deannathegeek New Reader
8/28/18 9:48 a.m.

Recently at the office I work at, I've been a little braggart about all the repairs I've been doing on mine & my mom's cars. Now I have several people here (about a dozen, mostly women) who are wanting me to teach them the basics like how to change their oil. One of my friends here thinks I should give classes and charge for them, but considering I'm still learning myself I don't know if that's a good idea. Shouldn't I have more experience to charge to teach these things? Thoughts?

boxedfox Reader
8/30/18 11:05 p.m.

As someone who spends much of his day job (and hobby) managing risk and avoiding lawsuits, my intuitive reaction is that charging for your services opens you up to a fair bit of liability. Waivers can give you a bargaining chip in the event that someone hurts themselves and blames you for it but they don't actually indemnify you from that sort of risk. That's part of the reason that professional mechanics have their ASE certificates hanging on the wall of their offices. It gives them something to fall back on in case of litigation.

My personal advice would be to have your students standard waiver with some very direct language indemnifying you of liability and to charge "for expenses" rather than for your services. That will give you enough to protect yourself from small claims and would give a lawyer enough ammo to fend off cases in case one of your coworkers misunderstands your advice and drops a car on their head. Hopefully they won't, but you do have to plan for the worst in these cases.

Some would argue that it's sad that you have to go to these lengths, but as my old civil law prof would say "we live in an age of hyperlexis. And I'm not talking about expensive Japanese luxury cars."


Addendum: At the same time I would strongly encourage you to follow through with the idea. Getting a waiver printed and setting up a separate paypal account "for expenses" involves very little work on your part and the many rewards that you get from training others far outweigh the cost.

glueguy Dork
8/31/18 2:06 p.m.

I’m not a fan of working on other’s cars. I don’t want to be responsible if a bolt strips or something goes wrong. I’ll be happy to help in their space but I want to be able to shrug and go at any time. I’m not a pro. 

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