Auto repair shop

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Car workshop around 1920
Modern auto repair shop in Ukraine

A car repair shop is a craft business that carries out repairs on motor vehicles (Germany, Austria) or motor vehicles (Switzerland) and takes care of the processing of warranty and guarantee claims . In Germany it is referred to as a car workshop , in Austria as a car workshop , in Austria, South Tyrol and Switzerland as a garage , in Switzerland also a body shop . It also offers preventive service work as well as advice and technical inspections of vehicles, such as vehicle inspection (Germany) or service (Switzerland).


The history of the auto repair shop is as old as the history of the automobile .

In Germany, the Central Association of the German Motor Vehicle Industry, founded in 1909, organized and structured the motor vehicle workshops.

Market development

The market for repair shops is divided into two large groups, the so-called branded (i.e. those authorized by vehicle manufacturers) and the independent workshops.

According to the current DAT report 2012, there were 38,000 vehicle service companies in Germany in 2011. These are 17,600 branded businesses and 20,400 non-branded vehicle businesses. In recent years the total number of workshops has declined; In 2004 there were still 41,700 workshops.

Branded / independent workshops

The number of branded companies is falling. Their number in Germany decreased from 20,120 to 17,600 between 2004 and 2011. A shift in the numbers in favor of independent workshops has resulted mainly from the downsizing of the service networks, which almost all vehicle manufacturers and importers have undertaken in recent years. Many authorized workshops are part of a car dealership; many larger companies also operate a gas station or car wash and sell new and / or used cars.

While there has been a trend towards economically larger units for some time in the branded business segment, the independent workshops are usually smaller, owner-managed businesses that are firmly rooted in their local area. Brand-related service companies receive support from the brand in the areas of technical information, parts trade, training courses, etc., but - increasingly since the mid-1990s - workshop systems have offered independent workshops these services while using their own multi-brand profile. The workshop systems are carried by the parts wholesalers and the vehicle parts industry.

While the branded workshops concentrated their range of services on one vehicle manufacturer for a long time, the independent workshops have always been open to all vehicle types and brands. This flexibility pays off, especially in difficult economic times. It is therefore increasingly evident that branded workshops are accepting a second brand - or a workshop system as a second brand. Since the Motor Vehicle Regulation 1400/2002 came into force, vehicle manufacturers in the European Union have also been obliged to pass on their vehicle data to other market participants in order to strengthen competition.

Independent workshops are partly affiliated with franchise companies or marketing chains. These chains are also known as workshop systems or workshop concepts.

Job profiles

The apprenticeships that are required in a car repair shop include automotive mechatronics technician (Germany) or automotive mechatronic technician (Switzerland), mechanic for bodywork maintenance technology (Germany), body builder (plumber) and saddler . The operator of a car repair shop is called a garage operator in Switzerland .

In addition, there is a compulsory master craftsman in Germany and thus a master vehicle workshop is necessary as the responsible workshop manager, u. a. since work on safety-relevant systems or work with dangerous substances (chemicals, gases, airbags, etc.) may only be carried out under the supervision of an appropriate master. Professional qualifications in the above-mentioned trades as a journeyman are not sufficient.


The billing of services must be based on specific working hours and materials used . A lump-sum settlement of the labor values or approximate times the automaker is basically illegal.

A cost estimate can be prepared for larger repairs . It can be offered by the workshop or requested by the customer.

Special equipment

The equipment of a workshop includes, among other things, a lifting platform , brake tester , headlight tester, diagnostic devices / devices (electronic, chemical, mechanical), brake bleeding device (mostly electro-pneumatic), stand press (hydraulic), wheel alignment stand , air conditioning service device , tire changer and balancing machine . While oil separation systems were previously prescribed for the operation of a motor vehicle workshop, today, in accordance with the Waste Water Ordinance, Appendix 49 "Waste water containing mineral oil", a waste water-free operation ("dry workshop)" is preferred. No separate separator is required for dry cleaning of the workshop or cleaning with Floor cleaning equipment (the resulting residues are to be disposed of as hazardous waste), assembly pits without drainage (pollutant input from e.g. waste oil not permitted!) And discharge of waste water from hand wash basins.

Definition of terms

In addition to the branded or independent car repair shops, tuning workshops have specialized in the technical and visual modification of vehicles in accordance with the manufacturer or according to customer requirements. The term “tuning” tends to be assigned to newer vehicles (from ~ 1980s to today), whereas the change in classic cars is often described with the term “customizing”, although the transitions cannot be precisely delimited are.

Since the term tuning is often associated with inferior or (from today's perspective) optically questionable change measures of the 1980s and 1990s, tuning workshops in the passenger car / SUV sector also euphemistically call themselves “vehicle refiners” To underline the high quality of today's renovations. Specialized companies for the conversion of motorcycles often value the emphasis on the proximity of their trade to technology and craft (see e.g. Thunderbike ).

Web links

Commons : Auto Repair  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Auto repair shop  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ulrich Ammon : The German language in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. de Gruyter, 1995, ISBN 3-11-014753-X , p. 410.
  2. a b ( Memento of the original dated November 13, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. DAT report 2012, vehicle operation  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Regulation (EC) No. 1400/2002 of the Commission of July 31, 2002 (PDF)
  4. Professional portrait: The garage operator . In: espresso . Radio SRF October 1, 30, 2009. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  5. AG Munich: Usual remuneration for vehicle repairs - no flat-rate calculation based on fictitious labor values ​​(DAT list), billing only based on the hours actually worked