How to Start a Car Inspection Business. If you are handy with cars, a car inspection service is a great small business idea. The Internet has made buying a used or new car easy. But who wants to buy a car without first inspecting it? This is where a car inspection service comes in handy. Follow the steps below to start your own car inspection business.
Register the business with city, state and federal agencies. Check with your state for any special certification requirements.
Advertise your business. Consider placing magnetic signs on your vehicle doors or using stick-on vinyl letters on your windows.
Generate a price list. Call the competition to see what they charge.
Generate a used and new car inspection checklist based on official local guidelines.
Set up a website that allows users to book and pay for your services online. Avoid spending too much for a website. Search the Internet for the best design and hosting deals.
Visit local car dealers and leave them your business card. Offer to provide their logo on your website in exchange for referrals.
Team up with a local car repair shop. Ask them to provide free timely estimates in exchange for referrals and placing their logo on your website.
Operate a Car Inspection Business
Receive request form with car description, vehicle identification number (VIN), location and details from customer via website, phone or fax.
Charge the customer for your inspection service. Set time and date of inspection service with customer.
Check the VIN by visiting the "Is It a Lemon" website (see Resources below). Click on the "Get Free VIN check" link from the left menu. Type in the VIN given to you by customer or dealer and press the "Get summary!" button.
Print the summary and attach it to your vehicle checklist. Look for accidents or salvage title and report results on your inspection checklist. Offer this service free of charge.
Perform the new or used car inspection, using the checklist and adding additional comments as needed. Sign and date inspection form. If the car needs repairs ask a car repair shop to provide a free estimate.
Give the checklist to the customer along with an estimate--if repairs are needed.
Provide quick service with a smile. Offer a flat fee for a complete inspection that includes VIN report and repair estimates.