Part Time Motor Trade Insurance

The different businesses you could set up as a part time motor trader

You’re here because you know you want to work part time n the motor trade industry, but you’re not entirely sure what you want to be doing.

part time, motor trade, insurance, mechanic,

Photo by Tim RT / CC BY

In this article we cover just some of the many different sectors in the motor trade industry to make you aware of, and help you decide which one is the right one for you.

Car sales & servicing
A large portion of the motor trade industry made up of car dealers and salesmen. Car dealers sell new or used cars on either a car lot or online.

Mechanic & body shop
Usually ran in a garage, mechanic and body shops will fix the exterior and interior of a car. A lot of these companies will offer accident repairs, MOT, serving and vehicle recovery or collection.

Tyre & exhaust fitters
It does what it says on the tin. These fitters specialise in tyres and exhausts, so you or your employees will require specific training in these areas.

Car valets clean the inside an outside of motor vehicles. If you want to open a valet service, you may not need to buy or rent property, as this type of business can be based indoors or outdoors as the work can be done at a garage, workshop or even on the customer’s premises.

Car park jockeys
A car park jokey is similar to a parking lot attendant, as he or she will Park vehicles or issue tickets for customers in a parking lot or garage.

HGV mechanics
HGV stands for ‘heavy goods vehicle’ and often refers to large lorries and trucks. A HGV mechanic will solely focus on working with these type of vehicles and will require specific training.

Mobile Mechanics
Mobile mechanics are becoming more and more popular between motorists, as these mechanics will come to you for vehicle repairs. If you set up a mobile mechanic business, you or your employees will need a car to be able to drive to clients.

If you’re starting a business in the motor trade industry and need insurance, or if you’re already an established company and are looking for a better deal, get in touch with Think Insurance today for a quote on your part time motor trade insurance policy.

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The Best Tips for Running a Part Time Valeting Business

If you’re starting a new part time business in the valeting trade, or already running a successful one, you need to have a look at these tips. They are designed to help you find your feet and make your business better.


Photo by Timesynk / CC BY

This post will help you manage your time, look at your competition and find the right things you need to make your valeting business more successful. Though we must warn, a little elbow grease is required, we can’t do everything for you!

Managing your time

With any part time business your time will need to be managed efficiently and healthily with your other job or your own spare time.  You will have to work harder than most people with just one job but you also need to be able to rest, so you don’t run yourself into the ground. Get a diary and plan your working week, with achievable deadlines, meetings and work. Finding the balance can be difficult at first, but once you find a rhythm that works for you it’ll be no problem.

Look at the Competition

Photo by Antonio / CC BY

Photo by Antonio / CC BY

Stake out your competition in the area or nearby, see what they are charging for their service and see what services they offer. Perhaps they offer a service you hadn’t considered and this could help your business draw in more custom. Maybe even take your car in for a valet service and see what they do, such as the little touches they offer or the advertising they do. You can also see what you don’t like about their business, and what you want to avoid happening at yours.

Customer service

Good customer service is key to the profitability of your business. Your service needs to be the best or people will go to another company. Do a top job with friendly service and you’re bound to get people coming back regularly, and maybe more often than usual.

The right staff

To get the best service you need the best staff. Ideally you want hard working, polite and friendly workers. Try and cover all these angles when you interview and be sure to be the one interviewing, unless you wholly trust the interviewer’s opinion.


Photo by Jim / CC BY

Correct Insurance

Get the correct part time motor trade insurance. We can’t recommend this enough. Should:

  • Your business be liable for an accident to someone’s car, property or person.
  • One of your employees get injured and the business is at fault
  • A key figure of your business, like yourself, fall ill,

You need to be able to financially cover these events and without insurance you may find yourself in debt. Think Insurance offer a great selection of cheap and tailored part time motor trade insurance. They can also offer full time should the business grow.

The right products

Lastly look for the right products to use on your service, the cheapest may not be any good for your service and the most expensive might not be worth the price you’re paying, this is something you should ask suppliers about. Suppliers will be honest with you as they will want your regular custom, they will have experience with their products and can tell you what will get your company the best results.

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Advice for starting your part time motor trade business

So you’ve decided to set up as a part time motor trader, congratulations!

Starting off as a part time motor trader is a great way to get a taste of the motor trade industry without having to fully dedicate all your time and money into the business straight away. Working as a motor trader part time will also give you the opportunity to gain an income from elsewhere if you need the extra financial help to fund your new business. However, just because it’s part time doesn’t mean it won’t be a bit daunting, but with the right advice and planning there is no reason why you can’t be a completely successful motor trader!

What is your business?
Decide what type of business you want to run. Will it be sales, repairs, maintenance? Once you have figured this out you can then start planning whether you will require premises, or whether you can operate from home? As a part-time trader you may decide that it isn’t worth hiring premises until your business grows.

Do your homework.
Once you’ve made the decision to start your own part-time business, you need to do your research to find out as much as possible about the market you are working in;

1. Compile a list of competitors; see how they work, what offers they have, who their customers are, where they are located, when they are open, etc.

2. Compare suppliers for quality and price so you know you’re getting the best deal.

3. Research your target audience; see what they want, how much they are prepared to pay, and how to reach them.

The more research you do, the better prepared you will be when your business launches.

The plan.
After thoroughly researching the industry, you can use your findings to help create a Business Plan. Business Plans are essential for success. If you’ve never written one before this guide on “How to write a Business Plan for the Motor Trade” will help get you started.

Create a name.
If there is no name, there is no business! Try to come up with a sensible, memorable name for your business. If you want to set up a website, then use to check if anyone else is already using your name / website address.

Fund your business.
From paying rent, to buying stock, starting up a business can be costly, so you need to know how you will be able to fund your business. If you don’t have the money to invest you may want to take out a business loan. If this is the case, your Business Plan will be vital.

Protect your business.
Whether full-time or part-time, it is essential to insure your motor trade business. Not only is Motor Trade insurance a legal requirement, but it helps protect you and your assets.
Choosing the right level of cover for part time motor trade can be difficult, so it’s best to choose a specialist motor trade insurance broker.

Think Insurance are motor trade specialists and understand the part-time motor trade insurance market. For a quote, or to discuss what cover is best for your business, please call us on 0844 573 2850.

Let people know!
Spread the word and share the good news! If they don’t know your business is there, they won’t know where to come. There are several ways to advertise your business so it’s worth trying a few different ways to see which works best for you.

The internet is probably the best, and easiest place to start. Look for websites that offer free car listings as this will save you a substantial amount of money. Websites such as are great!

Get trading!
Once you have everything set up, you’re ready to begin as a part-time motor trader!

If you need help setting up your part-time motor trade insurance, get in touch with Think Insurance today, or fill in our easy online quote form to how much you can save!



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What’s the Difference Between a Car Insurance Policy and a Motor Trade Insurance Policy?

When it comes to purchasing insurance there is a wide range of choices available – with numerous levels of cover on offer. When purchasing your insurance you need to know that the policy you have chosen is suited to you and your situation. While a third party car insurance policy may be ideal for one person, a comprehensive one may be best suited to someone else in the industry. Here are a few things you might find helpful when considering whether or not to buy a motor trade policy.

There are several differences between a private car insurance policy and a traders policy. The most prominent difference is that with a motor trade policy it is not just the vehicle(s) specified on the policy that may be covered. With a private car insurance policy cover you are generally only covered on that one vehicle. This means that instead of taking out a policy every time you need to drive a different car, you only need one insurance policy. This premium will then act as cover for when you drive the many vehicles that you use for your business. This can even include the cars that belong to your customers. While you may be able to change your vehicle on a regular car insurance policy you will probably be charged each time – a decent trade policy should not. It is also important to be aware that should your insurer find out that you are in the motor trade industry and you have neglected to tell them for a re-rating of your policy it may invalidate your cover.

A useful addition to your private car insurance policy is a Driving Other Cars extension, which allows you to drive another person’s car at a Third Party Only level. Don’t go thinking that you can use this type of insurance as a cheaper Traders Policy because should you be involved in an accident your car insurance may run the risk of being invalidated! This is because a Driving Other Cars extension does not apply to those in the motor trade industry.

A Motor Trade insurance policy can often work out cheaper than the cost of a private insurance premium. There is generally no limit to the amount of personal vehicles with our policies – meaning that instead of having separate policies for all your vehicles, you can include them all on a traders policy for the same premium. Minimum premiums can be very low through us: £420 for Third Party Only; £495 for Third Party, Fire & Theft; £550 for Comprehensive. Cheaper than you thought?

A trade policy may even allow you to drive certain vehicles that would be normally hard to insure – such as recovery trucks, performance vehicles or vans. In addition, some motor trade policies allow both you and your spouse to be covered for social and/or trade use for a small extra cost.

Before deciding the insurance policy that suits both you and your business, it is important to carry out a significant amount of research into the wide variety of policies available. If you are in the motor trade industry, it is worth considering purchasing a motor trade policy to avoid any issues that could occur with using a private policy for business purposes. It is important to assess your insurance needs and act accordingly. Don’t let yourself down by driving on an unsuitable policy.


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Trade Plates – A Guide

We recently wrote an article on setting up your own motor trade business, and touched briefly on the topic of getting trade plates (also known as a trade licence).

As this is such an important topic, and can make a real difference to your business, we thought we would give you some more information on trade plates, and how you can go about getting them for your own business.

What are trade plates?

Trade plates allow certain people working within the motor trade, to drive and move vehicles that are temporarily in their possession, without having to tax or register them.

Who is eligible to apply for trade plates?

Motor Traders and Vehicle Testers are eligible to apply for trade plates.

Motor Traders include – dealers, manufacturers and repairers of vehicles (including those involved in collection and delivery), manufacturers of trailers and valets and accessory fitters.

Vehicle Testers – if you test other people’s vehicles on public roads you are eligible to apply.

The DVLA make it clear that there is no automatic right too own a trade licence.  Only those applicants that fully comply with the specified criteria will be eligible to become a trade licence holder.

Where can I get trade plates?

You must apply for trade plates through the DVLA.  The application form can be found on their website, along with guidance notes to help you through the process.

How much will they cost?

Prices for the plates will vary depending on the month that you apply for the licence, and the duration of the licence.  Prices for a 6-month licence start from £90.75 for all vehicles, and from £42.90 for motorcycles and tricycles.

How long will it take?

It can take 4 weeks for your application to be processed and for the trade plates to be issued.

If you are successful in your application for a trade license it is important to note that the trade plates must only be used for the business purpose for which they were originally issued.

Trade plates can save you time and money, providing they are used correctly but you can be fined for using trade plates for a purpose not permitted under the DVLA regulations.

For more information simply visit the DVLA website.

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