Whether you are opening a new auto repair business, taking over an existing shop and updating the name, or even considering rebranding your group of auto shops, picking a good name and defining your brand is job number one.
Choosing a professional, authentic, and unique name can be a real challenge. You want something short, but distinctive. Something that makes it clear what your shop does and sets your shop apart from the rest. Something that resonates with your customers and encourages trust. And it cannot be a name that someone else is already using.
See how Black Bear Auto in Bristol, Connecticut used creative branding to entice customers and stand out! Read the Customer Story
Those are a lot of priorities to balance! But never fear – we have some suggestions below for tools, tips, and tricks you can use to arrive at just the right name for your auto repair shop. Let’s get started!
8 Essential Steps to Choosing the Right Auto Repair Shop Name
- Combine words related to your auto repair shop and how you want to be perceived.
- Use a business name generator or even AI to find more options.
- Avoid hard-to-spell, long, or confusing names.
- Test your name with peers, family, and friends.
- Review the history of your proposed name through a search engine to check its reputation.
- Assess the SEO impacts of your choice.
- Confirm you can purchase the domain name for your business.
- Check the legal availability of your name and secure your trademark.
Balance Creativity and Practicality.
When naming any business, step one is to make sure it relates to the products and services you offer, so prospective customers are not confused. References to “auto,” “repair,” “mechanic,” “garage,” or other industry-standard terms make it immediately clear what your shop does.
Step two is to make sure you are conveying reliability and professionalism, especially in an industry like auto service, which runs on trust and loyalty. If you have an area of specialization, like windshield repair, mobile repairs, or classic car maintenance, you can consider names that reflect those benefits as well.
Finally, step three is to get creative, whether that means including a family name, local reference, or even something humorous. Your auto shop will stay top of mind with customers more easily if the name is catchy, fun, or emotionally resonant.
Use free tools to support your brainstorming.
Creating a long list of potential auto repair shop names can feel daunting, but there are many tools out there to help! The internet is full of great resources for entrepreneurs who want advice on naming a business. From naming brief templates and eBooks to help you brainstorm, to lists of the top 10 characteristics of a good name, you’ll find plenty of support for your naming process.
On top of this, name generators and AI chatbots like Chat GPT can spit out hundreds of names in seconds, and they can include the keywords and terms you have identified as important. These lists can be a good first step in brainstorming, as they give you lots of material to sort through to make a short list of strong candidates.
A word to the wise, though – narrowing down your name from your short list will require both creative and strategic thinking, and an understanding of common naming pitfalls. Make sure to give this step in the process the time and attention it needs, so you do not experience the potentially costly consequences of a poorly selected name. Here are a few topics to consider when narrowing down your name list.
Is the name easy to spell, pronounce, and remember?
When naming auto repair shops, shorter names are almost always better, and the name you pick should be easy to say, spell, and remember. After all, you want your repair shop customers to be able to recollect your shop name, look you up on the internet, and refer you to others as painlessly as possible.
Once you have a short list of names, you are ready to move on to the next phases in the naming process. Do not get too attached to any particular name at this point, as you can make unexpected discoveries about the name as you continue to research.
Will the name support growth or changes in your auto repair business?
Choosing a name for your auto repair shop is a strategic activity. Do you intend to expand to multiple shops in the future? In that case, naming your shop something adaptable like Reliable Auto REPAIR instead of Reliable Auto SHOP makes it easier to scale up without adjusting your branding to reflect the fact that you are now running a multi-location business.
Similarly, is your plan to sell your shop in the future? In that case, naming the shop after your family can cause headaches for new owners, which can be avoided by choosing a different approach. On the other hand, shops with several generations of family members working together may want to highlight their multi-generational talent by using a family name to identify their business.
Look out for names that could cause legal headaches.
Once you have a few names that convey your brand values and will work for your customers, your next step is to confirm that those names are genuinely available, and you won’t run into any legal headaches going forwards. An emergency rebranding is costly and painful.
Trademarking your shop name is an essential part of naming your auto repair shop, and you’ll want to know you are not infringing on anyone’s rights or setting yourself up for a lawsuit. Check your proposed names with the United States Patent and Trademark Office or the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, depending on where your shop is located, and make sure you can secure that trademark.
Make sure your company can be found online.
Gone are the days when “AAA Auto Shop” would move you to the top of the list in the Yellow Pages. Today, the fight for customer attention takes place online.
For that reason, you will want to run your proposed name through a SEO tool to see how well it will perform for you. Companies like SEMrush usually have free, basic SEO reports you can run to determine how much traffic your name is likely to get, plus lots of free resources to help you interpret the results.
If there are too many competitors with similar names, your shop will be difficult for your customers to find online, and it may be time to consider a different approach.
Check for reputational downsides.
If your proposed auto shop name can be trademarked and marketed effectively online, the final thing you should do is check for unexpected downsides by doing a thorough online search for the name and similar names. Nobody wants to open a shop and then discover that a similarly named business has been in financial trouble or has a terrible reputation in a nearby community.
If this final check comes up clear, you can be confident that you have done your due diligence and picked a name that will set you up for success. Take a moment to celebrate this first major step to building your business!
The best auto shops rely on shop management software.
Getting your shop name and branding just right is essential. So is running an efficient and customer-friendly business! That’s where shop management software like R.O. Writer comes in. With the right technology in place, you can streamline and automate customer management so that the customers who walk in your door become your fans for life.
See how R.O. Writer can help your auto shop grow and thrive! Try our ROI calculator now.