Four thousand company owners in the franchise industry can’t be wrong. That’s how many franchises include oil changes in their list of vehicle care services.
And with many customers hanging on to older vehicles, franchises that have branched out to include basic repair and maintenance services are busier than ever. The average customer drives about 15,000 miles a year and changes oil every 5,000 miles. This is responsible for generating revenue or $7 billion for the oil change industry annually.
Few franchises operate by doing only oil changes. The add-on services provided by the franchises, such as tire changes, are the money makers. If you’re a skilled business person but know nothing about vehicles, don’t write off oil change franchises. All of them include intensive training and support.
Mobile oil change franchises are poised to boom, especially as more people work from home. People are finding it very convenient to have the auto service come to their location, whether it is to their home or to their place of employment.
Why You Should Start an Oil Change Franchise
- Recurring Demand: Vehicles constantly need oil changes at regular intervals, ensuring a steady stream of customers. As long as people drive, there will always be a need for this essential maintenance service.
- Brand Recognition: By affiliating with a known franchise, you benefit from established brand trust and customer loyalty. This can reduce the time and resources typically required to build a brand from scratch.
- Comprehensive Training & Support: Franchises often provide extensive training for new franchisees. This means even if you don’t have deep experience in the auto industry, you can get up to speed quickly with best practices and operational guidelines.
- Turnkey Business Model: Many franchises offer a complete business model, including marketing strategies, vendor relationships, and operational procedures. This turnkey approach can simplify the startup process and increase the likelihood of success.
- Potential for Growth: As you establish your first location, the franchise model can offer opportunities for expansion. With a proven system in place, it’s easier to replicate success in multiple locations or even diversify into other related services offered by the franchise.
Selecting the Best Oil Change Franchises: Our Key Considerations
For those looking into oil change franchises, making an informed decision is crucial for success in this competitive industry. Here are the key criteria that we used when making our selections:
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- Brand Recognition and Market Presence (Importance Scale: 9/10)
- Evaluate the brand’s recognition in the automotive service industry.
- A strong brand can lead to customer trust and repeat business.
- Initial Investment and Franchise Fees (Importance Scale: 10/10)
- Understand the total initial investment, including franchise fees, equipment, and facility setup.
- Consider ongoing expenses like royalties and advertising fees.
- Training and Support Systems (Importance Scale: 10/10)
- Quality training in technical and business management aspects is vital.
- Ensure ongoing operational and marketing support from the franchisor.
- Location and Territory Analysis (Importance Scale: 9/10)
- The success of an oil change franchise heavily depends on location.
- Assess traffic patterns, competition, and the local market demographics.
- Operational Efficiency and Technology (Importance Scale: 8/10)
- Investigate the efficiency of the franchise’s operational systems.
- Modern technology for scheduling, inventory management, and customer service is crucial.
- Profitability and Revenue Potential (Importance Scale: 10/10)
- Analyze the potential return on investment and profitability.
- Compare with other franchises and industry benchmarks.
- Quality of Products and Services (Importance Scale: 9/10)
- The franchise should maintain high standards for service quality and product offerings.
- Consider the range of services provided beyond basic oil changes.
- Franchise Agreement and Terms (Importance Scale: 8/10)
- Scrutinize the franchise agreement for clarity on terms, conditions, and duration.
- Understand your rights and obligations as a franchisee.
- Regulatory Compliance (Importance Scale: 7/10)
- Ensure the franchise complies with environmental regulations and industry standards.
- Be aware of specific local regulations regarding waste disposal and safety.
Best Oil Change Franchise Opportunities
Let’s start with the mobile oil change franchise business model, Luby Dudes and Spiffy Green. This is relatively new in the industry, but one that is growing as more people look for convenience.
Mobile Oil Changes
1. Luby Dudes
Luby Dudes keep it simple. The business changes the filter and the oil. The oil is changed using a vacuum system, and Luby Dudes handles the disposal of the used oil. That’s the extent of the auto care service that is offered.
Customers can be both residential and commercial. Luby Dudes will also service commercial customers with multiple vehicles or fleets of vehicles. Customers enjoy an instant oil change, without having to drop off the vehicle or wait. The convenience of the service is its strongest selling point.
You’ll need a minimum of $30,000 cash as a start-up fee for one of these franchises.
2. Spiffy Green
Spiffy Green also specializes in instant oil change. The Spiffy Green franchises have some add-ons to the change and new filter service. Customers can also have a Spiffy Green (environmentally safe) car wash and interior detailing. The interior detailing can include disinfecting and sanitizing.
The company also offers tire repairs, replacement and it recycles the used tires. The tires are recycled in an eco-friendly process. All materials used by Spiffy Green are environmentally friendly.
You’ll need a minimum of $50,000 cash as a startup fee.
3. Victory Lane Quick Oil Change
This company offers true quick oil change and a new filter. Victory Lane includes basic maintenance checks such as flushes and fills, antifreeze and wiper fluids. As franchises in the industry go, Victory Lane keeps it simple.
It’s a comparatively simple business model. The business was formerly known as Pit Stop Quick Lube.
Oil Change and Additional Vehicle Services
These franchises share some commonalities. All of the franchises offer extensive training at special centers and include field support. A new franchise owner can expect to spend a minimum of 6 weeks in training.
The franchise fees start at around $30,000 but significant cash outlay follows. You’ll need at least $100,000 in cash on average to purchase inventory and equipment for these franchises.
4. Fleet Services International, Ltd
Fleet Services International is known as the Richard Petty brand. This is not a true franchise with a franchise fee. Instead, Fleet Services requires an applicant to have $50,000 minimum cash, as a “territory fee.”
Fleet Services includes oil change services and repairs for both automotive and heavy-duty (trucks). The heavy-duty truck aspect of Fleet Services includes commercial and government fleets. The commercial and government fleet work is the backbone of these franchises.
5. Merlin 200,000 Mile Shops
Merlin offers complete vehicle care. The franchise fee for a new Merlin is $30,000, plus $110,000 cash. The company has special Motivation and Achievement programs for employees.
6. Strickland Brothers
The company is known it 10-minute, drive-through services. You’ll need a $50,000 franchise fee and a minimum$200,000 cash.
Strickland provides lots of assistance with marketing, especially customer retention campaigns. Strickland will also assist existing Quick Lube franchise owners with converting to Strickland Brothers.
7. Express Oil Change and Tire Engineers
As the name implies, Express Oil Change and Tire Engineers provide oil change and a full selection of tires. The dual focus leads to a simpler operation for these franchises.
The franchise fee is $50,000, but if you want to open more new Express’s, the franchise fee is $25,000 each. Start-up costs may be reduced if it is possible to convert an existing building. The existing building would have to have drive-through bays available.
8. Grease Monkey
Grease Monkey is an automotive service center offering oil changes and more. Owners can add the Monkey Shine Car Wash to this oil changers franchise.
The franchise fee is $35,000, with additional start up costs ranging from $150,000 to $350,000.
9. Brakes for Less
The Brakes for Less franchises offer oil changes and a narrow, fixed-range of repair services. The franchise fee is $25,000 and buyers must have $50,000 cash.
Brakes for Less franchises are located in 4 states, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana and South Carolina.
10. Meineke Care Center
Meineke remains strong in the industry, with 38 new franchises opening in 2019. After the $35,000 franchise fee, applicants need $110,000 minimum cash.
Meineke does oil changes, exhaust systems, brakes, tires and more. The company has a technology-focused business management system that includes accounting, workflow, scheduling, ordering and procurement.
The franchise fee ranges from $10,000 to $35,000. The range is due to a special Midas shop conversion program. After the franchise fee, a new owner should have $75,000 minimum cash.
The franchise fee is waived for Veterans and First Responders.
12. Valvoline Instant Oil Change
Valvoline Instant Oil Change includes additional services such as all repairs and tires. The business includes a specialized point-of-sale system that tracks customers’ service histories and maintenance records.
13. All Tune and Lube
In the franchise oil change industry, All Tune and Lube is also known as the All Tune Transmission specialist. The company uses national purchasing programs, multi-media advertising and marketing campaigns. It also has an extensive site analysis and selection process for its franchises.
The franchise fee is $30,000 with a total investment ranging from $112,000-$146,500.
14. SpeeDee Oil Change and Auto Service
SpeeDee has been in the franchise industry since 1980. The franchise fee is $30,000. SpeeDee started with basic services but expanded to include a full menu of repairs, including brakes and other maintenance services.
15. Jiffy Lube
Like SpeeDee, Jiffy Lube has been in the franchises industry since 1980. Jiffy Lube has franchises in 47 states.
The franchise fee is $35,000. Jiffy Lube franchises can expect a weekly Franchises e-letter, letting franchisees know what’s happening throughout the company’s franchises. Jiffy Lube franchises can choose from a wide selection of vendors.
Oil Change Franchise Comparison
|Franchise Name||Main Services||Franchise Fee||Startup Cash Requirement||Notable Features/Extras|
|Luby Dudes||Oil & filter change||$30,000||$30,000||Instant service for both residential and commercial|
|Spiffy Green||Oil change, car wash, detailing, tire repair/replacement||$50,000||$50,000||Eco-friendly, interior disinfection|
|Victory Lane Quick Oil Change||Oil change, basic maintenance||Around $30,000||$100,000 avg.||Formerly known as Pit Stop Quick Lube|
|Fleet Services International, Ltd||Oil change and repairs for automotive & trucks||Territory fee||$50,000||Services commercial and government fleets|
|Merlin 200,000 Mile Shops||Complete vehicle care||$30,000||$140,000||Employee motivation programs|
|Strickland Brothers||Drive-through services||$50,000||$250,000||Marketing & retention campaigns, conversions|
|Express Oil Change and Tire Engineers||Oil change, tire services||$50,000||Variable||Dual focus, potential for reduced costs with conversions|
|Grease Monkey||Oil changes and more||$35,000||$150,000 - $350,000||Optional Monkey Shine Car Wash|
|Brakes for Less||Oil changes, range of repair services||$25,000||$75,000||Limited state locations|
|Meineke Care Center||Comprehensive auto care||$35,000||$145,000||Tech-focused management system|
|Midas||Auto care services||$10,000 - $35,000||$75,000 - $110,000||Fee waiver for Veterans/First Responders|
|Valvoline Instant Oil Change||Oil change, repairs, tires||Not specified||Not specified||POS system for service tracking|
|All Tune and Lube||Oil change, transmission services||$30,000||$112,000 - $146,500||National purchasing & marketing campaigns|
|SpeeDee Oil Change and Auto Service||Oil change, full repair menu||$30,000||Not specified||Expanded services since its inception|
|Jiffy Lube||Wide range of auto services||$35,000||Not specified||Franchise support, wide vendor selection|
How much does it cost to get a start in the oil change services industry?
Franchises on average have a $30,000 franchise fee. Owners will need from $100,000 to $300,000 to purchase inventory along with tools/equipment the industry demands.
Some of the equipment can include tire changing tools, air wrenches and air compressors, as well as costly computer diagnostic equipment. Mechanics need an arsenal of hand tools and the business requires a steady stream of inventory, including belts, filters, hoses, spark plugs and all the various fluids that vehicles need.
The additional costs for the franchises can vary. The cost may be lower for franchises that already own real estate and tools/equipment. You may be able to convert an existing building that you already own. Not all franchises allow such a conversion.
Are oil change franchises profitable?
Revenue for franchises is about $7 billion annually, shared by 4,000 franchises. An individual franchise typically takes in about $600,000 in annual gross revenue. Of that, the franchise owner should take home six figures or more, earning $100,000 minimum net.
Those figures are based on a robust and challenging work schedule. The numbers are based on a typical month at an auto service franchise, including 1,200 oil changes a month. Yep, that’s a lot. With simple math, that’s 40 per day.
In other words, you won’t be popping a lawn chair out of a bag and checking out the sound system in a customer’s vehicle. The industry is based on hard work, timely service and repairs. You’re responsible to keep those vehicles rolling, on the road, and in and out of your business.
How do you start an oil change business?
Starting the business begins with your research into the market for these franchises, including new technology, equipment, industry trends and more.
That’s why many aspiring owners consider franchises because the numbers can be proven by the franchisor. The key to a successful oil change franchise is marketing and location. If you have no automotive experience, no worries, training is provided for the franchises.
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