission.
Auto detailers are in demand for car dealerships, business fleet managers, individuals, and auto body shops.
This can be a perfect mobile business (check out my list of the best mobile business ideas here). So you don’t need to spend rent on a garage space – reducing expenses and increasing your profits!
Mobile Car Wash
Launch a mobile car wash service. You go to your client’s home or business and wash their cars. You could offer an environmentally friendly green cleaning service. If you are interested in green business ideas check out my list of the most profitable here
Painting and Auto Body
Auto body repair and painting are always in demand. Sometimes you can get insurance work or it can be more profitable to do private clients work on late model autos, antique, or vintage car restorations.
Add to your services and bottom line by offering pin striping, decals, car wraps, and specialty paint jobs.
If you are handy and love bringing back old cars to their former glory consider opening an auto restoration garage. Each project has a history and can yield many days of profitable and fulfilling work. My husband owned such a shop and loved it!
Get inspiration for your car business from my list of catchy auto business names here
If you have warehouse space or empty land you could rent storage space for cars, trucks, and RVs (boats and planes too!). Check out my other business ideas for raw land here.
Parking Lot – Inside and Outside
If you own or can lease land, or an urban area warehouse considers starting a parking lot business. Increase your profits by offering valet pick up service to busy executives and tourists. Consider partnering with a car rental company to further expand your services and profits.
Automobile Art, Events and Entertainment
Now let’s revew the ways you play with cars and make money. Sounds like a dream come true? Check out these auto businesses in events and entertainment.
Car Art – Automobile Artist
If you are an artist you could create art prominently featuring cars and sell your work at car shows. My husband who loves Volkswagens owns a full collection of such original paintings and drawings. Like the one below selling on eBay.
Or you could offer to do a vehicle portrait of a collectors prize auto – paint (or photograph). Alternatively, you could sell advertising art of vintage vehicles online or at car shows.
There is a need for automobile photographers, who know how to best light, style, and shoot vehicles for car dealership ads, private cars for ad listings, auto journalism and online review sites.
If you want to make money with your camera, check out my best list of photography business ideas here
Car Club events and Rallies
If you are good at organizing events, you could sponsor events such as car club outings, rally races and meetups. Make money by charging for tickets, vehicle entries, ads from local businesses, and merchandise such as T-shirts and hats.
Car Shows & Flea Markets
Millions of dollars are made annually by automotive entrepreneurs at car shows and flea markets nationwide. It is relatively cheap and easy to begin selling car memorabilia, auto accessories, and car parts at an existing show.
Or, go big and set up your own car show and profit from exhibitor booth fees, visitor entry tickets and a food concession rents. Here’s how to launch your own car show for fun and profit from the experts at The Shop.
If you have access to (you don’t necessarily need to own them) interesting cars that are exotic, vintage, or antique cars then seriously consider creating a car museum.
Make money with ticket sales, tours, and museum rental for special events and photoshoots.
Car Model Kits
Car models go beyond mere children’s toys to the historically accurate reproduction of specific model cars and can include remote cars also.
Hobby enthusiasts spend big bucks on buying, fixing, and racing their models opening up lots of business opportunities for auto entrepreneurs.
Vehicle Driving Business Ideas
Shipping and Trucking
Goods need to be developed across town or across the country. Set up a trucking business or consider becoming a trucker. Check out my checklist for your trucking startup
Sadly cars break down. Happily, you can start a tow truck business to make money and help stranded motorists. Partner with the auto body shop and local law enforcement for referrals.
If you know how to drive a race car then profit by driving for a team or business. Or you could use your auto racing skills to train others on how to race cars or become better everyday defensive drivers.
Autos themselves need to be delivered to auto dealerships, second homeowners, cross country movers and students. Learn how to start your own auto transportation business from Wikihow
Think about becoming a driving instructor for students, seniors, defensive driving classes, insurance premiums reduction, or speed racing enthusiasts.
Car Maintenance Education
Another area of needed education is general car maintenance and simple repairs. Think about teaching a class to the auto-clueless (like myself!) on how to maintain their cars and do simple repairs.
Automobile Travel Tours
Drive your car, van, or bus and offer tours of local attractions, farms, or shopping excursions. I live in an area filled with small wineries and many local entrepreneurs profit from their small-scale driving tours featuring wine tastings.
Start a bus service for hire such as a party bus, or for church outings, school field trips or business events.
If you like driving – make money doing it! You can start right away with your own car at Uber then expand into taxi and limos.
Car-related Management Businesses
If you have business and management skills use them for fleet management, shipping, logistics scheduling, or auto insurance marketing.
Vehicle Registration Assistance
Start a business service of navigating the difficult and often maddening world of the DMV Department of Motor Vehicles. You could work for car dealerships or individuals who are too busy to stand in line and get their cars properly registered.
I hope you got inspiration from this list of automobile business ideas. Now it is up to you to take the next step.
I made it easy by including resource links throughout the article. Click on the resources for the ideas that interest you most to continue your search for the best automobile business idea to launch your new company.
Good luck my fellow entrepreneurs.
Check out my guide on how to start your business right with tons of useful tips I learned by successfully starting, building, and selling multiple companies.