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Mobile Oil Changes

mobile oil changeOne concept I heard about several years back that I still think is a good idea are mobile oil changes franchises.  Specifically, those franchises that contract with large businesses to service their employees’ cars in the parking lot while they’re working.
Providing businesses and office buildings (especially in the suburbs where everyone parks in the same lot) with on-site routine services such as dry cleaning, child care, oil changes, and other concierge type is tremendously convenient. Often, in the case for oil changes, there is only a time saving benefit and no extra cost to the employer unless they want to subsidize it.

The oil change “van” is customized to hold the equipment to rapidly suck out the old oil and pump in the fresh oil (I’m sure companies use different methods, but that is how I understand one method). While the employees are working, the oil changer collects the keys and car descriptions. In a few hours and $25 later, the employee has a freshly oil auto. The employer has probably gained a half-hour of work from the employee. Maybe the franchisee offers other services, like windshield repair, minor maintanence, car detailing, tire changes, or inspections…maybe even a mobile mechanic.

I would feel comfortable selling and coordinating this type of service with corporate customers. You have a very compelling story with real cost and time savings for the employees.

A quick search on my favorite search engine turned up these companies:

If you want to start this business on your own, the equipment per truck costs about $10,000.
I haven’t heard of the big guys (Penzoil, Jiffy Lube, you know who they are) getting into this, but don’t be surprised if the do. In that case, the no-name small franchisees will be squeezed hard.

Here is some guy selling a biz plan for starting a mobile oil business for $25 by email. It looks a little shady so be careful. If you are going to go into this business on your own, you had better already have related experience working in the industry and know exactly how to sell employee benefit services.

I would feel most comfortable in this business if it was tied to a traditional quick lube service center. It gives you a revenue base and additional word-of-mouth. And, I’d only do this if I thought I could employ two or three trucks at least 9 months out of the year.

About Ryan Knoll

Attorney and advisor with an interest in franchising. Feel free to email me comments and questions on the "Contact Us" page.


  1. sounds like a good idea. i haven’t seen this service at the office park i work at in the burbs, but i’m sure i would use it.

  2. Hi, just read this and thought I’d drop a note. My husband and I are the “guys” who sell the business plan, you didn’t mention that we also sell a very detailed manual about how to start and run a mobile lube business. There is nothing “shady” about it, we are simply trying to help others so they don’t go out and spend thousands of dollars on equipment and then have to struggle to make it work. We learned the hard, costly way by making a ton of mistakes until we learned what works, what doesn’t and how to sell this business to your customers. True we don’t sell the equipment but that only means that we won’t be pressuring anyone to buy. Our manual explains this business in enough detail that the reader can then make an informed decision about if this is the right business for them. Many people have just “jumped in” and bought the equipment and then found out that it isn’t what they expected. We have heard from a few of the equipment sellers who have read our manual and they gave us thumbs up. I’m simply asking that you don’t refer to us as shady when you haven’t read our work :0)

  3. Melinda and Rick are fine people. My wife and I have used their manual and it helped us immensely. I t did help us avoid needless expenses and kept us focused. Since I am a businessman some of the material was not useful but for someone who is new it is a good guide. ‘Shady” No, definitely not. Very committed people.

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