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car lift bay for hourly rental

edited November -1 in Repair and Maintenance
As a frequent auto repair enthusiast, I miss having access to a car lift where I can take my car and work with my own tools. Are there lift bay rentals in the Boston suburbs?

Thank you
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Comments

  • edited March 2010
    Tom and Ray had such a venture many years ago as did many other places in other areas, but I imagine insurance companies of today would run screaming for the hills with their hands over their ears at the merest mention of such an idea.
  • edited March 2010
    They've mostly been done away with by the lawyers and Insurance Companies.
  • edited March 2010
    To make any money, the building owner would have to charge more that most DIYers would be willing to pay..
  • edited March 2010
    Apparently Tom & Ray discovered they were spending too much of their time helping customers reassemble their cars - just so they could get the car off the lift and out the door and get the next paying customer in.

    The idea was good on paper, but in practice it was far from profitable.
  • edited March 2010
    One of those types of places opened up near here about 20 years ago and only lasted 4 or 5 months.

    The big issue was that these DIYers would rent a stall thinking they could knock something out pretty quickly and as per the usual when it comes to automotive problems, discovered Murphy's Law takes hold pretty regularly. True back then and would be even more true now due to the vastly increased complexity of all cars.

    Throw in their lack of expertise on top of this and they would often spend more on stall rent than they would if they had just paid someone to do the repair in the first place.
  • edited March 2010

    Had NOTHING to do with Lawyers or the Insurance companies.

    Has EVERYTHING to do with no PROFIT. The cost of renting a bay would be almost as expensive as someone having a mechanic doing the work for them. If I had a place like that with lets say 10 bays (which would be HUGE). In order for me to cover my expenses and make a profit (lets say 50k/yr)....I'd have to have every single bay rented nearly 90% of the time at about $50/hr.
  • edited March 2010
    And the reason you would have to charge $50 per hour is to cover the liability insurance.
    It's ALL about lawyers and insurance in business. You're talking letting someone with unknown training and experience work on a 3000+ pound vehicle that is precariously perched above them with air tools and hand tools. It is a liability nightmare.
    Liability insurance and tort exposure in a high risk venture have EVERYTHING to do with making a profit.
  • edited March 2010
    And the reason you would have to charge $50 per hour is to cover the liability insurance.
    WRONG...Never even considered it. Sorry..but spend some time and do the Math...

    A simple 10 bay garage in the Boston (outside of the 495 belt) area can easily run you 10-20k PER month...If in Cambridge...try $40k/mo.

    Those lifts aren't cheap...Not to mention heating/water/damage...and there are LOTS of things I'm NOT including...Insurance is NOT of of them.

    I do know a guy in NH that does it. He's a mechanic with a 5 bay garage...He'll rent out 1-2 of the bays from time to time. But 90% of his income come from his business.
  • edited March 2010
    LOL.. "Never even considered liability and insurance" huh. You've OBVIOUSLY never run a business then. But then again, I don't operate in Boston or NH. Maybe they don't have lawyers there.......LOL!
  • edited March 2010
    They had one of these in Austin Tx in the 70's while I was in graduate school there. I used it several times, including getting lots of good advice from a mechanic who was also likely the owner. My guess is they didn't make a lot of money from folks who only took problems in they could handle, such as my wheel bearing repacks, starter motor changes, and so forth. The big money was in charging for mechanics' time when the owner got in over his/her head and needed to simply turn it over to a professional.
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