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Perfect Fit

For this franchisee, incorporating a rental-car business into his lube-and-tune was just right.

Adding a franchise to your existing business is a great way to make extra money. Just ask Joe Horton. The owner of Springfield, Missouri-based Blue Stream Lube & Oil has found success with his Rent-A-Wreck discount car-rental franchise.

In 1997, nine years after opening his quick-lube shop, Horton received information about Rent-A-Wreck franchising in the mail. "Something about it piqued my interest," he says. Horton did a little homework, which included meeting with Alan Wagner, Rent-A-Wreck's director of franchise sales and development.

"The more I thought about it, the more of a natural fit it seemed to be," he says. Horton knew his quick-lube location had plenty of counter and parking space to handle the addition. Also, by having current employees do preventative maintenance on the cars and working the rental counter himself, Horton didn't have to immediately hire any additional employees.

The franchise began with five cars and now owns 25. Horton has since hired one employee to run the rental counter.

Horton is very pleased with the success of his add-on and "would definitely recommend" other prospective franchisees explore the opportunity to see whether it could benefit them and their business.

Starting a Rent-A-Wreck franchise runs between $5,000 and $110,000, depending on the population of the exclusive territory. There's also a $30 per-car monthly royalty.


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This article was originally published in the August 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Perfect Fit.

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