Is it Illegal to Repair Cars at Home? (auto repair at home law)

A friend of yours walks into your garage and spots you engaged with your car.You casually start chit-chatting and speak about how you’d love to modify your car right in your garage. But he immediately warns you about it being illegal. And then you ask, “wait, is it illegal to repair cars at home? 

Sadly, Yes, it’s illegal to repair cars at home without a business license. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do any repairs at home. Minor repairs are allowed to do. But you’re prohibited from doing any major repairs to your car. Obtaining a license will allow you to repair it fully. 

That’s just a tiny part of the whole concept. The answer to this question comes with a much more detailed report. So to understand it better, keep an eye on this article because I’ve explained everything in detail so you can get a better sight of the whole picture. 

can i Repair my Cars at Home? Is it Iegal or illegal?

As confusing as it may sound, it’s indeed unlawful to repair cars at home in some countries and states.

And it’s only normal to think how unfair it is that you can’t even do any repairs to your car yourself. However, it’s not restricted downright from doing repairs. 

You’re allowed to do small-scale repairs. But there are two types of repairs named:Major repair and Minor repair.

Out of the two types of repair, the restriction stands for only one category of repair– the Major Automobile Repair.

Although, the minor repairings include all kinds of small repairs that you’re free to carry out at your home. But the sad part is, it’s not only the type of repair that’s restricted. Along with major repairs, some other factors fall into the illegal section.

To give you a clear concept, here’s a list of things that make it illegal to repair cars at your home. 

1. Major Automobile Repair

As already stated above, you now know how major automobile repairs are illegal to perform. But, it’s crucial to know what major repair includes. So here are the repairs that fall into the category of this type of repair:

  • Removal of pans, heads, transmissions
  • Carrying motor transmissions
  • Overhauling or replacing of engines 
  • Replacing driving mechanisms
  • Repairing steering mechanisms and differential assemblies
  • Restoring or repairing any other major automotive parts
  • Automotive paint
  • Body and fender repair

As the mentioned variety of repairs is massive, it’s counted as illegal and restricted. That’s because executing these repairs needs a lot of space and gets noisy.

This action might cause trouble to the neighbors and even damage the environment for oil or grease discharge. 

Hence, why it’s illegal to do any repairs that are major at your home. 

2. Unlicensed Repair

If you’re unlicensed while performing major repairs at your home, it’ll be viewed as an offence. It’s illegal for anyone to do repairs unlicensed as it might affect the safety or performance of the vehicle. 

So if you don’t have a license, you can be sued by anyone if you’re carrying out any major repairs. 

The reason is that holding a license gives you the authority to carry heavy repairs. Having this certification works as proof that you’re eligible to perform heavy repair activity with full knowledge and safety. 

3. Tools for Major Repair

There are a set of tools to do any major repair. Without these tools, you won’t be able to do any of these repairs. So it’s illegal if anyone has possession of any foreign tools used for heavy repairing that aren’t usually seen in anybody’s house. 

Tools like that include transmission service tools, cooling system service tools, cutting machines along with programmers, etc. 

You’re not supposed to have these tools unless you’re able to perform major repairs. Not to mention– if you’re unlicensed! Hence, why it’s illegal. 

You might also like: Does My Car Have A Tracker? (How To Figure, Tracker Uses & Types)

Things to Consider While Repairing Cars at Home

Now that you know it’s illegal to perform any major repairs at your home, you might be thinking, can I fix cars at home at all? Can I repair anything in my car? Or is every repair illegal? 

Without a doubt, Yes! You can. Even though heavy repairs are illegal to do at your home, you’re free to do any minor repairs. Simple adjustments and small-scale repairs for automobiles fall into this category. 

However, there are some things you need to consider while repairing cars at home. They’re as follows: 

1. Determining Legality

Only some countries and states have the law of illegal automobile repairs at home. So, you must check out whether it’s illegal or not to repair cars in the country or state you’re living in right now. 

2. Performing Minor Repair

You’re allowed to do minor repairs to your car like changing oil or tires, replacing windshield wipers and headlights, mini-lube facilities, tune-ups, Automobile glass replacement, and other minor repairings usually done in service stations

Under no circumstances, you’re to carry out any repairs that include auto body or fender work that’s considered heavy repairs. 

3. Ensuring Comfort of Neighbors

When heavy repairings are performed in a garage, it tends to cause a lot of mess and gets noisy. A lot of discharge like grease, paint, and battery acid causes damage to the environment and might enter the neighbor’s properties. 

Therefore,doing this causes the neighbors to feel discomfort. And that’s why you must make sure that you’re not causing any trouble for others by doing minor repairs. 

4. Acceptable Tools 

Any tools that are made for minor repairs can be used at home. So before you do any repair to your car, make sure that the tools you’re using are appropriate and not suitable for any heavy repairings. 

5. Having Proper Knowledge 

Having the proper knowledge of automobile mechanics before you touch your car for repairs, always sounds like a good plan.That’s because having the proper familiarity with mechanics can ensure the safety of your vehicle by avoiding mistakes that might bring any damage. 

6. Issued License

It’s an obligation that the person who wants to do heavy repairs must be licensed to get legal permission.  With out a license, refrain from doing any heavy repairs as you might get charged anytime. 

Where Can I Fix My Cars?

Repairs can vary from basic tasks to complicated tasks. To restore damaged goods, this service needs to be done every once in a while.

So, it’s ideal if you go to a mechanic to fix your vehicles as he’s specifically trained and certified for this aspect. 

For maintenance, you can go to the dealership. But you don’t need to go to the place where you bought the vehicle from.

Luckily, there’s a lot of independent auto-repair shops or franchises where it’s a lot less expensive and will give you the right service. 

Why Should I Repair My Car to the Mechanic?

Of course, it sounds trouble-free and cost-efficient when you think of repairing your car at home. But most of the time, owners don’t have the tools or knowledge to fix the problem like a mechanic. 

You may mess up your car while doing repairs yourself. However, a mechanic is well trained and considered a professional in this line of work. 

Most mechanics do repairs at an affordable price. Like, it costs about $60-$80per hour. Whereas if it’s a skilled mechanic, it won’t take much time to repair your car– that too anywhere you want. They’re also licensed, which proves their eligibility for the job. You can trust them to get the repair done flawlessly. 

Besides, it’s always a better choice to take your car to the mechanic as the shops they work in are always stocked with the necessary diagnostic tools needed to do all kinds of repairs. 

Can a Mechanic Come to My House?

Even though it’s illegal to do certain repairs at home yourself, that doesn’t mean you’re restricted from calling a mechanic to your house. Now, you might ask, do mechanics travel

Fortunately, yes! Certain types of mobile mechanics can work in different locations. They don’t work permanently in a garage. And they can be often seen with a transport that can move vehicles from one place to another. 

If you’re ever facing a situation where it’s impossible to move your car to the mechanic’s shop, you can hire any mechanic who’ll repair your vehicle right in your garage. And this service is almost used everywhere. 

Attending repairs is a mechanic’s Job. So it doesn’t matter for a mechanic if a person wants to get their car repaired at home or shop. 

Is it Illegal to Repair Cars in California and Other States of the USA? 

For someone who loves to modify their car, can’t do an inch if they live in California.In, Sacramento, its illegal for DIY mechanics to work on their own vehicles let alone a modification.

This state has a Zoning map whichdevidesall of its lands into different zones with extreme regulations. And one of such regulations specifies how only minor repairs are allowed.

These repairs include: 

  • Small tune-ups 
  • Replacement of brake parts 
  • Changing oil or oil filter 
  • Flat tire repairs 
  • Lubrications

However, the number of things you can’t do compared to the things you can do is large. Some things are considered fully unlawful and illegal. So it’s illegal when:

  • Anyone permits others to engage, or engage in themselves, into minor repair or maintenance of agricultural, residential, and interim residential, and interim estate zones. 
  • Using tools that aren’t normally found in any residence.
  • Doing repairs on vehicles that are registered to people who currently don’t reside on the lot.
  • Repairs made in an enclosed garage and also repair on the vehicle that can’t be used for 24 hours. 

Such type of repairingsare completely shut down by this state and deemed illegal. Therefore, It’s better to refrain from these repairs as you can be sued anytime. 

And talking of other states, the law for repairing cars at home isn’t that strict as California. If you’re outside of California, you can chill out; but make sure to check if there’s any law at all that might concern you.

Is it Illegal to Repair Cars in the Streets of the UK? 

By doing auto-repairs yourself might seem like a good idea when you want to save money. But performing amateur mechanical work in the streets of the UK can have you fined any time. It can costyoufrom £2500- £5000 if you’re found guilty of the offence.

Without a proper license, you’re prohibited from committing any repairs on the streets. That’s because an unlicensed person is considered an amateur who isn’t eligible for performing any repairs.

In turn, they might end up damaging the car or the environment like spilling oil, splattered oil on the street, etc. 

Scenarios like this can cause problems and discomfort for the neighbors. Thus, it’s better to stay away from doing repairs on the streets of UK as it’s illegal.

How to Report Illegal Vehicle Repair?

If you ever run into someone who might be doing illegal vehicle repair in your area and causes discomfort, you can directly report them. 

To report, you can go to the local zoning designations that take cases of illegal repairs. You can also contact Code Enforcement as they respond to all complaints. But while reporting such cases, remember to collect the following information: 

  • Amount of people Involved 
  • Description of vehicle used for repair
  • Number of times of the occurrence
  • Types of repair involved

people also ask (FAQs)

1. Why does the county remove vehicles? 

The main reason why the county does this is becauseit causes property damage and neighbor discomfort; for example: Inappropriate or wrecked vehicles can reduce the rate of the property, promote blight, create a fire hazard, attract crime and injury to people’s health. 

2. How long should a mechanic have your car?

There’s no exact limit as to how long a mechanic can keep your car in the garage. That’s because it depends on the type of work you want to get done. Some repairs can take up to days to complete. In this case, major repairs might take a long time, though minor repairs can take lesser time. 

3. What is the average cost of car repair per year?

According to the poll of Ally bank, Americans spend almost $396/year on average. But it cost about $466/year on average for cars that belong to the people from generation Z. 


Repairing your vehicle when needed is compulsory if you want to keep it useful. And that’s why it’s always better to give your car the best service.

To you it might seem casual to perform repairs at home, But it’s still a topic of confusion for many. Even now, It’s a common question, is it illegal to repair cars at home or not.

This situation is unfortunate for those folks who reside in a place where it’s illegal to repair cars at home. But even though there’re restrictions, you can always do the small or minor repairs yourself at home. 

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Mahir Ahmed


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