Most automotive properties fall under two or three classes in total, if you include ‘sui generis’ as a class.
Sui generis is the classification that most vehicle showrooms or forecourts would fall under. Even though they are essentially retail based properties, they are not classified under the typical A1 Shop and Retail class.
A property that is used for vehicle hire like car or van hire would also fall under the sui generis class. Another type of automotive property that falls under the sui generis class is a petrol or filling station.
The second class is B2 which is general industrial class. Vehicle manufacture and repair would typically fall under this category, with vehicle repair shops being classified in a similar fashion to a light industrial unit, which mixes an industrial area with an office area too.
The third use class would be B8. This class is defined as Storage and Distribution which would pertain to vehicle storage and distribution for large or small vehicle manufacturers based in the UK.
Automotive based retail stores that sell car accessories and spares like bulbs, cleaning products would fall under the A1 Shop and Retail classification.
If you plan to convert any other use class of property into an automotive based property, then you would have to look at applying for planning permission to achieve this, with the exception of changing an existing shop into a car accessory or product store which would not require planning permission.
Buying an Automotive Property
Automotive Property FAQ