In the UK, there are around 38 million vehicles licensed for use on the roads, according to the RAC. All of these will need some sort of maintenance or care at some point, and car service businesses benefit from this huge demand. From car washing businesses to those that sell car care products, carry out vital maintenances services, or specialise in a particular part of a vehicle, this sector is a varied one. No matter your interest or specialism, there is huge scope to get involved in a car services franchise by starting up your own business. Let’s take a look at what is out there.
Let’s start with Autoglym, which sells valeting and car care products for the interior and exterior of your vehicle. This business has been in operation for more than 50 years and has been franchising for 23, which means that it has plenty of experience in running a successful and wide-reaching business. It has cultivated a varied customer pool, consisting of car distributors, transport mechanics and valeting companies. It is also accredited by the British Franchise Association. Prospective franchisees must be willing to invest at least £50,000 into a business with Autoglym, and will receive training in key areas, including product inventory, sales, marketing, customer support, service orientation and IT systems.
This franchise offers its customers a similar range of products, from paint and maintenance products to cleaners and deodorisers. However, although this franchise has a comparatively shorter history than Autoglym – having been in operation for 40 years and franchising for 20 – it is a more affordable option, as investment can start from as little as £15,000.
There are now 150 Autosmart franchise units across the UK, selling products to car dealerships, valeting companies, hauliers, vehicle rental services and coach companies. New franchisees will also receive training in key aspects of the business, including sales and marketing.
Hometyre offers something a little different. As a mobile tyre business, it offers tyre fitting and replacement and wheel alignment services. Hometyre has forged business alliances with leading brands, including Michelin, Dunlop, Goodyear and Toyo, allowing it to reach a turnover of £5 million. Investors can get on board for £40,000 and will be shown the ropes in a structured training programme. Franchisees learn about the business in the first week, get hands-on training in the second week, and recap the information learnt in the final week.
The Wheel Specialist
Founded in 1955, The Wheel Specialist is the oldest and largest wheel refurbishing company in the UK. It originally provided spray painting services but has since built on its business model to offer alloy wheel repairs, refurbishments and modifications, including wheel balancing, stripping and refitting, and wet paint and powder coating. While there are many businesses that offer some or all of these services, The Wheel Specialist states that a total wheel refurbishment from them is a better choice for vehicle owners than a mobile repair service from another company, as it provides a longer-lasting solution. The Wheel Specialist has also worked to boost its public profile, and has featured on various television programmes, including Wheeler Dealers.
If you’re interested in joining this business, you will need to make an initial investment of just under £45,000. In return, you’ll be able to rely on ongoing support from the business’ franchising team. But this isn’t all – you’ll also get an exclusive territory, access to the latest industry research, world-class guidance in sales and marketing and the use of a website “that delivers leads while you sleep”.
Online Car Service
As you can see, there are plenty of businesses out there just waiting for you to come on board. The ones that operate an online section will maximise their customer base and profitability. Therefore, you should always factor this into your final decision. Rather than waiting for customers to arrive at their shop or onto the garage forecourt, online car services can target customers from further afield and use high-quality content and photographs to encourage customers to use their services. One example of this is Etyres:
This business is proud to be the UK’s first online tyre franchise. Having been in operation for 27 years and franchising for 23 of them, Etyres has plenty of experience offering tyre changing services whenever and wherever the customer prefers. Working within its three core values of honesty, convenience and professionalism, Etyres operates a fleet of vans that are fully equipped with everything you need to change a tyre.
There are two options for investors looking to get involved in this business. The first is a standard franchise structure; a minimum investment of £24,000 will grant you access to your own territory and a two-week training course covering product inventory, sales, marketing, data management, finance and IT systems. With this model, Etyres aims to have franchisees’ businesses up and running within just eight weeks.
The second option is the etyresExpansion+ programme and is ideal for those on a lower budget. This model defers 50 percent of the franchise fee payment, meaning that a fee of just £13,431 is paid over a five-year period. If you manage to expand the business into a two or three-van operation before the five years are up, you can even reduce the outstanding fee by up to £10,000.
The automotive industry holds huge potential for entrepreneurs who are on the lookout for a recession-proof business that can grow with them. If you can stay on top of changes in the sector and make sure you cater to the latest demands, you will be able to ensure your future as a successful franchisee. Check out other car and automotive franchises in the Point Franchise directory for more fantastic business opportunities.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©