Car Garage Design Ideas and Layout for Your Workshop

A car garage is nothing more than a parking space if you don’t have a good workshop designed. You may think your garage is too small for a workshop but even a small car garage can take advantage of a well-designed workshop space. Designing a layout for your car garage workshop space is not difficult at all. 


There are lots of good car garage design ideas online you can use to create the perfect workshop space. The first decision you have to make is what you want to do with your garage. How you decide to design your garage depends on the types of car workshop ideas you have and what kind of projects you have in mind.

Full-Service Workshop or Basic Repairs

DIYers that need a garage for a full restoration will have different space requirements and will need different tools than owners who are only doing basic repairs and maintenance.

Vehicle Restoration

Car on a lift
A hydraulic lift is one of the most useful tools that you can incorporate in your workshop. Lifts can also be used to take advantage of small spaces in one car garages.

A full vehicle restoration will require that the garage owner have the right tools for the job. DIYers looking to design a workshop space for full vehicle restoration will need to take into account space for tools like a hydraulic lift, an air compressor, and plenty of counter space for disassembling and cleaning parts. Designing a layout for a workshop used to restore cars will mean that the owner needs to decide where and how many electrical outlets will be available. Designers will need to factor in the use of tools like an engine hoist and stand, transmission lifts, and fluid drain buckets.

A hydraulic lift can make car repairs much easier for the DIYer. Many jobs you would often take a car to a mechanic, like a tuneup, for example, can be done at home when you have a lift. Lift prices range from the low $2,000 on up. A lift can make a small garage even more useful because a car can often be lifted out of the way for storage or additional parking.

Many other workshop tools, like presses, polishing equipment, and sand-blasting cabinets can offer DIYers more professional-quality repairs without the need to pay a mechanic.

Casual Repair

Father and son working together
Your workshop is more than just a place where you fix things. Your workshop is a place where you come together with your family and friends.

Do you need a workshop space for changing out oil, but have no intention of ever removing and replacing an engine? Plan on taking out your engine once in a while, but only have a small space? You can design your garage workshop space to take advantage of the room you have without sacrificing usability.

Small car garage design ideas might include the use of a service pit instead of a hoist. A service pit can sometimes be dug for less than the cost of a hoist. A service pit should be designed to be comfortable to work in. Too shallow and the DIYer will hurt their neck and back, while too deep and it will mean unnecessary difficulty reaching components.

Space-saving workbench ideas can give you plenty of room to work without sacrificing the size of your small workshop. You should make sure that when you design your workshop space to consider the types of tools you plan to use. For example, if you plan on using a floor jack, make sure you leave enough room on the sides of your car to operate the handle.

The Perfect Workbench

car garage design ideas
The perfect workbench for your workshop will depend on the space you have and what types of jobs you would like to accomplish in your workshop. An air compressor and access to electricity are essential for the perfect workshop.

Perhaps no design element of your garage workspace is as important as your workbench. A good workbench will give you the space you need to work on car projects without getting cluttered. It should also have a strong and durable surface that you can hammer and drill on without causing lots of damage.

Some of the key tools you might want to consider making space for on your workbench are a good vice and a sturdy metal plate. Even DIYers that do not plan on making major car repairs will find these tools very handy for simple repairs. The surface of your workbench should be a material that is easy to clean and is durable. Hardwood and metal are popular choices.

Your workbench should be located close to electrical outlets and should be easily accessible, no matter which car you are working on that day. Make sure that you have plenty of space to move around. Nothing is worse than finding you can’t get into a comfortable position to work on a part because your workbench is in the wrong spot.

Owners with small garages that do not have space for a fixed workbench might consider a folding bench. Some designs can be folded against the wall, while others are foldable and portable. These types of workbenches are very useful for small spaces and for when owners are working on cars in multiple places.

Design Around Your Workspace

Once you know where your workbench is going to be located, you can make decisions on where to put your toolbox. Garage owners that plan on doing major car repairs should consider the size of a toolbox they will need. Often, more complicated projects will require a broad range of tools, all of which will take up space.

Auto mechanic using tools
A toolbox will help you stay organized and provides a safe place to store your tools. Make sure you plan on where your toolbox will be located when designing your workshop. You want the toolbox to be close to your workbench and easily accessible.

Toolboxes can be very expensive. A professional mechanic might spend more than $7,000 on his toolbox, and that isn’t counting the tools inside! Look for used tool boxes for sale online or keep an eye out for sales. A small, good-quality toolbox is often better than a large, cheap toolbox.

Owners of small car garages can design their workspace to include shelves and pegboard for hanging tools. A neat small workshop idea is to layout the pegboard and hangs your tools, then draw around them with a felt tip marker so you can quickly tell where a tool belongs. This is a cheap option when buying a professional toolbox is out of the question.

Stackable storage bins for small parts like nuts and bolts are inexpensive and can be one of the handiest items in your workshop when you need a small part quickly.

Car Garage Design Ideas

The best ideas you can take advantage of will allow you to maximize the space you have to work with. At best, a DIYer should take into account how often they plan on spending in their workshop. Some owners may only intend to spend a few hours a month, only to realize they spend much more time in their workshop. It is a good idea to have hot-and-cold water, electricity, a small refrigerator, and internet access in your workshop if you think you will spend more than a little time in your space.

Car garage design idea

Most automotive enthusiasts that work on cars in their own garage workshop will save tons of money over repair bills at the local shop. A workshop can be a big expense initially, but having your own tools to do the job right the first time will save you time and money in the future. Few places are as special to the automotive enthusiast as the workshop they design for themselves.

Setup a garage workshop guide.


About Derek F

Derek grew up in Southern California and started working on cars when he was a child. He learned from his father and grandfather how to make basic repairs and maintain cars correctly. Derek rebuilt his first engine at 15 years-old, beginning an automotive career that took him to many interesting jobs. Derek has worked as an automotive detailer, managed parts warehouses and auto parts stores, and worked as a mechanic for several years doing brake and suspension work. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree in government journalism, Derek worked for an auto museum where he started to write about cars. Today, Derek uses his expertise gained from many years of practical experience to help educate DIYers and share interesting knowledge about various types of automotive repair and service. Writing about cars helps fund his numerous classic car restoration and customization projects.


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    I like the idea that you gave to place your workbench near an electrical outlet so that it can always be ready for any tool. My dad loves to work on cars in his garage and his fiftieth birthday is coming up so I’ve been thinking about what to get him. I think I’ll look into getting him a new garage layout and be sure to place the workbench near an outlet so that there aren’t any major inconveniences.

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      @david, sounds like a great idea & gift! Close electrical outlets are definitely helpful and a surge protector could easily provide multiple outlets for use.

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    Thanks for this very informative and useful article, and tips are best for me to apply on my workshop.

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      @Steve, that’s great to hear and glad that you found it helpful! Share your workshop layouts with us on Facebook or Instagram!

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    Cheap Car Dealers Auckland

    Thank you so very much for these garage-workshop layout designs. I was looking for something like this, I am happy to come across your post. Thanks for sharing this blog; this is really really useful one for me.

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    On this article you will come to know about car garage workshop layout design ideas. It makes the work straight and easy for us. This article is very interesting. So; anyone searching for same topic may find their shelter over here. Thanks for this wonderful content.

  5. Avatar

    Nice garage setup & thank you for the reference!

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