How To Start a Mobile Oil-Changing Business

by Chosen Caleb
103 views 4 minutes read

What do you mean by “mobile oil-changing business”? Is that an actual business? Of course, it is!
Mobile oil-changing services entail requesting for technicians to change your car’s oil without leaving your house. With the rising demand for convenient auto-mobile services, this business has seen rapid growth and has come to stay.

Photo by Daniel Andraski on Pexel

How does this service work?

First, the client or person in need will book an appointment for the mobile oil-changing service via phone or online. Then, the certified technicians come over to perform the oil change and offer additional services (if need be). Afterward, the customer will make a payment after you complete the service and they are satisfied.

How profitable is the mobile oil-changing business?

With the increasing number of vehicles, the busy lifestyle of vehicle owners, and the increasing use of online booking services, the mobile oil-changing business has seen tremendous growth. This growth has made it a highly profitable venture in recent years. However, profitability is highly dependent on factors such as service area size, pricing, efficiency, and frequency of demand. The market was valued at a staggering $150.02 billion in 2022 and is estimated to reach a revenue of $208.27 billion by 2029, with a growth rate of 4.8% CAGR. The mobile oil-changing business is highly capital-intensive, with start-up costs ranging from $10,000 to $50,000. Estimated revenue for the mobile oil change business is about $100,000 annually, with an average profit of $20,000. However, this highly depends on how many customers one has, as some mobile oil businesses make more than this annually.

What are the pros and cons of this business?

Before venturing into this type of high-capital-intensive business, it is important to understand its pros and cons (despite the huge profit you can make). Below are some of them:

Pros

  • Low overhead costs: The costs incurred while running the mobile oil-changing business are low. Unlike many businesses, they don’t require a physical workshop, nor is there a need to pay utilities, and then the insurance only covers the business vehicles and equipment.
  • High convenience factor: Mobile oil-changing businesses also offer high convenience to their consumers. They save them from the hassle of driving from one automobile repair shop to another to change automobile oil.
  • Gain exposure and experience: The mobile oil-changing business can enable you to gain either exposure or experience with different types of automobiles and the required oils for these automobiles. It can also enable you to venture into other parts of automobile repair aside from oil changing as a result of knowledge gained about automobiles.
  • Flexible operations: Due to the heavy online presence the mobile oil-changing business carries, you can easily set your work hours and schedules, which is essential because there are times when your services will be required outside the traditional business hours.
  • Easy scalability: The mobile oil-changing business also offers an easy way to expand without leaving you to worry about how to go about it. This is because getting more equipment and technicians is enough to scale to a higher level without incurring too much cost.
  • Recurring revenue: Because of the regular oil changes that automobiles require, the mobile oil changing business offers a steady income stream through repeat services and loyal customers.
  • Environmentally friendly: Due to the absence of physical workshops, there is no worry about oil spillage, and the encouraged use of recycled plastic containers ensures that the mobile oil-changing business is very eco-friendly, which will attract eco-conscious customers.

Cons

  • Highly competitive: Due to the growing market size of the mobile oil changing business, it is becoming highly competitive, and you would be required to deploy robust marketing techniques and enhanced services for customers to enjoy.
  • High start-up cost: As mentioned earlier, starting a mobile oil-changing business is very expensive. Getting vans for transporting the technicians, equipment, insurance, marketing materials, and building the website or app (for online presence) are all costly to put in place.
  • Fuel and travel costs: This has proven to be the only high overhead cost for mobile oil-changing businesses. Because there are no physical workshops, constant driving to where services are needed would lead to significant overhead expenses.
  • Limited-service capacity: Because the mobile oil-changing business is remote, you would only attend to one customer at a time, which will likely affect challenges that can be overcome as the business grows.
  • Waste disposal: The disposal of used oils and filters differs from how regular waste is disposed of. It requires proper disposal methods and licensing, which might take time and be costly.
  • Technical challenges: Mechanical issues within the vans or equipment can develop, which can disrupt operations and cause delays, leading to loss of income.
  • Finding qualified technicians: Qualified technicians are hard to come by, and hiring and retaining skilled technicians can be costly and challenging.

Equipment Needed to Begin Mobile Oil-Changing Business

There are several types of equipment needed to run a mobile oil-changing business. These pieces of equipment can be categorized into what would be used in:

  • Transportation and Workspace.
  •  Technology and software.

The most important ones include:

1. Vehicles

Since there is no physical workshop, this is the central hub of the mobile oil-changing business. The vehicle should consist of everything needed for the business, which includes ample storage space, power outlets, and good lighting, which would require you to have a truck, van, or trailer for this business.

2. Oil drain tank

They are used to collect the used oil from the automobile. It usually has a capacity of approximately 76–189 litres.

3. Oil storage tanks

These tanks store oils of different viscosities and types (depending on the automobile). These tanks are usually mounted inside the vehicle used for the mobile oil-changing business.

4. Transfer pumps

These pumps can either be electric or manual. They are used to transfer the oil from the storage tanks to the automobile.

5. Scheduling and appointment software

It is essential for mobile oil change businesses. Customers would use these software applications or websites to book appointments to change their automobiles’ oil. These applications also help streamline bookings so that service can be carried out efficiently and effectively.

Other equipment that would be required includes a generator (optional), foldable worktables and stools, safety equipment, hoses, funnels, drip pans, wrenches and rachets, oil filter funnels, fluid transfer pumps, towels, rags, cleaning supplies, inventories, and so on.

How to Start a Mobile Oil-Changing Business

1. Carry out market research.

It is the first and most crucial step before starting a mobile oil-changing business. You must assess the demand for mobile oil changes in your area or region and consider existing competition, car ownership trends, and demography.

2. Create a business plan.

The next step is to create a business plan for the mobile oil-changing business. The business plan must outline your vision, target market (individual or commercial automobile owners), competitive analysis, financial projections, and market strategies. To learn how to design a business plan, check out this article.

3. Register your business and get permits.

You would be required to register the mobile oil-changing business. You should have determined what type of business you want—an L.L.C. (Limited Liability Company), a sole proprietorship, a partnership (with car washes, tire stores, or any other business relating to automobiles), and so on. Check the regulatory bodies in charge of registering businesses in your country, then get whatever permits you must have to operate your mobile oil-changing business. Ensure you have a lawyer in all the registration matters.

4. Source for funding

It is essential if you need more funds to start a mobile oil-changing business. Funds can come from loans, investments (angel investors), bootstrapping, etc. Fund sourcing means that loans broadly vary in different countries, so one needs to know how to secure these loans to fund whatever start-up they have in mind.

5. Purchase the needed equipment.

After funding has been secured, the equipment needed for the mobile oil-changing business should be purchased. The vehicle—a truck, van, or trailer—is the most important one to buy since you won’t be having a workshop. Then other equipment (as listed above) should be acquired. Ensure that you get the equipment that fits into your budget and will still ensure you deliver quality services. Lube N’ Go is the perfect place to get your oil change business equipment.

6. Build your brand

It involves marketing your mobile oil-changing business. Building a strong brand identity will ensure your client base is formed, and this depends on how well you market your services. Designing a logo and website, leveraging social media, setting competitive prices, utilizing local SEO for online visibility, and so on are significant steps to take in building your mobile oil-changing business brand.

7. Hire technicians

It is the last and most crucial step. Without technicians to manage the equipment, there is no need for a mobile oil-changing business. You must ensure that the technicians are highly experienced and skilled. However, finding these types of technicians can be difficult, so if you are willing to take the extra cost to train any technician you come across, it can also go a long way in your mobile oil-changing business.

Five Countries Where This Business Will Thrive

So far, we have spoken about what a mobile oil-changing business is, the equipment needed, and how to start one. We want to look at the countries where this mobile oil-changing business will thrive. Demography plays an essential role in the success of a business, and this section aims to give you a glimpse of that.

1. The United States of America

With a large and established market with high car ownership, the U.S.A. is a perfect place to start your mobile oil-changing business. In 2022, the mobile oil change service market was valued at $7.48 billion in the U.S.A. alone. There has been an increased rise in how Americans spend on convenience services, of which the mobile oil-changing service is one. There are existing infrastructures and substantial support systems for automobile services.

2. India

India is another country where mobile oil-changing businesses are bound to thrive. With a rapidly growing car ownership rate in major cities and an increased willingness to spend on car maintenance, setting up a mobile oil-changing business here will bring in a lot of revenue for you. There is an opportunity for early entry, as few mobile oil-changing businesses in India exist. However, India has a complex business environment, and you would need to find ways for people to trust your services.

3. Germany

Germany offers a beautiful environment for a mobile oil-changing business to thrive. It has a 77% car ownership density, and the citizens are highly interested in maintaining these vehicles. There are support systems and regulations for automobile businesses, like mobile oil-changing services. It would be essential to offer enhanced and quality services to enable your business to stand out in a highly competitive market.

4. Brazil

In the urban areas of Brazil, there has been an increase in car ownership. The country’s citizens have also increased demand for convenience services (like mobile oil-changing services), making it one of the best places to start a mobile oil-changing business. The mobile oil-changing service market has yet to be tapped, serving as a potential for early entry. However, the fluctuations in the economy and localization of your business are challenges that arise from setting up the business.

5. United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.)

Home to many billionaires, citizens of the U.A.E. have many luxury cars and high-performance vehicles, which has led to an increased need to maintain these vehicles. As a matter of fact, these wealthy citizens are willing to spend on premium automobile services such as these. With the limited competition in the mobile oil-changing market in the U.A.E., having a mobile oil-changing business in the U.A.E. is highly worth it and highly profitable in the long run. However, the challenge of getting permits and cultural considerations would require you to do extensive research before starting up your business there.

Conclusion

The mobile oil-changing business is highly lucrative and worth venturing into. It is, however, vital to conduct extensive market research, look through the cons mentioned in the article, and look for ways to tackle them.

Image Credits: All images on this website are sources from Getty Images, Pexels and Unsplash.

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