Category Archives: Automotive Franchises

6 Automotive Franchises to Consider

If you’re mulling over what industry you want to buy a franchise in, consider an automotive franchise. In the US, the automotive industry is at an all-time high, with more cars being produced than ever before. Add to that the fact that people are keeping their cars longer — 11 years on average — and that makes for ample opportunity for auto repair, parts, and service franchises.

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Here are a few categories of automotive franchises to consider:

Glass Repair

It could be a fallen tree branch, an ice storm, or an angry spouse; whatever the cause of car window and windshield damage, it means plenty of opportunity for you if you own a franchise like NOVUS Glass. And because your franchise is mobile, you cut down on the overhead of having office space.

The minimum cash required for a NOVUS Glass franchise is $20,000.

Auto Repair and Service

The longer cars are on the road, the more repairs and services they need performed. From oil changes to tire replacement, there are ample ways you can serve customers in your community with an auto repair franchise like Meineke or Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers.

You’ll be backed by the quality guarantees these franchisors offer, and you’ll be highly-trained to operate your auto service franchise. Meineke requires a minimum cash investment of $75,000, while Express Oil Change requires $300,000.

Reconditioning Services

Everyone likes their car to look brand new, and a reconditioning franchise like Drive N Style does just that. These reconditioning experts work with body shops, dealerships, rental agencies, and car auctions, and they don’t even have to invest in office space because their businesses are completely mobile.

Drive N Style requires a minimum cash investment of $50,000.

Automotive Tools

If you don’t want to have to deal with consumers, you could open a franchise that deals only with repair shops. An auto tool franchise like Matco Tools will have you supplying the tools needed in repair shops, dealerships, and industrial service companies. And you’ve likely seen a Matco Tools truck: that is your complete showroom, warehouse, and office. No need for commercial real estate to eat up your profits.

If you consider Matco Tools, know that you’ll have to shell out at least $30,000.

Locksmith Services

We’ve all been there: the moment you realize your keys are inside the car rather than in your hand. Just imagine how lucrative a locksmith franchise like Pop-A-Lock could be! The locksmithing business is easy to run and mobile, helping you put more profit back into your pocket.

Pop-A-Lock has a minimum cash requirement of $50,000.

If an automotive franchise appeals to you, check out our hand-selected directory of automotive franchise options.

Image: Photospin

Just One Franchise: Express Oil Change & Service Center

America’s car-buying habits have changed. Fewer drivers trade in their cars every couple of years, and more drivers are keeping their cars longer. At the same time, fewer kids spend their Saturdays working on the family car with Dad — today’s car owners are less likely to be able to do their own oil changes or simple repairs.

The result is a growing need for auto service. Express Oil Change & Service Center is ready to offer you a piece of that action.

Express is not a hyper-specialized outfit providing just oil changes or only brake service. However, they do have a signature service in their 10 minute oil change and 22 point inspection. Customers don’t even have to leave their cars for this service — a real help for moms with small children, and comfortable for consumers who can drink that cup of drive-through coffee and check headlines on their phones while the car is being serviced.

If further work is needed, Express franchises can provide it in-house.The franchise includes everything from tires to air conditioning, so happy customers will come back month after month and year after year.

The founder of Express Oil Change & Service Center started out with a job at Standard Oil and then opened a single service station in the 1940s. When he saw a quick oil change operation for the first time, he realized that his specialized knowledge would let him do a better job of it. Express now has more than 200 locations.

While this franchise opportunity may appeal particularly to car lovers, franchisees don’t need any automotive skills or experience. Express provides a comprehensive eight to ten week training program that lets franchisees hire and manage mechanics with confidence. Trainers visit on-site during the first year, in addition to the mix of classroom and field training.

Express helps with the hiring and training of the franchisee’s crew, and has an employee-friendly HR strategy focusing on full-time workers. Since team members benefit from the franchise’s success, they’re more likely to stay. That means lower worker turnover, better trained personnel, and happier staff. Express finds that this leads to greater customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Express provides management software with easy back office reporting, and they help with store site choice and design. They even provide ongoing assistance with operations. Because of this extensive support, franchisees don’t need prior experience.

General business background is a plus, though. Beyond that, Express looks for energetic, positive, highly motivated people with strong communication skills. The minimum cash requirement is $300,000, and the total investment is in the $1,400,000 – $2,000,000 range. Net worth must be at least $500,000.

This type of business naturally requires a specialized location and building with drive-through capability and a mechanic’s pit. Franchisees usually start out with six or seven full-time team members, including the franchisee or a manager. Franchisees are also required to spend 3% of gross sales on local store marketing.

Standard location hours are 8-6 on weekdays, 8-5 on Saturdays, and closed on Sundays, so this franchise is designed for positive work/life balance.

Is an Automotive Franchise for You?

mechanic_kitty_by_musaudi-d5fp6xmThe shade tree mechanic is vanishing in America, according to Daily Finance, a casualty of increasingly complex and computerized vehicles. If you love cars, though, you can still follow your passion by choosing an automotive franchise for your franchise opportunity investment.

Automotive franchises are essentially broken into two groups: those who serve consumers and those who serve dealerships. While both require business management skills and customer service know-how, franchisees don’t necessarily have to know much about automotive repair and maintenance. Understanding automotive repair can certainly help franchisees become more successful in an automotive franchise, but it’s not a requirement for most car-related franchises.

For instance, AAMCO, Precision Tune Auto Care, and Victory Lane Oil Change don’t require franchisees even to touch a car to do business. Instead, these franchises are designed to allow their franchisees to focus on the business side of things and take care of customers and day-to-day business activities. You’ll hire qualified technicians to do the dirty work and use your management and people skills instead.

All three of these franchises are aimed at serving consumers who need to service their vehicles. Since fewer people nowadays have the knowledge, skills, or time to be able to service their vehicles themselves, car repair and maintenance franchises like these three do well regardless of how the economy is doing. In fact, when people are low on cash to buy a new car, they’ll spend more money maintaining their older vehicles. And it’s no secret that older cars need more attention than new ones.

The automotive franchises that cater to the dealerships are more hands-on. Creative Colors International franchisees are owner operators who do the work of repairing upholstery and leather from their home-based business that caters directly to car dealers. AutoQual is a similar franchise that serves dealers with vehicle detailing services. Both of these franchises allow their franchisees to get their hands dirty as well as managing the business. For the craftsman or for those who don’t want to be stuck behind a desk all day, these franchises might be better suited.

Dealership-oriented companies are also different from consumer-based businesses because they don’t require advertising the way Victory Oil Change or AAMCO might. Instead, business-to-business sales are the focus and generating relationships with dealers is more important. If the idea of visiting car shows and sharing your love of vehicles on a tax deductible basis appeals to you, this group of franchises can have some extra perks worth considering.

Regardless of your experience with automotive maintenance and repair, if you’re looking for a franchise opportunity that has a strong future, automotive franchises might be the answer. The average age of vehicles on the road today is 10.8 years, meaning most cars need the care automotive franchisees can provide.

You may choose an automotive franchise because you love cars, because you enjoy working on them, because you value the steady demand for those services, or because you know that this kind of work provides value for customers. These are all good reasons.