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 your car?
In short, yes.
Note: In this article, we’re specifically talking about renting a garage to perform repairs or general maintenance on your vehicle. I have a separate article covering how to find cheap car storage in your area.
Why Rent a Garage to Work on Your Car?
There are a few good reasons, but a common answer is because you don’t have the space.
Maybe you live in an apartment, or your garage is used for other storage.
Either way, you’ve got 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 bigger 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!
Sometimes you can find the right garage that also has tools for rent. If you don’t have a garage of your own, it might be worth renting someplace designed for pros.
Heck, 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 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 also 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, 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’re relying on help from professional staff members, expect to pay a bit 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.
How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Garage?
So if you’re looking to save money on a quick project you know 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. 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 fluids 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—the more they provide, the more you pay.
In addition, the hourly rate works out 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 of renting the 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 just want a dedicated space to work on your car.
At the end of the day, it might be worth having all the special tools you need in one space in the garage that 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.
Unfortunately, there are only a handful of websites where garage owners and potential renters can meet. I’ve covered how to find a garage for rent in another article, but I’ll also list them here:
Another option is to search for “DIY garage” or “DIY auto shop” along with the name of your city. Of course, this will still bring up regular garages, so keep that in mind as you scroll through options.
Here are a few DIY garages to get you started. Take a look at what their services are to see if you can find something similar in your area (or if you’re lucky, one of these is in your city):
- 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 looking for a garage near you, it’s worth emphasizing that you may need to dig a little bit and go through a few pages of searches to find something near you. Self-serve garages like those listed above are niche, and there aren’t many around.