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Petrol stations are for sale all across Australia and there is the opportunity to buy independently owned service stations or one that operates under one of the major brands including BP, Coles Express, Caltex, 7 Eleven, United, Puma or Metro. In order to buy an existing petrol station you should register for alerts so you are notified when a new business is listed. You can then make contact with the seller and request more information. Usually the seller or broker will ask you to complete an NDA to ensure the confidentiality of the business. Buying a petrol station or service station requires professional advice during the process to ensure the due diligence is conducted properly and the fuel site is properly assessed.
A good petrol station will be in a prime location on a major road or highway. It is important for the fuel station to have a large convenience store as a lot of the profit comes from these product sales. A good petrol station will be well established with regular servicing on the pumps and a good contract in place with the fuel supplier. According to Canstar Blue, 29 per cent of Australians fill up at the same service station, regardless of price, while 27 per cent would be prepared to drive further for cheaper fuel.
In Australia we have independently owned petrol stations or ones that operate under a group. These groups have specific branding and dictate the types of products available in the store and the fuel that is sourced and sold. The major brands include BP, Coles Express, Caltex, 7 Eleven, United, Puma, Liberty and Metro. According to the ACCC Coles Express and Caltex with 31 per cent have the largest volume of petrol sales. 7 Eleven receives a 5 star Canstar Blue award for products offered in store.
The buyer should have a solid understanding of business management and be capable of managing cash flow and budgets. The buyer will need to be able to manage a team and implement a roster to cover the extended operating hours that a fuel station tends to be open. Depending on the type of petrol station, there may be ongoing support from the branding group or you may be running a station independently. It’s important to understand your involvement with the particular petrol station you purchase and how much control or input you have on its operation.
Petrol stations can be very profitable businesses if they are in the right location. Usually a team is in place to serve clients, which leaves the owner responsible for management duties. It is common to see petrol station owners buying multiple locations once they understand the business model and what profits can be obtained.
Petrol stations are usually appraised based on a multiple of the net profit to the owner with some market predictions. There are other factors that may influence the appraisal such as the brand the petrol station operates under, contracts in place, equipment, fuel supplier, whether it is freehold or leasehold and its potential. It's important to seek professional advice when buying a business so you can conduct proper due diligence. It’s important to note that an appraisal is an estimation of what the business could sell for in the current market, whilst a valuation is conducted by a licensed business valuer.
Aside from selling petrol, a service station can have multiple forms of income such as; shop sales of products, operating a carwash, leasing out cafe space, leasing out a mechanical workshop or working with other allied businesses such tyre sales and repairs.
The best way to keep track of new business opportunities is to save your search result. You will be notified as soon as a new petrol station is listed for sale.
Selling a petrol station requires preparation. Having a solid exit strategy will mean your business is ready for sale and has a greater chance of achieving an optimum price. It’s important to be prepared for the sales journey as it usually takes around 6-9 months to sell a business in Australia. Check out Bsales 6 steps to prepare a business for sale which will provide you a checklist and a general step by step guide. Business brokers are licensed professionals who can assist with the sale of your business and market it on websites such as Bsale. Check out the Find a Business Broker section to locate a suitable broker for your business. Bsale also offers advertising direct to business owners.