If you’re passionate about cars and enjoy working with your hands, starting a mobile oil change business could be a lucrative venture. This business involves providing convenient oil change services to customers at their homes, offices, or any location of their choice. Here in this article, we have provided a step-by-step guide on how to start a mobile oil change business.
What is a Mobile Oil Change Business?
A mobile oil change business is a service-based venture that provides convenient oil change and basic automotive maintenance services to customers at their preferred locations. It includes their homes, offices, or any other designated area. Instead of customers having to drive to a traditional auto shop for an oil change, mobile oil change businesses bring the service directly to them, saving time and offering added convenience.
Mobile oil change businesses normally operate out of specially equipped vans or trucks that are stocked with all the necessary tools, equipment, and supplies needed to perform oil changes on various types of vehicles. These businesses offer flexibility in scheduling appointments, allowing customers to book appointments at their convenience.
The services offered by mobile oil change businesses often include oil and filter changes, fluid top-ups, tire pressure checks, and basic vehicle inspections. Some mobile oil change providers may also offer additional services such as filter replacements, windshield wiper replacements, and battery checks.
Is Mobile Oil Change Business Profitable?
The mobile oil change industry is big in the United States. According to IBIS, the last available statistics, it is about $7 billion US Dollars.
A person having a passion for the automobile industry and years of experience can start a profitable mobile oil change service business to make money out of it with a low startup capital investment. It is usually recommended that the vehicle oil should be changed at least after 5000 km or 60 days, whichever is earlier. Now the market of this business is growing rapidly because of the sales growth of the vehicles.
13 Steps to Start a Mobile Oil Change Service Business
1. Research the Market
The first step is to assess the demand for mobile oil change services in your area. Identify your target market, such as busy professionals, fleet owners, or car enthusiasts. It is advisable to do market research and collect information regarding the demand and trends of the local mobile oil change industry.
2. Learn the Trade
To get entry into the business, you must learn all the mechanisms like how to change oil, which grade of oil is best to use for the specific vehicle, and which is not, how much quantity of oil is needed for a specific vehicle, etc.
However, you don’t need to have certificates or prior experience to start a mobile oil change service business.
3. Create a Business Plan
Like any other business, it is essential to have a well-thought-out business plan. It not only helps in creating a roadmap for the future functioning of the business but also helps in securing funds if needed.
The most important topics to be addressed in your mobile change service business plan are the following:
- Startup and recurring Costs
- Your target customers
- Pricing strategy
- Financial plan
- How do you plan to sell?
4. Calculate the Cost of Starting a Mobile Oil Change Business
The cost of starting a mobile change business is mainly centered around purchasing fluids like oil, windshield washer fluid, antifreeze, and similar stuff. In addition, you need to invest in oil filters, a mobile truck or van, and oil dispensing systems like hoses, and pumps.
On average, a mobile oil change business can be started with an investment of around $2,500 to $10,000. The cost will be reduced if you plan to provide the services with a used van instead of a newly purchased truck.
5. Name Your Business
Choosing a business name that perfectly relates to your business services is extremely critical to the long-term success of your venture. If you have not yet decided on your name for your mobile change service business, we recommend reading our article on how to name a business to learn more.
6. Register Your Business
If you are planning to run a legally compliant mobile change service company, it is essential to register your business. Every country and state offers different types of business structures under which a company is run. Select the one that suits you best based on your resources and scale of operation.
For example, if you are from the United States, the most popular business structures for small businesses are proprietorship, partnership, and Limited Liability Company. Most attorneys suggest forming an LLC as it saves personal assets in case the company is financially sued.
7. Licenses, Permits, & Insurance for Mobile Oil Change Service Business
In most countries, you don’t need much permission to operate this business. However, you must talk to a business consultant for a state-specific license that is required if any.
For some states in the US, there might be a need for specific licenses and permits to run an oil change business. Visit the official site of SBA and learn more about state-specific license requirements.
It is important to obtain insurance for your mobile oil change business and your car. At any moment if your client’s car gets damaged you will ask for compensation and the insurance company can cover all the expenses on your behalf.
8. Supplies & Equipment for Mobile Change Business
You need to find the right equipment and supplies for your business. Also, you need to have a vehicle for mobility. Normally required equipment is oil filters, lubricants, motor oil of different grades, storage vessels, and a pot to collect used oils. The estimated cost of starting the mobile oil change service business from home will be around $5000 to $10,000.
Find below a list of some basic tools to start a mobile oil change service business:
- Hydraulic Jacks
- Oil Filter Pliers
- Oil Change Pump / Extractor
- Oil Filter Cap Wrench
- Oil Drain Pan
- Oil Change Ramps
- Oil Spill Mats
- Set of work gloves
- Fill Funnel
- Synthetic Oil and Lubes (windshield washer, transmission fluid, brake fluids, and stuff like that)
You will likely have a storage space to keep all the equipment and the oils. Select a space that is damp-proof.
9. Fix Pricing
Decide the pricing of the specific service you are offering. To start with and break into the market your price should be competitive and comparatively cheap.
The present price of existing mobile change business owners ranges in the range of $25-$60 depending on the location. Check the charges fixed by competitors and then create your pricing strategy.
10. Build a Client base
Contact potential clients and let them know how you will give them better services at a better price. Present your mobile oil change service business company with professional manners like with a business card and with a uniform.
In addition, one can contact car rental companies for bulk orders. You can offer a discount to the customers who booked an appointment for repeated oil change services.
11. Create an Online presence
Create a decent and informative website for your business and go for some social media advertisements. Make an online booking system through your site and make your site with enough information about the oil change. Utilize social media platforms to showcase your services, share customer testimonials, and engage with potential clients. Distribute flyers, business cards, and promotional materials in your target areas. Consider offering introductory discounts or referral incentives to attract new customers.
12. Provide Excellent Customer Service
Focus on delivering exceptional service and building long-term relationships with customers. Maintain professionalism, punctuality, and transparency in your dealings. Encourage feedback from customers to continuously improve your services.
13. Build Partnerships
Collaborate with local businesses, car dealerships, and auto repair shops to offer complementary services or referral programs. Attend community events, car shows, and networking functions to promote your business and establish connections.
About the Author: 99businessideas.com led by Rupak Chakrabarty is committed to helping beginners, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in starting, managing, and growing their businesses.