Rent a garage, work on your own car
Every car enthusiast wants a bigger garage, so how about renting one?
THE PRINCIPLE behind Your Garage is simple. Many people want to work on their cars, but lack the space and tools to do so, and most rental agreements specifically exclude people working on their cars. So, why not rent by the hour? Practical Motoring dropped in on the official opening day in Melbourne to have a chat with founder/owner Keith Flanagan, a long-term motorsports enthusiast and competitor.
Keith got the idea “about five years ago from a mate in the UK, where these things are well established”. Maybe because the UK has a lot less space than we do, but even so not many people can spare the space or cash to put in a four-tonne hoist. There’s three at Your Garage, plus a fabrication area, and two servicing bays. Every renter gets a set of basic tools – spanners, sockets, pliers and the like – plus access to power, air and a workbench. There are also other specialist tools available for hire such as timing lights, spark testers and ball joint separators. The fabrication area has a drill press, welders, 12t press, engine crane and bench grinder.
Bookings are for a minimum of an hour and up to a day, although Keith said “it would be no problem to leave a car overnight”. There’s also a car trailer for hire.
Aside from amateurs working on their car, professionals can use the facilities too, for example for overflow jobs or mobile mechanics needing access to a hoist. There is a professional mechanical shop close by, and a deal has been struck in case anyone needs assistance.
So Your Garage is a nice idea, but how will it work in practice? What if that one-hour job turns into something a bit longer, as has often been the case? Looks like the guys will be flexible about timing as far as they can, but if there’s cars waiting who have booked they take priority.
Insurance doesn’t cover your car, you break it, that’s on you, but there is full public liability insurance. Only staff are allowed to operate the hoists.
Aside from working on your car in the fabrication area is of interest, and that can be rented separately to the servicing areas. Not everyone needs a welder all the time, or a drill press, or has the space to make what they want to. Might be easier to nick down to a place like this, use the tools, and go back rather than spend hours bodging up a workaround.
It looks like Your Garage is in the early stages of forming an “ecosystem” as Keith puts it, all designed around people that want to work on, or around their cars. We wish them all the best.