How to Start a Motor Spares Business in South Africa

by | Aug 20, 2022 | Articles

If you are thinking of starting a motor spares business in South Africa, you need a strategic business plan. In this guide we’ll give you tips the best way to start your motor spares business.

It all starts with a name. Select the name of your company that’s easy to remember or unique. Once you have chosen your name Registering in a PTY (LTD) is preferable as this is a give you extra protection in your personal capacity in the event of any legal issues.

Items You Need For Running Your Business

For your business procedures, you’ll need a internet, a computer, shelves, cash register, racks, and other fixtures. Design and style the shop correctly and spares ought to be organized in a fashion that is straightforward to locate. For example, at one area of the shop you can put the body parts along with another section you can put electronic parts. Place small names underneath the parts for immediate recognition.

Choosing A Business Location

The position of your motor spares business is really important. You should be in a street that is well traveled by motorists. This is where you can display your bold signage and the vehicles you are stripping for spares. When potential customers drive past, they will notice the smashed cars and this will attract attention.  If your business position is a bit out the way and not in the best position, then there are other ways for you to attract customers.  (See the tips below for attracting customers). You also might want to have a local scrap metal business close by, as you can sell damaged parts and body parts to them.

Traditional Marketing

The reasons why plenty of businesses fail is they are lacking effort in marketing their goods or company. Even with an auto parts store, you will have to market correctly. Distribute flyers with the information on your parts. You may also distribute business cards to vehicles that go by the shop. Using the contact details on the business card, your clients can very easily reach you.

Additionally you should have sufficient understanding of the various auto parts so that whenever a customer is searching for a particular spare part you can quickly advise the customer and help them find the product.

Online Marketing Tips For Motor Spares Businesses in South Africa

Any business in South Africa will benefit from the following tips. Here are xx tips for online marketing your motor spares business.

Register your business on Google My Business – Free


An absolute must! Register your business for free on Google My Business and gain more online exposure by allowing customers to find your business location.

When you register your business on Google, your main aim is to start getting excellent Google reviews. This is a HUGE trust signal. The more reviews you get the higher your listing appears in the search results.

A word of caution here… This is where customers can rate your business and leave 🙂 positive or negative reviews 🙁 (see best business practices to limit the negative reviews).

To gain better positions on the Google Map, you should have a website and aim to get keep getting regular positive reviews.

Start a Facebook Business Page – Free


The you should start a Facebook page. Here you can add your basic company contact details, post photos of vehicles stripping for spares and more! Facebook has a guide on how to start a Facebook page.

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Start a Business Website – from R3500.00

Your motor spares business or any business should also have a website! Having a business website promotes trust within your brand, boosts your Google Business location and will further increase sales. You will also get a company email address that will look more professional than a free email account e.g. gmail or webmail or yahoo.

Register Your Domain & Build Your Website

A website has domain and hosting. Registering domain at the time of this post costs around R120.00 per year. Monthly hosting costs currently start from about R35.00 per month. Afrihost offers hosting and allows you to do domain search to see if your domain is available by doing a search. After registering your domain, you will need to get a your business website professionally designed.

We offer a professionally designed website starting from R1500.00 it’s really important to have a well designed user friendly website.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) For Your Business Website

There thousands of searches each month from customers looking for spare parts. We are SEO specialists withing the Motor spares business industry. If you are looking to increase sales leads, then you should look into doing SEO on your website. This is a long term marketing strategy, where your business will show up higher up within the search results.

How To Get Stock (Parts).

There are another two popular ways where you can source your stock. You can buy replacement parts from certified suppliers or you can find accident-damaged cars for sale on Gumtree or from auctions.

Buying Accident Damaged Cars From Auctions

Accident Damaged VW Golf

In the old days, you had to be present at the auctions. Nowadays you can bid online! So if you are based in Cape Town, it is possible to purchase a vehicle in Johannesburg or Durban and vice versa. Once you bought the vehicle, you only need to arrange delivery, (usually on a flatbed truck). Chat to one of the staff at the auctions for recommendations and costs for delivery. Note it may take a couple of weeks for the vehicle actually arrives in your scrap yard. Expect a bit of paperwork!

For Buying Accident Damaged Vehicles from auctions see:

Stripping Parts


Once purchased the most expensive parts of the vehicle need to be stripped, tagged and stored safely away. In this way you prevent potential weather damage and theft of those smaller parts that are easier to conceal.

Prepare Your Yard

You need to prepare your yard before the vehicle arrives. A designated stripping spot should be made each time a new vehicle arrives. This should behind a secure fence or wall and within your confines of your yard that is secure from the street.

Ensure your staff are properly trained in stripping the parts, too many times careless actions lead to parts getting unnecessarily damaged. Ensure the correct power tools and overalls are available for them to use. Assign each stripper to a different categories of parts. e.g. Let one stripper start with the body parts e.g. headlamps, tail lamps and bumpers and another on engine parts. In this way this should reduce parts from getting dirty from engine oil, etc.

Once the parts are stripped make sure they are cleaned before being tagged and then stored. For engine parts that are subject to oil leaks. You can use a little bit of petrol to help clean the oil and grime off. For body parts you can use sunlight liquid and a cloth. Make sure your cloth doesn’t have any dirt or sand as this can scratch surfaces.

After your vehicle has been completely stripped, ensure your yard is clean and tidy. If have a Hyster pick the shell up and store out of the way.

Tagging Your Stripped Parts

All parts should be tagged before storage. You tag the parts with a black marker pen. All tags should be attached to the parts with a string. Each tag should include the Year, Model and Make of the vehicle and along with any important part numbers. Purchase tags, permanent markers and string from any stationary store. Have these items in an easy to reach place for you staff to easily access.

Storing Car Parts


Your scrap yard should be neat and tidy! If you want to promote trust in your business, you need to make sure your scrap yard is in a neat and orderly manner. On top of that, you don’t want customers waiting too long when they come to buy spares. So make sure you designate zones within your scrap yard for certain vehicle makes. Then within each zone sub categorize by different parts e.g. body parts, electronic parts and engine parts.

Staffing Tips

Additionally, you will have to hire extra workers that will assist you in operating your motor spares business. You won’t be within the shop at all times, which means you need 1-3 reliable and truthful personnel.

Business Security

Positioning cameras around your business in key areas can greatly reduce the amount of theft. You will want a camera monitoring system that has a back up allowing you to rewind up to 2 weeks. You can cheap camera systems from 

Thanks for reading and we hope these tips will help you in your new business venture!

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