The legal requirements for opening a garage in the UK

The legal requirements for opening a garage uk. Starting a garage in the United Kingdom can be a lucrative and fulfilling business opportunity, but it is important to understand the legal requirements involved. This blog post outlines the key steps you need to take in order to comply with UK law and operate a safe and successful garage.

  1. Register your business: The first step in setting up a garage is to register your business with the relevant authorities. This typically involves registering with Companies House, obtaining a business tax ID, and registering for VAT if applicable.
  2. Obtain necessary licenses: Depending on the type of work you will be doing at your garage, you may need to obtain specific licenses and certifications. For example, if you will be working on vehicles, you will need to become an approved MOT (Ministry of Transport) testing station.
  3. Comply with health and safety regulations: It is essential to ensure that your garage meets all necessary health and safety regulations to protect both your employees and customers. This includes having appropriate fire safety measures, proper ventilation, and ensuring that all equipment is well maintained.
  4. Obtain insurance: To protect yourself and your business, it is important to obtain appropriate insurance coverage. This may include liability insurance, employers’ liability insurance, and motor trade insurance.
  5. Register for environmental protection: If your garage is likely to generate waste, you will need to register with the relevant environmental protection agency and ensure that you are properly disposing of waste in accordance with the law.
  6. Maintain accurate records: To ensure that you are complying with all relevant regulations, it is important to keep accurate records of all transactions and activities at your garage. This includes keeping records of all work carried out, as well as invoices, receipts, and other financial records.

By following these steps and complying with the necessary legal requirements, you can set up a safe, successful, and legally compliant garage in the UK. It is important to seek advice from a legal professional or trade association if you are unsure about any aspect of the process.

Is Opening a Garage in the UK a Good Business Idea

Opening a garage in the United Kingdom can be a good business idea for those with the right skills, knowledge, and resources. However, like any business, there are pros and cons to consider before starting a garage.


  • High demand: The demand for vehicle repair and maintenance services is consistently high in the UK, which can provide a steady stream of business for a garage.
  • Potential for high profits: If you run an efficient and well-managed garage, you have the potential to make substantial profits from your services.
  • Room for growth: There is potential to grow your garage over time by expanding the range of services you offer, such as selling parts and accessories, or adding a MOT testing station.


  • High start-up costs: Starting a garage can be expensive, with costs including equipment, tools, insurance, and rent for a physical location.
  • Competition: There is a lot of competition in the garage industry, and it can be difficult to stand out from other garages in your area.
  • Technical skills required: Running a garage requires a good understanding of vehicles and how they work, as well as the ability to diagnose and repair problems.

Ultimately, whether opening a garage in the UK is a good business idea depends on your personal skills, resources, and goals. It’s important to carefully consider the potential risks and rewards before investing time and money into this venture. Additionally, it’s recommended to conduct market research, create a business plan, and seek advice from experienced professionals to ensure the best chance of success.

Do You Need A Licence to Open a Garage in the UK

Yes, you need a licence to open a garage in the UK. There are different types of licences you may need depending on the services you plan to offer, but some common licences include:

  • Vehicle Repairer’s Licence: If you plan to carry out vehicle repairs, you need a Vehicle Repairer’s Licence from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA).
  • MOT Testing Station Licence: If you plan to offer MOT testing services, you need an MOT Testing Station Licence from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
  • Trading Standards Approval: You may need approval from your local Trading Standards Office if you plan to sell goods or services to the public.

In addition to licences, you also need to comply with various regulations and standards, including health and safety, environmental, and fire safety regulations. It’s important to research and understand all the legal requirements for opening a garage in the UK, and to seek advice from experienced professionals if necessary.

Do You Need a Licence to Sell Petrol in the UK

Yes, you need a licence to sell petrol in the UK. The licence is issued by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and is called a HMRC Hydrocarbon Oils Duty (HOD) Licence. The HOD Licence allows you to store and sell petroleum products, including unleaded and diesel fuel, without incurring tax. The licence also allows you to claim back the tax you have paid on the products you have purchased for resale.

In order to apply for an HOD Licence, you must meet certain eligibility criteria and provide information such as your business name and location, details of the storage facilities you will use, and details of the type of products you will sell. The application process can take several weeks to complete, so it’s important to plan ahead and allow enough time to obtain the licence before you start selling petrol.

In addition to the HOD Licence, you may also need to obtain other licences and approvals, such as planning permission for the storage facilities, environmental permits, and fire safety certificates. You should also make sure that you comply with all relevant health and safety regulations when handling and storing petrol and petroleum products.

Read more, we’ve written an article on opening a garage in the UK which you can find here.