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Would you use this?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Staz, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jul 24, 2007]
    My dad and I were talking the other day about opening a garage in our town which consists of 4 bays each with a lift and a small shop attached.

    The idea is for those of us that like to work on our own cars (the boy racers would probably be the biggest users) you can bring your car in and pay by the hour or a discounted by the day price and get cracking. Obviously not so many people have the facilities themselves to do this. Also I suggested you could rent tools in a similar way or bring your own.

    For example if you just wanted to change your wheels round for equal wear you pay for an hour, put it up on the lift and do it quick and easy instead of getting out the spare and doing it one at a time.

    Or a boy racer may be doing a big project on his car and may want it in there for a week, then in the evenings he can stay til late working away.

    There's obviously a lot more to it and many different ways of going about it. As a bit of market research how many of you would actually use this for self servicing or mods? And what facilities would you expect or require?

    Thanks in advance
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  3. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jul 24, 2007]
    It's an excellent idea, but I'm sure health & safety legislation would make it impossible. Thanks claims direct, you parasitic wankers!
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  4. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jul 24, 2007]
    Yeah that was an obvious first issue we discussed. You'd have to have first aid trained staff of course, and no doubt an induction briefing for new customers explaining fire and safety point. Especially if there's any mechanical equipment. It'd be a lot to work out for sure.
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  5. Beerzo
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    Beerzo Masa'warty 3200... Talk To Me!

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    [Jul 24, 2007]
    I would also have a waver signed by all people entering the garage that all work they undertake is done so at their own risk.
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  6. petewon
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    petewon Member

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    [Jul 24, 2007]
    Excelent idea, I would deffo use this if it was avialable.
    #5
  7. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jul 24, 2007]
    For sure

    What would you use it for specifically pete? If you don't mind me asking
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  8. batwad
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    batwad Member

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    [Jul 24, 2007]
    I think it's a great idea. Tool hire shops have been renting out tools that could do a lot of damage to people for ages so don't let the Health and Safety Brigade put you off!
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  9. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jul 24, 2007]
    Never thought of that! Durr lol
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  10. petewon
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    petewon Member

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    [Jul 24, 2007]
    Well Ive just been thinking about that and owning most of my own tools I need to do odd jobs around the car, my main use for it would be to use ramps. I can do most of the stuff above the car myself but not being an experienced meachanic I never feel too safe under axel stands.

    For example I had a new DV fitted recently and although I could have done the job myself in 5 minutes I had to pay a garrage to do the job for me beacuse I didnt have access to the underneath of the car. Its not just the money saving thing, its a lot more to do with the pleasure of doing it yourself.

    Generaly though I think its a great idea, I bet theres loads of folk out there who would love to have a tinker with their car but just dont have the kit.
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  11. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jul 24, 2007]
    Yes, but not on their property. It's a whole different ballgame when you are providing a service to people on your own property, using your equipment. i.e. what if your ramp failed and killed someone, or they failed to use the ramp properly and the same thing happened, how would you prove it was their incompetance rather than equipment failure. This is why tyre fitters and garages don't like you wandering around under your car, a they are not insured. You'd need everyone to sign a waiver similar to a track day so they would not be able to sue you.
    I'm not saying it's right, just that it is a minefield.
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  12. Beerzo
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    Beerzo Masa'warty 3200... Talk To Me!

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    [Jul 24, 2007]
    There is loads of stuff that people could do from oil chages to exhuast changes there are loads of jobs that people could do themselves but just dont have a place.
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  13. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [Jul 24, 2007]
    Great idea but everything Andymac says is bang on!

    You will probs have a massive insurance policy!

    Dont let this put you off though crack on!!!
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  14. enda1
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    enda1 Member

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    [Jul 24, 2007]
    Its a great way to check out a car if your buying second hand. Get the owner to take it along and put it up on the ramps and have a good look underneath to check for nasty surprises.
    If I was using it I'd do all my oil changes as getting the under shield off is a pain in the arse. Also great to give the car a once over before mot etc
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  15. shineydave
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    shineydave Member

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    [Jul 24, 2007]
    to be honest i don't think signing a waiver would be the answer because there's certain responsibilities you would have in law that you can't simply sign away. for example, you can put a sign up saying fragile roof but if someone decides to try to climb up on it and falls through you are still responsible for their injuries. the H&S side of it is a minefield. the way around it is to ensure everyone is given a comprehensive induction stating what they can and can't do then ensure they follow the rules. that leads you in to written procedures for all tasks that might be carried out.

    then you also need stuff like risk assessments and method statements for all jobs undertaken on your premises, you have environmental responsibilities that dictate that waste is disposed of correctly, COSHH assessments for all substances employed, fire risk assessments, lifting tackle assesments and certification and then if you're allowing people to bring their own equipment onto your site you have a legal obligation to ensure that those tools are fit for purpose under PUWER regulations which might mean you have to carry out PAT testing on electrical equipment for example.

    that said it's a good idea and i think it's been tried before in the UK, i'm fairly certain there was a similar facility in Bradford donkeys years ago, why it never caught on is beyond me although i suspect that as we got further into bed with Europe the rules and regulations would have made it pretty paperwork intensive.
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  16. TDI-line
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    TDI-line Uber Post Whore

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    [Jul 24, 2007]
    Nice idea, until some one pratts about and drops the car lift on his pal.
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  17. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [Jul 24, 2007]
    Someone tred this in Aberdeen...giving people the ability to hire a ramp by the hour, day etc...
    Sounded a great idea...

    But it only lasted a matter of weeks. A real shame really...
    I'm not sure why it never took off.
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  18. Just Plain Old
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    Just Plain Old Active Member

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    [Jul 24, 2007]
    Sounds a good idea, but taking all the above into account the cost of buying the ramps, premises, tools, insurance etc. I bet the hourly rate would come out quite high......?? In fact it may be so high that it becomes economically unviable. I.e. if it comes out at say £40 per hour, it may be cheaper to pay a garage to change your oil??

    I would do your sums first to determine what the hourly rate would have to be, then a bit of market reasearch to see how many people would be prepared to pay it.

    Good luck.
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  19. unkle
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    unkle Beer God

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    [Jul 24, 2007]
    Might be worth doing away with a couple of the ramps and fitting a rolling road, would probably get just as much custom through that as the ramps put together... IMO.

    (I have no idea how much r/r's and ramps cost btw...)
    #18
  20. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jul 24, 2007]
    Thanks for all the input so far guys. Keep it coming though. This is part of the market research.

    On the remarks of costs it'd be as cheap as possible of course and money could be made elsewhere on site. You've got me all thinking though certainly.

    And yes waivers are the only real way to ensure my ass is covered!
    #19
  21. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [Jul 24, 2007]
    I think it's a brilliant idea. With my nice reliable Sportback there's not much chance of me taking it to bits, but years ago when I used to run around in old Fords there were several times I considered an engine swap or reshell, but only having a driveway with no garage (and only basic tools) it was never gonna happen.

    Another advantage is that if you got stuck while working on your car, perhaps a stubborn bolt or you're not sure how to remove a component, you'll be surrounded by likeminded people who may be willing to help out. Alternatively, you could even consider staffing the garage to assist customers perhaps, if there was enough money.
    #20
  22. motorbikez
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    motorbikez Active Member

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    [Jul 24, 2007]
    Keep tight control of your costs crucial to sucess.
    About 20 years ago a franchise called Rent a Bay set up in the town I was living in at he time.It lasted for about 2 years and the guy went bancrupt I dont know why maybe he was a **** businesman,borrowed too much money, wrong location,or franchisor was taking too much in royalties.

    Heres a couple of pointers for you, look out for garages that are closing down and offer to purchase any ramps or equipment you need offer NO more than 20% of new purchase price.Look at engineering auctions and local engineers that are closing or have gone bust you can pick up allsorts for next to nothing and you'd be supprised at the prices for stuff that may have cost 10s thousands can be if you are lucky picked up for a few hundred. See if there are any franchises similar to what you are wanting to do and pump them for info DO NOT take a franchise as they will rob you blind. best of luck.
    #21
  23. Les 51
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    Les 51 A pint of Diesel please!

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    [Jul 24, 2007]
    It's a good idea I could get quite a bit more done on my old Lancia if I had a ramp! It couild do with a new exhaust atm. I do think the costs would be quite high though. I an only assume Ramps are quite expensive to buy. I would definately check what the insurance companies would say first though.

    What Motobikez says is true, Engineering companies have lots of small tools that sell for next to nothing in auctions so check them out.
    #22
  24. batwad
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    batwad Member

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    [Jul 25, 2007]
    Have you tried canvassing classic car forums? I'd have thought they'd be the sort that would most likely go for it.

    Oh, and get yourself on Dragon's Den when you need some cash :)
    #23

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