Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Car Bodyshop Business in the United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, there is at least one car per household, totaling over 32.69 million registered vehicles in the country. Furthermore, the number of cars increased by nearly five percent, under five years from 2015 to 2020. This presents a lot of opportunity for those planning on starting a car Bodyshop business.
Let 3E Accounting United Kingdom help you with this venture and allow this article to be a guide to company registration. Allow us to provide you with the basic information you need before throwing your hat into the ring.
What is a Car Bodyshop Business?
Before starting a car Bodyshop business, equip yourselves with the must-knows of the industry. A car Bodyshop provides a variety of services for vehicle owners. These include the following:
- repair for damages arising from car accidents
- respraying of the whole car body
- modifying some of the car fittings
Please note that the car BodyshopBodyshop industry is a very competitive environment. When starting a car Bodyshop business, remember that there are other sources for body repair services as well. These are your competitors, and you have to watch out for them.
They are the following:
- workshops owned by insurance companies
- independent businesses such as sole traders and large industrial units
- motor dealers
- secondhand dealers
- breaker yards with services in panel and glass replacement
As a tip, it is imperative for you to differentiate your business from others. You must address this when finalizing your business plan, apart from worrying about company incorporation services in United Kingdom. As they say, you have to stand out and build yourself a robust customer base.
Attracting Customers to Your Business
When starting a car Bodyshop business, you have a profit target in mind. You can achieve this, as mentioned, by bringing in customers and retaining them thereafter.
With this, it is necessary to know the demands and needs of your potential customers. You can do this by conducting a survey or by simply consulting with car owners and car dealers in your area. Here are some of the things you should find out:
- demand for paint-spraying services
- usually replaced car parts, including glass, lights, and bumpers
- quality standards scheme
- demand for other services such as upholstery repairs and replacement of a convertible roof
- usual rates per service
- opening hours when customer traffic is anticipated
Finalizing Your Menu of Services
You have to be specific with the services you want to offer when starting a car Bodyshop business. Many decide to venture into accident repairs as demand for such is high. Accident repairs may include the following:
- respraying a scratched portion of the car body
- straightening the body shell with hydraulic jigs
- repair of corroded portions of older vehicles
- paint spraying for restoration of old car bodies
- steering and suspension repairs
Offering Specialist Services
Before you consult with your United Kingdom corporate service provider about the technical side of the business, you have to do your market research first to have more perspective. Doing so can reveal the market gaps you can fill by providing specialist service.
With this, you have to consider the location of your Bodyshop and your potential target market. These will help you determine what kind and how many types of services your business offers.
In general, considering specialist services is a proven way of differentiating yourself from other competitors. In addition, providing a niche service can give you that extra competitive advantage, allowing you to sustain your business in the long run. Great examples of these are classic car restoration and car modification.
- Classic car restoration. There is a great demand for classic cars in different models in the UK. With this, restoration services are a lucrative scene, with car bodyshops going through a long waiting list for customers’ cars to get restored. Please note, however, this requires special skills, making training a must for your employees. In addition, working on a restoration process may take a longer time compared to other regular services.
- Car modification. In the UK, modifying cars is popular nowadays. With this, you can offer to fit body kits, spoilers, and other modifications. Many younger drivers are also keen on specialized paint jobs so they can personalize their vehicles. So you can join the bandwagon and earn more out of it.
Other Services Worth Considering
You might also want to consider these additional services when starting a car Bodyshop business. It cannot hurt to provide as long as these are profitable and within your working capital.
- car valeting
- fitting tow bars
- upholstery and interior trim repairs
- accident recovery service
- courtesy car while the clients’ cars undergo repair
Registration For Your Business
When starting a car Bodyshop business, you also have to take into consideration the legal aspects. You would not want your business to be shut down because you do not have the necessary permits. Worse, a legal suit might be lodged against you if you are not following the law.
Keep in mind that you have to register your business with the authorities. You register with the UK Companies House when setting up your limited company. A limited company refers to a business structure where the entity is separate from the owners.
Take note of the following when registering your limited company:
- choosing a unique business name
- registering the name as a trademark
- company location should be in the UK
- appointment of at least one director
Securing the Necessary Licenses
To operate your car Bodyshop, you may also need to secure additional licenses. These, in a way, give your business more credibility. As a result, customers can easily have some confidence in your business. Here are some of the licenses you need to apply for:
- Pollution control. The Pollution Control Legislation mandates all businesses involved in car refinishing activities, such as car bodyshops, to have an environmental permit or a pollution prevention and control permit. You can secure this via local councils in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. You have to comply with the requirements and conditions for equipment and procedures to be granted such a permit. Receiving one means your business premises will be subject to regular inspections.
- Waste. As a mobile bodywork repair service provider, you must register as a lower-tier waste carrier or even a professional collector or transporter of waste. The registration, which requires no charge, is processed by the Environment Agency in England, Natural Resources Wales, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. If you are producing 500 kilograms or more of hazardous waste in Wales in a 12-month period, you should register with the authorities as a hazardous waste producer.
- Vehicle Identity Check. A car, which is either damaged because of accidents or substantially repaired and is written off, should undergo a vehicle identity check before being allowed to be driven again. Vehicle identity checks can be done via the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency in Great Britain or the Driver and Vehicle Agency in Northern Ireland.
Professional Help For Your Business Today
As discussed, starting a car Bodyshop business requires a lot of effort. You might need assistance from a trusted and knowledgeable corporate service provider. Contact 3E Accounting today, and we can help you right away. We offer different services, including accounting, business advisory, and taxation.