Mobile Oil Change Business and Company Comparisons

admin, 19 August 2012, No comments
Categories: Automotive
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We have been reviewing articles in Oil Lube Magazines, Newsletters, ASO, ASE, Auto Mechanic and many other periodicals on the assessments and profitability of mobile oil change units. We believe that many of the surveyed may have misrepresented their actual results, however have brought to you some of the findings which have been written about in these comparison surveys and reports. Even though the surveys and periodicals have much credibility, I believe that the studied set of operators have been to few in numbers to be accurate and even one of the magazines admitted that the survey was plus or minus 5% at best.

We believe 15% although are rather miffed at the fact that no one really seems to know the real results of such efforts by individual operators. In the survey in one newspaper in the Industry they found that only ten percent of the mobile oil change units to be franchised and 90% independent operators. The same publication said that the average radius of service was 51 miles and had at least 21 fixed site operators in their market which was an increase from previous studies. The average ticket price was said to be $39.00 and average cost of goods sold was $8.40. Average company had 1.6 vans. Vans were the most popular units used about 52% of the time, bobtail trucks 10% of the time and pick-ups 5% of the time. An average of 4.4 vehicles per stop were said to be serviced. 70% of the companies serviced mostly fleets. We have not found this to be the case in our actual ride along studies with competitors and team members;

The average company serviced 12.2 cars or units as they called them each day. Average lube only price was $28.22 only $4.00 more than Jiffy Lube. Insurance costs, which we did concur with is an average of $1,946.00 up from previous years as we also have found. Average cost for a Semi truck lube only was $85.61, which seems a little low and quite a deal for trucking companies and companies with lots of units such as cement companies. Number one type of advertising was word of mouth and vehicle signage. Yellow Pages was the third. 56% of the companies surveyed in one publication did off road heavy equipment. 32% did some marine or boats. Over 60% had done generators although few on a regular basis. 40% claimed they made 100K last year, 33% said they did over 50K anf 27% said under 50K.

We are relatively uncertain about these numbers in particular, way to vague and questionable as per our research, perhaps they are true. 66.5% of respondents said they did School Bus or tour bus oil changing and serviced their fleets. Average pay was fair at $11.44 for workers, higher than Jiffy Lube and all Wal-Mart Stores. The cost to set up a van unit was an average of $8,941.00 we feel this is about right considering the under equipped units that we had seen previously. Operators said their breakeven point on average was 6.3 units. We also questioned this and think it to be a little higher if everyone looks at all costs and averages them over the number of days worked and also needing to be taken into consideration were the real wear and tear depreciation that exists. One recent consultant to our team said that if one counts all costs that these numbers are apparently to low for break even number of units and how many days did they really work and how many days did they average and what climate are they in? Some areas cannot work due to weather certain times of the year.

The cost of goods sold, many agreed to the surveys as well as many fixed site operators we talked to. Here is an estimate one person told us which we had not verified and therefore we do not in anyway endorse, it may or may not be correct: Oil is about $4.10 per gallon, average number of gallons? 4.3 Qts. Of course not SUVs, but cars like Hondas and Ford Tauruses. Filters average about $2.05 each, two stage filters $3.50 . 1 Grease job, about $0.95 per pound really hard to say the amount to be used. ATF fluid? Yes about $3.06 -$12.00 per gallon 1/2 qt average some much more. Brake fluid said to be $2.00 per qt. Power Steering Fluid $2.00-$4.00 per qt.

These prices are all arbitrary and change all the time. Most of the problems with mobile independents is that they do not buy them in bulk, even some respondents were using plastic bottles when customers specified a certain type of oil? Ouch, even if you buy it at Wal-Mart, what is your time worth? Any way, we believe that these surveys are important but there are not enough mobile oil changing units around or that participate in surveys to really understand the actual costs.

“Lance Winslow” – If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance;

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