Mixed Results for Fast Lubes


While U.S. quick lubes average ticket totals crossed the $70 mark for the first time, average yearly sales per store declined almost 11 percent from 2013 while net profits increased, National Oil & Lube News reported.

Published in NOLNs September issue, the 2014 Fast Lube Operators Survey compiled data from 3,243 facilities in all 50 U.S. states, examining quick lubes operations, prices, demographics, employees, sales, products and services.

NOLN asked three new questions in its demographics category this year. The average age of vehicles serviced in a fast lube was 9.5 years, while the average number of miles on vehicles serviced was 83,435 miles. Quick lubes told NOLN that 7 percent of the vehicles they service have less than 5,000 miles on them.

The price of a standard, full-service lube oil and filter (LOF) service declined $2.62 to $35.33 for 2014, compared to 2013.

The percentage of quick lubes offering a basic, low-cost LOF service declined from 33 percent of survey respondents to 11 percent in 2014, while the price charged for a basic LOF increased from $21.56 to $28.01.

Operators offering rerefined or green LOF services (14 percent of participants) reported an increase in charge per service to $72.09, up $18.25 from 2013s number.

The average ticket total increased to $71.02 for 2014, from $65.78 in 2013. The total cost of goods for a standard, full-service lube oil and filter change declined to $12.18 from last years $13.08.

The average number of oil changes per day, 31.9, is down one full oil change from last year. Average number of cars serviced daily dropped to 35.5, compared to 37.8 last year.

Yearly sales per store declined to $683,190 from last years $764,990. Net profit rose to 17.1 percent from 11.6 percent last year. The portion of gross sales used for payroll is down to 24.4 percent, from 28.5 percent last year.

The number of bays per facility declined slightly to 2.9 from 3.4 last year, while equipment costs for fast lube operations fell to $62,544, from $75,064 last year. Miles driven by customers between oil changes slipped a bit to 4,597 miles, from 4,601 last year. Miles driven between oil changes by vehicles equipped with oil monitors dropped to 4,686 miles from 5,073 miles in 2013. NOLN noted this is the second straight year that quick lube customers whose vehicles are equipped with oil monitors have driven fewer miles between oil changes.

The per-gallon cost of highest volume bulk oil increased to $8.64, compared to $8.39 a year earlier.

Full synthetic engine oils rose to 15 percent of all motor oil sales by quick lubes, from 13 percent in 2013. High mileage doubled to 18 percent from 9 percent, and rerefined oils dwindled to 1 percent, compared to 4 percent last year. Conventional oil accounted for 47 percent, down from 49 percent last year. Synthetic blend declined to 9 percent, from 20 percent in 2013.

Among popular motor oil brands in fast lubes, Pennzoil led with 22 percent of reported sales, followed by Valvoline at 16 percent, Havoline with 13 percent and Mobil at 12 percent. Trailing were private label (11 percent), Castrol (10 percent), and all others (16 percent).

Among synthetics carried by fast lubes, Mobil continued to dominate, with 36 percent of operators listing it as their top-selling synthetic oil. Pennzoil remained second with 17 percent. The remaining shares included Valvoline (12 percent), Havoline (7 percent), Castrol (7 percent), and all others (21 percent).

The complete 2014 NOLN Fast Lube Operators Survey report is available on the NOLN web site (www.noln.net) at no charge, NOLN noted, thanks to Chevrons sponsorship of this years survey.

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