Canada has two companies
This is my side by side comparison to help you decide
GO OIL CANADA
LubeVan is currently open to discussing franchise opportunities with owner-operators in Ontario who are prepared to start their own business. The key takeaways are that LubeVan does have an upfront $500 USD fee to discuss franchising, and does not have their structure publicly available. According to their site, a franchise requires a minimum upfront investment of close to $60,000. The ongoing fees are unclear, and none have been sold at the time of the writing of this article. With a higher barrier to entry, it is positioned as good comparison to Go Oil.
The Go Oil Franchise has been designed to be easy to start, without the big, inflated license fees upfront. If you were to build this setup on your own, it would likely cost equal, or more money. The average startup cost is $17,000-$25,000 depending on the applicant. Go Oil has a focus on franchise support through 24/7 phone support, and automated software systems to save the owner time. This of course means higher ongoing royalties and fees, this article will help you decide if it's worth it or not.
This looks like an appealing option for a young hustler, or new business owner. The business is turnkey with a software and call center that work for you to quote and book customers.
LubeVan seems to only be franchising in Ontario, if your in other parts of Canada make sure to request a Franchise Disclosure Document according to the regulations of your own province.
Franchisors make money by charging fees, royalties, or product mark up. It critical that a Franchisor can that can support the growth of each franchise, and give them a competitive edge. A Franchisor that charges fees that are too small may not meet targets or expectations. Charging too much can be an issue too, if it makes earning profit difficult or impossible. Be sure to check all fees, and how much the goods are marked up. The most important question to ask is, "are the fees worth it?", so we've broken it down for you to decide.
Go Oil Canada calls their Franchise a "modern structure"
Initial Franchise fee: $15,000 CDN
16% Royalty Fee: Designed to grow with you and provide franchise support, customer support, custom software, ongoing training. Software automates booking, quoting, billing, employee management, and is designed for an owner to run multiple franchise units.
3% Processing Fee: Merchant services and bank fees for credit card/payment processing. This is usually done individually, and would cost the same.
4% Marketing Fee: Every franchise across Canada contributes into the fund, and 100% is spent back on ads and developing the market.
Van Lease: Mercedes Metris - Go Oil has fleet pricing with Mercedes Benz and the required lease is 0$ down (OAC), unlimited km, and the wrap included. Payment is around $575/mo after tax for a 60 month (5 year) term.
Additional Costs: With most of the equipment and inventory included, the only additional costs are a basic tool set, and travel for training. Est. $1500 - $2500.
Oil & Filters : Go Oil Canada supplies Oil and Filters at cost with no markups. They purchase Canadian made Oil which is warranty approved and known for its white label manufacturing of high-end brand name oils.
Lube Van Franchise is more "Traditional" approach
Initial Franchise fee. $5,500 CDN
The actual franchise fee is not stated, but the website shows that "A LubeVan franchise can be started for as little as, $5,500".
Equipment Lease: Lease payments for tools and equipment start at $500 + HST/month, however it is not shown what this includes and how much more is available.
Royalty Fee: Uknown
Marketing Fee: Uknown
Lube Van charges a one-time non-refundable consulting fee of $499 USD, this fee includes startup documentation, the commitment, and a one-hour consultation. This package will provide the information you'll need to develop your projections and get started.
At a glance, the Go Oil franchise is attractive with a few things standing out. The first thing is the franchise fee, it's very low with nearly everything included. The second thing is the fee structure, which seems high but actually covers a lot of critical services of the business. Mobile businesses are known for staying small because before long, you need an office for staff to keep up. Go Oil seems to address these needs making the 16% more than worth it. Combined with the low supply prices, it appears to be a predictable and profitable model.
Lube Van does not clearly disclose what or how it plans to charge it fee and or Royalties, besides the starting price for renting the equipment. The consulting fee is unusual, especially before franchise disclosure is given. I could not justify paying the $500 USD fee so I do not have all the info. If you work with LubeVan and can share with us your public Disclosure Documents, shoot us an email.
This is the coor of what makes a mobile oil change mobile, both company use extraction systems
Go Oil built oil extraction system: included in your franchise fee
Military Grade Air compressor: included in your franchise fee
Oil Filter & Filter storage: included in your franchise fee
2018 Mercedes-Bes Metris: Van info link
LubeVan Complete Mobile Service Toolset - $6,000 USD
Closed Loop Oil Extracting and Dispensing System - $4,500 USD
Fully Assembled Service Vehicles - Starting At $25,000 USD
2016 Chevrolet City Express ( Discontinued)
Owner: Jonathan Sparrow
Experienced entrepreneur with 8 years in business and 5 successful companies under management. Previously featured in the National Post by RBC Future Launch $500 million initiative as one of Canada's up and coming young entrepreneurs.
Staff: 10 to 20
Corporate Van: 2 servicing Winnipeg
Franchise Sold to date: 8 Franchises
Owner: Ryan Andrew
Bachelor of Commerce, held titles like managing director and account director
based in Toronto. He founded the company back in 2012 and has been operating it ever since.
Staff: 2 to10
Corporate Van: 2 servicing the GTA
Franchise Sold to date: 0 Franchises
source: Ryan Andrew
I began this research project to explore a new and trending business model that promises to make some noise in the market in the coming years. There aren't many different competitors in the market that show growth potential, except for these two I've compared here.
My experience has had more bearing on my conclusions than anything else. I actually reached out to both companies exploring their systems, customer service, and most importantly inquired to buy a franchise.
Let me start with LubeVan customer experience. The booking process is pretty simple, with a basic e-commerce platform and scheduling it let me choose my services like a menu. This approach is okay, but doesn't offer a very smooth or personal experience. The pricing is fixed board pricing much like an ordinary quick lube. Unfortunately LubeVan only services a small part of the GTA so I was unable to have an actual appointment that I could review.
Next was the Go Oil experience. The first thing I noticed was the instant quote feature which allowed me to put in my exact vehicle and generate an exact price of an oil change. I tried this with a few vehicles and it does in fact seem to give a quote based on each vehicle's exact needs. Prices are comparable, and the registration process was made easy with one click "login with Facebook" buttons. Booking a time and place was also simple, and I stopped at the payment stage.
Things got interesting when I inquired about the franchise. I started with LubeVan and started with the website. The online form required me to pay non-refundable $500 USD fee to book an appointment to talk, and see the info. I was surprised at this as I had no information except for the site and was already being asked to pay a significant amount. I can see this being a turn off for anyone interested in learning more.
I called the business line and spoke with Ryan, the call went very much the same with him declining to answer any questions or share info without the $500 USD payment. After this it became clear as to why no franchises have been sold in LubeVan's 6 years of operation.
My next target was Go Oil, and I began the same way by submitting my info to their franchise page. I put in my info and hit submit, no fees and I got an email instantly with a link to their application form. I also got a personal email the same day by the head of franchise sales with additional info and his personal contact. I called the number and asked the same set of questions I had for LubeVan, and they were completely transparent, answering everything in detail. They informed me that I needed to view their Franchise Disclosure Document and it was sent over right away. This was the source of a lot of my information on this page. They confirmed on that call that Go Oil had 2 operating franchises, 2 corporate vans, and another 5 franchises under contract to begin in 2019.
In conclusion, the two companies are fairly similar in nature with several distinct differences. The customer experience of Go Oil does have an edge however, with smarter and more customized booking process. If they continue to progress, I expect their program to set the bar going forward. As far as the franchise goes, I also have to give it to Go Oil for 2 main reasons. First is the obvious experience of purchasing, and others clearly agree with several units already sold. Second is longevity. LubeVan has been around for 6 years, which is great and shows strength, but Go Oil has realized more growth in the last 6 months than LubeVan's 6 years combined. If I was buying a franchise I'd be more concerned about the success of brand as a whole than my own. One mobile oil change will dominate and everyone wants to be on the winning team. I believe that Go Oil is that team and will be watching closely to see how things progress over the next couple of months, and years.