What are open garages ?
Open Garages are mainly just vehicle tuning shops (VTS's). Main business activities of the shops are :
- Manufacturing of products the VTS's designed themselves (not all vehicle tuning shops have an own product they designed themselves, but many have). Not every component of the products the VTS's manufacture may be produced by them; for some parts (like printed circuit boards, ...), they may choose to simply buy it in from other companies.
- Buy, sell (and/or install) products mentioned at the Aftermarket hardware page. These products are sometimes made by other open garages, in other cases they come from third parties.
Often, the open garages come into existence as a subset of a more traditional hackerspace/makerspace. Due to this, there is often an eager to also provide education to other makers, particularly on the field of (the increasingly complex) vehicle systems. This, in order to allow them to repair their (still unaltered) vehicle, improve its capabilities and identify potential security risks. These courses are called Vehicle Research Labs (VRL) courses. Times when these courses are given vary depending on the Open Garage in question, and may either be paying (very small fee), or free (for instance if it is intented as part of preparing a future co-operator).
FAQ for those wishing to set up their own VTS
What are my legal requirements
These are the same as for any type of business in your country. First, set up the business entity you prefer and make sure you comply to all requirements (i.e take a VAT number, set up a bookkeeping system, ...)
What type of facility do I need?
If you just want to buy/sell (and/or install) the products mentioned here at opengarages.org, you don't need any additional space at all. Rather, you could do with just your house to store any (still unsold) products.
If you however also want to provide Vehicle Research Labs courses, you will need a large (well ventilated) space where you can receive your students and/or fit your target vehicles in (and have them running while you work on them). You could also do the latter on the driveway/parking, but it is better to have some covering in case of rain.
This depends on the makeup of your group. At the bare minimum you should create a mailing list. Second most important would be a wiki to document all of your research. If you are building tools or wan to make announcements then open garage will be more than happy to post for you and link to any tools or information you have created.
What policies do we need?
You will want some safety guidelines (see Policies and Guidelines), Responsible Disclosure Forms (Template coming soon), Liability Waiver (Template coming soon) and optionally membership forms.
How do I make my VTS known ?
Simply add your VTS to the OpenGarage Directory. Also make a seperate page on your VTS and at location, own designs, VRL meeting times, communication method, and other info.