The 6 Top Automotive Franchises From the Entrepreneur Franchise 500
Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 rankings feature businesses of all shapes, sizes and industries. If you’re looking for a franchise you can invest in for less than $5,000 or more than $5 million, well, there’s probably a business venture that will work for you. Whether you want to work in tech, or you had something a little livelier in mind — it’s all there.
One of the strongest industries on the 2020 iteration of our 41-year-old list are automotive franchises, consisting of 31 out of our top 500. Six even made the top 100, and we’ve detailed them below.
- Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list rank: 31
- Started franchising: 1991
- Total units: 4,804
- Initial franchise fee: $172,000 to $375,000
Snap-on Tools began in 1920, when Joseph Johnson began manufacturing snap-on sockets to five interchangeable wrench handles. Fast forward 100 years, and Snap-on Tools offers a wider range of products, tools and services, including their “mobile stores” — trucks filled with products that move directly to car dealerships, mechanics, airports and more.
- Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list rank: 32
- Started franchising: 1993
- Total units: 1,814
- Initial franchise fee: $93,000 to $273,000
Matco Tools only barely missed out on being our top-ranked automotive franchise, finishing just one place behind Snap-on Tools in our aggregate Franchise 500. The manufacturing and distributing company started in 1979, and today services automotive equipment, tools and toolboxes.
Valvoline Instant Oil Change
- Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list rank: 57
- Started franchising: 1988
- Total units: 1,252
- Initial franchise fee: $175,000 to $2.5 million
A division of The Valvoline Co., Valvoline Instant Oil Change (VIOC) was created in 1986 and began franchising in 1988. According to the company website, VIOC serves more than 9 million customers per year and has franchise opportunities available in Hawaii and Alaska.
Jiffy Lube Int’l. Inc.
- Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list rank: 70
- Started franchising: 1979
- Total units: 2,094
- Initial franchise fee: $207,000 to $500,000
Jiffy Lube was originally created in the 1970s, when the decline of full-service gas stations left customers without their usual source for an oil change. The company was eventually acquired by Pennzoil-Quaker State Co. in the 1990s and then Shell Oil Company in 2002.
Cornwell Quality Tools
- Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list rank: 81
- Started franchising: 1997
- Total units: 698
- Initial franchise fee: $60,000 to $273,000
Cornwell Quality Tools may only have started franchising in 1997, but it was first founded more than 100 years ago in 1919. According to the Cornwell Tools website, “It all began in 1919. Eugene Cornwell, a skilled blacksmith, opened shop in an old tannery building along the Cuyahoga river in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, where he began hammering out tools on his anvil.” Over the past few years, Cornwell has opened a 107,000 square-foot warehouse in its base of Wadsworth, Ohio and sponsored John Force® Racing with the NHRA.
Big O Tires LLC
- Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list rank: 91
- Started franchising: 1982
- Total units: 463
- Initial franchise fee: $311,000 to $1.1 million