Essential tools for an aspiring car mechanic

July 25, 2022 By Mike
Last updated on July 25, 2022

The current shortage of vehicle technicians is costing UK dealerships lots of money from loss of income. This is resulting in an increase in recruitment and training programmes for those who are semi-skilled or willing to learn a new trade. 

Most budding mechanics are required to purchase their own set of tools. However, most don’t know which are essential and which are optional. With the wrong advice or lack of guidance, you may end up with heavily overpriced and unnecessary tools. The following list will serve as a helpful guide to which tools are recommended for those aspiring to work in the automotive industry. Take note that this list is not exhaustive due to the endless list of tools that can be used but is just an example for the perfect starter pack.

Ratchet and Socket Set

Any work involving engine maintenance or auto repairs will likely require the use of a ratchet – the most common one being the 3/8in with the metric socket set to complement. The majority of vehicles will also require metric-sized sockets, which is good to bear in mind. These will likely include the 1/2in and 1/4in ratchet with matching sockets. It may sound like an expensive and extensive list of equipment, but you will likely use the same set of tools throughout your career.

Cordless Impact Wrench

The impact wrench is a lifesaver for beginners, helping you to drive and remove lug nuts and screws almost effortlessly. The high torque output means there is minimal exertion for the user and can even remove nuts from areas that are prone to rust. Going for a cordless impact wrench enables you to work much more flexibly and utilise power on the go. This type of tool can be used within the workshop for most repairs or maintenance work due to its versatility.


One of the most popular tools for any hands-on job – screwdrivers are necessary for repair workshops, so don’t make the mistake of forgetting to grab a few different sizes. There may be a time when an oil filter needs changing or a spark plug needs to be replaced and no other tool can do the job the same. A bonus here is that screwdrivers are relatively inexpensive and can be bought at most industry retailers.

Pliers and Wirecutters

Many automotive tasks include electrics in a car, including installing speakers, a stereo and wiring new headlights. You will need a set of pliers that vary in size, as well as wire cutters and strippers.

Torque wrench

Aspiring mechanics can often overlook setting nuts to the proper torque – over-torquing a nut can lead to the bolt becoming damaged and making it more difficult to remove if needed. By using a torque wrench with a clicker system, you can adjust the tightening to ensure you meet the ideal specifications.