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Oil Change Franchising: What You Need To Know Before You Sign Up
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By: Tim Laganke Email Article
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An oil change franchise enables you, the investor or "franchisee", to operate a well-known oil change business from a larger company, or "franchisor". This allows the franchisee to use the franchisor’s name for limited time, along with some assistance and possibly limitations.

You will find that some oil change franchisor’s are not very picky about who buys into their oil change franchise. Most of the time, all an oil change franchisor will care about is whether or not you can pay the fees, and, assuming you have a spotless legal record, they will usually trust you to do the work. These particular oil change franchisors will give the oil change franchisee a lot of freedom to develop his or her branch of the business their way, but they may not offer too much help when a great need arises. Then there is the other extreme of an oil change franchisor who will constantly micro-manage the franchisee, and will go to great lengths to insure a great number of checklists and communication are taking place.

Oil Change Franchise Cost

You will have to pay a franchise fee, and you will then be given a system developed by the company, or "franchisor". Any oil change franchise (as well as any franchise, in general) are required, by law, to present the franchisee a document called the Uniform Franchise Circular Offering (UFOC). The UFOC outlines the franchisee’s fees, as well as their individual rights and restrictions.

The franchise fee is really only the beginning cost, as you will also need to pay for real estate deposits, utilities, supplies, insurance, office equipment, site preparation, site building, advertising, licenses, permits, legal, plus operating capital. All these costs plus expenses can equal two to three hundred thousand dollars or higher. A buyer should consider a lawyer if he or she wishes to negotiate the contract of the franchisor. If a buyer needs to apply for a loan, there are many SBA loans that are easily available for those in the market for an oil change franchise.

As you can see, you will definitely need a lot of money before you buy into an oil change franchise. However, you should be able to make up for the expense with the percentage of gross profits. It may take a while before you make some "real money" from this investment.

Therefore, in order to maximize on your profits of your oil change franchise, there are a few factors you need to consider: market, name-recognition, and staff.

The Current Market

Look at where you want to open your oil change franchise, and ask yourself if there are already plenty of places where customers can get their oil changed. You don’t want to open up an oil change franchise where there are already several available. After all, most people in that area will have already developed a relationship with their current oil change station. However, this may be a love/hate relationship. If you want to start your oil change franchise in an area surrounded by "healthy competition", you should ask the people in the area what they think about the oil change businesses that they use. Keep your ears open to the usual complaints, such as: "they charge too much", or "the service wasn’t good", or "they take too long". One of the favorite complaints of oil change franchises is when a customer takes the car in for what he or she believes to be a simple oil change, but the mechanic ends up recommending other high-priced (and sometimes unnecessary) repairs to the vehicle.

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Tim LaGanke, Jr. is president of QuickChange Oil, a 10 minute oil change center, with locations across Cleveland, Ohio. QuickChange is currently seeking applicants interested in the oil change franchising business. Please contact LaGanke at for more information.

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