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Can Teens Work at a Car Dealership?

There are many different types of jobs in a car dealership, especially for teens who are looking for some quick cash at weekends or over the summer holidays.

Although top-earning sales jobs are probably a bit out of your reach at the moment, there are several jobs you can do without any prior experience. America’s auto sector used to be a thriving industry in the 1930s and still makes up 3.5% of the US GDP today. So, can teens work at a car dealership? Of course, they can.

Let’s take a look at the type of teen jobs available, how you can apply for one, and what sort of salary you can expect.

can teens work at a car dealership

What Jobs Can Teens Do At A Car Dealership?

If you don’t have or are not old enough to have a driving license, any kind of job at a car dealership that requires moving a car is out of bounds from the get-go. However, there are loads of teen jobs that are entry-level and need no experience or a driving license.

These are the main jobs a teen can get in a car dealership:

  • Washing cars
  • Porter jobs
  • Working in the Parts Department
  • Car Service Driver

can teens work at car dealership

Washing Cars

If there’s a job that almost anyone can perform at a car dealership, it’s washing cars. This is the perfect job if you don’t have a driver’s license. And as long as you have at least one functioning arm, you are eligible. This is a minimum wage job, but all you need is a sponge, water and soap, a good attitude, loads of energy, and a bunch of cars to clean.

Washing and detailing are a very important part of a car lot’s operations. First impressions die hard, and if the cars are gleaming like the Emerald Isle, they are more attractive to buyers. Interior and exterior cleaning are both key elements to this job.

can teen work at car dealership

Exterior Detailing

Exterior detailing covers cleaning and restoring the outer surfaces of the car. This includes cleaning windows, wheels, chrome, and even the tires. You’ll be trained on the kind of chemicals to use for the varying surfaces.

Interior Cleaning

Although exterior detailing deals with the outward aesthetics of a vehicle, interior cleaning is just as important. This job is essentially the deep cleaning of the cabin of a truck or car. You’ll be trained on how to clean many different interior surfaces and materials such as leather, plastic, natural fibers, synthetic carpets, and even carbon fiber composites.

What do I need to get a car washing job?

Because you don’t need any formal training or experience, you won’t need to prove any kind of qualifications. Just be friendly, polite, and show a willingness to put in hard work. That should suffice.

Working In Porter Jobs

If you can drive and hold a current driving license, your job opportunities are more plentiful. Some car dealerships hire teens for porter jobs, although some prefer people with more driving experience. The main responsibility for this job is to drive to other dealerships to pick up car parts.

Other aspects of this job include moving cars around the dealership grounds and parking them where needed. This job comes with a decent amount of responsibility because you are trusted to drive the company’s vehicles.

Taking care of the cars…

You will also be expected to clean off the cars in the lot. You’ll be clearing off the snow during the winter, preparing cars that have already been sold before the owner picks them up, and generally keeping the cars full of gasoline.

can teen work at the cars dealership

What do I need for a Teen Car Dealership Porter Job?

Fortunately, this is also an entry-level job that needs very little work experience, if any. But as mentioned above, a clean driving license is a must. If you do have any experience driving or cleaning cars, it will come in handy when you apply. Any experience working with cars or car parts will also be a plus.

Working In The Parts Department

One of the more upscale jobs a teen can get is working in the parts department. It’s a much cushier affair than being soaked to the bone washing cars, that’s for sure. It’s not an entry-level job as such, because you need to understand more about cars and their parts. Previous jobs working as a helper for mechanics will give you a greater chance of obtaining this type of job.

The main aspects of working in the parts department are getting products from the stores and running them over to the service technicians. This job is similar to a portering role, so you may be asked to pick up car parts from other shops and stores in the area.

You’ll also be expected to keep an eye on internal stock and keep a log on inventory. Any previous work in factory stores will help you to get this job.

can teen work at the car dealership

Car Service Driver

One of the coolest teen jobs in a car dealership is being a car service driver. The main duties of a car service driver are to pick up stranded motorists whose cars need repairs or to drive people to work while their cars are being serviced at the dealership. You’ll need to be over 18 and have a clean driver’s license and other driving work experience to get this job.

How To Apply?

The most direct way to apply for teen car dealership jobs is to physically visit your local branch. Introduce yourself to the sales manager, who will then point you in the right direction to apply for jobs.

And although you probably won’t be able to get a sales job, most dealerships have body shops, mechanic areas, and parts departments.

Be aware of minimum wage…

Alternatively, you could go down to your local car wash center to apply for an entry-level car washing job. These companies routinely hire 16 to 18-year-olds, although there might be some issues employing under 18’s in certain states due to labor laws.

Just remember that some dealerships might employ you because you are under 18, and they can pay you less than the minimum wage.

Additional Automotive Opportunities

For a more in-depth look at what positions you could apply for once you’re old enough, take a look at my Mechanic Job Description, Automotive Technician Job Description, and Car Detailer Job Description, as well as my Sales Associate Job Description, Sales Associate Interview Questions.

To help you get started, I’ve put together a few applications you might be interested in, such as my Ford Dealership Application, Autozone Application, Firestone Application, or Goodyear Application, along with my Oreilly Auto Parts Application, NAPA Auto Parts Application, and Advanced Auto Parts Application in 2022.

To excel in any sales job, you need to be able to read people and know what they want. So, firstly we recommend having a look at How To Get A Sales Job to get you started.

Next, why not try reading Every Job Is a Sales Job: How to Use the Art of Selling to Win at Work, Objections: The Ultimate Guide for Mastering the Art and Science of Getting past No, or how about The Sales Development Framework: How to Build and Scale a Highly Productive Sales Development Program, and Sales Secrets: The World’s Top Salespeople Share Their Secrets to Success all available online today.

If you have a criminal record, you might want to check out Does Autozone Hire Felons, as well as Does Autozone Run Background Checks, before applying there.

Training Salary Work Jobs for Teens

If you have never worked in a car dealership or a car-related company before, there might be another way to get your proverbial foot in the door. Some dealerships offer a 90-day training salary for under 18’s who want to get experience.

Again, this will depend on which state you live in and their local labor laws, so please do your research in this regard. Even though the wages are low for this job, you will get the prerequisite work experience to get a more reliable car dealership job.

Final Thoughts

You don’t really have any excuses not to apply at your local car dealership. They are the perfect place for teens to get a foothold on the employment ladder or to make some extra cash.

Car washing jobs need very little experience, but if you can drive, your options are even more plentiful. It’s a good day of honest work, and although it’s generally for minimum wage, everyone has to start somewhere.

All the very best getting your first Car Dealership job!

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About Carmen Smith

Carmen grew up in San Diago but now lives in Boston. She loves traveling, experiencing other cultures, and basically exploring the world, be country at a time.

Her other passion is helping people find the perfect career. We spend 33% of our working lives at work, so it's ridiculous that many people do jobs that they do not enjoy. Carmen wants to change this and thinks that anyone who isn't happy in their employment should keep looking until they find something that they really enjoy. 

She firmly believes that "Everyone's perfect job is out there; it's just a case of continually looking until you find it."

Carmen lives with her husband Johnny, a keen birder who also loves to travel. He finds birds while Carmen makes plans for where they will be eating next...

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