Setting up a motor trade business

the motor trade offers a realistic, attainable means of both becoming self-employed and earning more money - find out how to get involved

Our experts

Startups was founded over 20 years ago by a serial entrepreneur. Today, our expert team of writers, researchers, and editors work to provide our 4 million readers with useful tips and information, as well as running award-winning campaigns. Our site is governed by the Startups editorial manifesto.
Written and reviewed by:

Many people dream of being their own boss and running a successful business. In the current economic climate, huge numbers of the UK population are also looking for a secondary source of income, and the motor trade offers a realistic, attainable means of both becoming self-employed and earning more money.

Read our guide on the basic essentials you need to get started:

Initial capital and basic knowledge

In order to get on the first rung of the motor trading ladder, all that’s required is sufficient capital to purchase a first vehicle and an internet connection to advertise it for sale. Of course, some real knowledge of the motor industry is a prerequisite, and an understanding of vehicle mechanics coupled with a firm idea of vehicle values is essential for those serious about entering the motor trading business.

Getting all of this in place can take time for those with little experience inside the industry, although there are plenty of people who’ve served their time, perhaps as sales assistants in car dealerships, who now feel ready to take the plunge into the world of self-employment.

Adequate insurance

With knowledge and experience in place, the next step should be finding adequate motor trade insurance. It’s not just a necessity, it’s a legal requirement. There are insurance services available which can cover building and contents insurance, as well as public liability and other risk factors involved with running a business from home. Record keeping is a hugely important aspect of running a business.

Good, detailed records provide proof to insurers that trading has been taking place on the premises in the event of a claim. It’s wise to keep all forms of documentation such as sale receipts, logbooks, receipts for parts purchased and receipts for advertisements taken out – receipts for all costs essentially. In addition to this, all vehicles bought and sold must be added (and removed) from the Motor Insurance database by the trader.

Organisation and finances

Organisation is paramount when it comes to running a successful motor trading company. As explained earlier, it’s important to keep any documentation – and it’s also just as important to keep a diary. Day-to-day tasks which may seem menial can end up making colossal demands on valuable time, and planning a daily or weekly workload effectively via a work management diary can help keep things on an even keel.

In order to keep track of finances, it’s worthwhile for motor traders to set up a business bank account, transferring any wages into personal or current accounts. That way, it’s easy to keep track of any incomings and outgoings.

Self-employed motor traders also need to be aware of their responsibility to HMRC. Completing annual tax returns is a legal requirement, as is registering for VAT if yearly turnovers exceed £73,000. Again, this is where record keeping comes in handy, as proof of incomings, outgoings and net turnovers.

Ultimately, the best advice for people wishing to get started in the motor trade is simply to start trading. With insurers making it easy to sort out policies quickly and easily, it can be reasonably straightforward to get things up and running. The sooner a business is fully operational, the sooner the revenues will start coming in.

Written by:

Leave a comment

Leave a reply

We value your comments but kindly requests all posts are on topic, constructive and respectful. Please review our commenting policy.

Back to Top