Starting an auto hauling business will take quite a bit of capital or, if you have good credit, a substantial loan. Your main two pieces of equipment are a tractor and the auto hauling trailer. Depending on the type of tractor you purchase, you could spend upward of $100,000, and used auto hauler trailers range from $30,000 upward. In addition to purchasing the tractor and hauler, you will need office equipment and supplies, driving licenses required for your state, licenses required for each state you drive through and occupational and other licenses for the business.
Set up the business. Decide on a business name and complete the registration process for the business in your state. Most states have their division of corporations online, so you can check to be sure the business name is available and file the incorporation papers over the Internet. Contact your county’s local licensing office to obtain all county and state licenses for operation of a business in your location. Set up bank accounts and any other financial needs (credit cards, lines of credit). If you need a loan, you may have to prepare a business plan. If you do not hire a receptionist, make sure you have a cell phone with national coverage if you are going to be taking over the road trips, so that you can be contacted for each job as it comes up.
Look for a tractor to purchase. Check any local trucking outlets in addition to non-local trucking outlets. Choose this vehicle carefully—if you are going to be doing any over the road driving, you will more than likely want a tractor with a full cab. Not only can finding hotels be difficult at certain times of the night, but you may not always be able to get to them or find parking for the big rig.
Purchase an auto hauler. If you are purchasing a used auto hauler, make sure all of the hydraulics work properly. Check for leaks on the hydraulic cylinders. Look at the amount of rust on the trailer. If there is an inordinate amount, pass it up and look at another one. Because of the expense, you want to purchase a trailer that will last you a long time and that will not need immediate repairs to the hydraulics system.
Advertise your services. When the business is set up and you have all of the equipment, start advertising your services. Sell yourself to used car lots. Used car lots will sometimes give you a contract to do all of their hauling. They often go to auctions and purchase many vehicles at a time.