According to research, the average age of all cars on UK roads has increased from 6.7 years to 8.3 years. And with very few of us going on long journeys, when travel is permitted again, mechanics may be in high demand.

To ensure your garage is ready for the uptick in jobs, here are some of the main tools you should have – and how to look after them.


A nice set of screwdrivers is one of the basics of any well-assorted toolbox. There are shapes galore although the most common are: Flat, Phillips, Allen and Torx. Most ratchet sets include a few different screwdriver heads with the most common shapes and sizes.

Consider getting at least some stubbed ones, great for working in reduced spaces, and some regular length ones.

Ratchet and sockets

There are three different sizes of ratchets: ¼” (small), ⅜” (medium), and ½” (large). Air ratchets are great for reinstalling nuts and bolts, but you must make sure the threads are fully engaged before you hit the trigger, whilst a flex-head ratchet is ideal for squeezing into tight spaces. And don’t forget a ratchet extender.

Spanners and wrenches

The most essential tools for a mechanic. Spanners and wrenchers are designed to tighten and loosen nuts and bolts. They’re used in a number of applications so investing in high-quality kits are essential. Opt for sets with metric sizes in a chrom-vanadium alloy to ensure they last a lifetime.


Although not every car job will require you to lift the car up, there are many cases where doing so will speed up the process. Hydraulic Jacks are lifting tools only and are not meant to be used to secure the car up. For that purpose, make sure to always use jack stands – consider getting at least a couple of stands and to make sure that they withstand at least 2-3 tons of weight.​

How to look after them

Proper care and maintenance of your tools will not only ensure they last a long time, but they’ll help you get the job done with precision and ease. Make it a habit to clean tools after use before you put them away. Wipe hand tools down with a lint-free rag to remove dust, grease and debris.

For power tools, apply an all-purpose oil like WD-40 to lubricate the adjustable parts. Wipe away any excess with a rag before storing to help fight corrosion and rust. A proper storage system is a must – to ensure they’re kept organised and dry.

If you’re leaving expensive tools within the garage, then having a robust security system will deter potential theft or damage to your property.