Can You Rent a Garage to Work on a Car?

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Needing to work on your car but not having an available garage is a problem for many people, especially if you live in an apartment. 

While DIY garages exist, they’re less common than you might think. 

Can you rent a garage to work on a car? 

In short, yes.

Note: In this article, we’re specifically talking about renting a repair garage for repairs or general maintenance on your vehicle.


Why Rent a Garage to Work on a Car?

There are a few good reasons, but a common answer is that you don’t have the space. 

You may live in an apartment or use your garage for other storage. 

Either way, you have a car you want to work on but don’t have the space or tools. 

You could do minor stuff in the auto store’s parking lot, but that won’t help if you need to do more extensive repairs. 

Plus, there’s no guarantee that everything will go well. You need to be conscious of any spills that could happen. You wouldn’t want to leave a puddle of oil at your regular auto parts store! 

Even if you own your own home, you may not want to damage your concrete floor. Even the best type of garage floor coating isn’t impervious to damage.

Sometimes you can find a garage that also has tools for rent. If you don’t have access to your own garage, it might be worth it to rent a repair garage that’s designed for pros. 

You might even learn how to better organize your tools. 

Renting tools is also a plus if you don’t work on cars regularly or for specialized jobs.

DIY garage rentals can provide the means to work on your car. You can use this rental space to work on your vehicle, learn about car maintenance, and meet other people with similar interests.

Usually, working at a DIY garage with other people offers the option to get tips and tricks without paying for a professional opinion. Likewise, you can share your knowledge and ideas with those around you.

In some instances, DIY garages act as an office for those making a business flipping cars who don’t yet have their own garage.


What Do Garage Rentals Offer?

DIY garage spaces offer a variety of ways to help you work on your car. Most garages consistently offer specialized car maintenance tools, like a car lift for garages and the room to work on your vehicle. 

One DIY garage in the California Bay Area offers a complete set of tools and equipment, including a tire alignment system. There’s also a professional staff on hand to help you through the tricky parts of car work.

DIY garage rentals offer a place to work on your car, store or rent tools, and professionals to assist if things don’t go as planned. 

If you rely on professional staff members’ help, expect to pay extra for their time and expertise. On the other hand, if it’s a garage with other clients, you may even be able to get help from other visitors if it’s a social enough community. 

Predictably, safety is a concern in places where customers can crawl under a couple of tons of metal. Most garages will have you sign a liability form or even a mandatory safety class garage renters must take before they begin. 

If you live in an apartment, you may need help to rent a garage to work on a car. This article shows you how.

How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Repair Garage?

So if you’re looking to save money on a quick project that you can do yourself, a DIY garage could be a good option (lacking your own tools and space).

Some garages charge per hour, while others offer a subscription-type fee to the garage every month.

For example, the same California shop mentioned above provides a monthly subscription fee based on how many hours a month you want to have access to the garage.

If you want to work on your project every weekend, it’ll cost more than reserving a time for a quick oil change once a month.

Here are a few different price factors:

  • Do you have all the tools, or will you rent tools? 
  • Does the garage offer tools? 
  • Will you do the work yourself, or will you need a trained technician to help you? 

Let’s use DIY Auto Repair Shop in Colorado as an example case to consider prices: 

  • Do It Yourself: $44.95 per hour

This price includes a professionally equipped space with specialized tools like a vehicle lift, pneumatic air tools, and fluid disposal.

  • Tech-Assisted Repairs: $71.95 per hour

This service includes all the benefits above with the addition of someone to help you through the tricky bits. 

  • We Repair It: $109.95 per hour

The business fixes it for you. 

This price range makes sense because the more they provide, the more you pay. 

In addition, the hourly rate works well if you’re just in for a quick fix, like an oil change. Some repairs are still cheaper than paying someone else, even counting the cost to rent a repair garage. 

Some garages charge significantly less per hour (in the $20 to $30 range) but don’t supply you with tools. If you find a garage with low pricing, contact the garage and find out what they provide for tools. You may need to bring your own. 

A lower-priced garage may be a good option if you have all the tools and need a dedicated space to work on your car.

Ultimately, it might be worth having all the special tools you need in one space in the garage you rent rather than at your house with a ramp and a piece of cardboard to lie on.

Make it easy on yourself to get the job done.


How Do You Find a Garage to Rent?

DIY garages exist, but they’re not as common as regular “we’ll fix it for you” garages, so you may have to do some digging online. 

Here are three places you can look to rent garage space to repair your car:

Option 1: DIY Auto Repair Shops and Garages

A DIY auto shop or garage operates on a simple premise: they offer garage bay rentals, usually charged by the hour or day. 

Depending on the location, they may offer tool rentals, vehicle lifts, or even on-site mechanics to assist if you’re in a bind.

If you’re working on your own project car, renting garage space in a DIY auto shop is a unique experience beyond anything available in your typical home garage. 

They provide a secure environment to focus on your work without distractions. There are typically other car owners around working on their vehicles, so there’s a sense of community that you won’t find in other places. 

The biggest benefit is that many DIY repair shops have experienced on-staff mechanics ready to guide you. 

All this comes at a price, however. 

DIY repair shops will be considerably more expensive than private garages or storage facilities, which we’ll discuss in the next section. These fees are influenced by things like location, duration, and the services they offer. 

You might need to book ahead at popular shops, and you’ll be expected to follow their rules and regulations. Finally, while the experience in DIY repair shops is usually top-notch, you’ll need to factor in the logistics of getting your vehicle to and from the facility.

Some notable DIY auto shops include:

  • DIY Auto Repair and Customization Shop (California)
  • DIY Auto (Colorado)
  • Wheatcraft LLC (Indiana)
  • DIY Garage (Iowa)
  • Gearhead Rent-A-Hoist (Michigan)
  • My Mechanic Place (Michigan)
  • Auto Shop DIY (Kansas)
  • Gearhead (Rhode Island)
  • Stew’s Self-Service Garage (Washington)

When considering a DIY auto shop or garage, start by doing some research online. User reviews and testimonials can provide invaluable insights into what to expect. 

Before reserving the garage, visit the shop’s website or call directly. This will provide up-to-date information about their rates, operational hours, and specific services. 

If you decide to go ahead, make reservations in advance, if possible. 

Option 2: Rent Private Garages

A few years ago, renting a private garage would have been much more difficult than it is today. Back then, your only option was renting space directly from homeowners.

These days, several online platforms have popped up that greatly expand our access to these services.  

Platforms like Neighbor or Sparefoot connect car owners needing garage space and garage owners with surplus space they’re willing to rent. 

Renting private garages for car repair has some unique benefits. It gives you more flexibility than the other methods we’ve discussed. You can choose a location, price, and rental duration that aligns closely with your needs. 

By renting privately, you’re also directly supporting local garage owners. Typically, you’ll rent an empty garage from a homeowner, and you’ll need to supply your own tools. However, some homeowners could be passionate about automobiles and willing to share their tools and expertise.  

That said, your experience hinges mainly on the reliability and availability of the property manager or garage owner. Issues like liability, potential damages, or theft can come into play. Always be aware of any insurance implications and any rental agreement terms.

Here are a few noteworthy platforms that cater to this niche:

  • Neighbor
  • SpareFoot
  • Spacer
  • LockUpGarages

Start with comprehensive research, looking into the listings in your area. These platforms usually have filters that let you sort based on factors like price, size, location, amenities, and even user reviews.

Once you find the perfect garage, reach out to the owners. Talking to the owner will help you understand the garage’s availability, any ground rules, and the owner’s expectations.

Make sure that they’ll allow you to work on your car in their garage. Some owners stipulate that their rentals will be for parking only – no maintenance. 

When you rent garage space, always use the platform’s secure channels for bookings and payments. 

Your role doesn’t end with booking. Maintain an open dialogue with the garage owner throughout your rental period. This can help address concerns before they escalate.

Option 3: Rent Storage Facilities

Our final option, which many car owners choose, is to rent a unit in a local storage facility. But what does this involve? 

Storage facilities have become extremely popular over the past decade, seemingly popping up on every street corner. They offer various sizes of storage units or spaces for rent, typically on a monthly basis. 

While their primary intent is for renting simple storage space, many also allow enthusiasts to rent garage space to repair their vehicles.

Storage facilities come with benefits that you won’t find in a typical private or DIY garage. 

Although you may be required to sign a contract, the monthly rental costs are usually considerably less expensive than private or DIY garages. This makes storage facilities a better option for long-term projects. 

Here are a few popular storage facilities that offer car storage:

  • Public Storage
  • Extra Space Storage
  • US Self Storage

Before choosing a storage unit, start with an online search. Most national brands have multiple storage facilities in most neighborhoods. These facilities are typically independently owned and operated, so they may offer different services based on the location. 

This will also help you compare prices, unit dimensions, amenities, and availability. 

Always physically visit prospective locations to look at the units and facility security firsthand. 


Wrapping It Up

Renting a space to work on your car can be challenging. But, as we’ve seen in this article, there are some great solutions to rent garage space to work on your car. 

These include a fully-equipped DIY garage, private garage space, or local storage facilities. 

No matter which you choose, you can find garage space to rent near you that will let you repair your car. All it takes is a mix of research, due diligence, and open communication. 

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Tim Wells

Tim Wells, the founder of Garage Transformed, has been featured in dozens of home renovation publications, including BobVila.com, Home Stratosphere, House Digest, Livingetc, and SFGate. Since 2018, he has helped over two million people transform their everyday garages into something they can be proud of. He lives in Central Florida with his wife and bulldog.

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