Become part of the Autovalet success story

Having generated a reputation for excellence and success in the hand car wash industry, Autovalet is now seeking franchise owners to invest in sites across the country

Autovalet – one of the first car wash while you shop businesses in the UK – has launched an attractively priced franchise opportunity so budding entrepreneurs can share the company’s successful formula.

The business was founded by Managing Director Stella O’Shea 17 years ago, when she stopped off to buy a card in her local shopping centre on the way to a wedding and realised it would be the perfect time to have her car cleaned too.

After researching the automotive valeting industry in the UK for 12 months, Stella launched the first Autovalet operation with two valeters at Brent Cross Shopping Centre, in North London, despite some initial reservations from the mall’s management.

“They thought it was a crazy idea and would never succeed as customers would never take up the service,” explains Stella. "Having spent 10 years as a business consultant, both here and in the USA, specialising in business start ups, I managed to persuade them to trust my instinct that this was a great new concept and that it would be highly successful. It was and 17 years later we still operate from that branch. As well as proving there was a demand for a ‘wash while you shop’ service, I had to devise a specific technique to hand wash a car suitable for the car park to prevent any splashes landing on the car beside the one being cleaned.”

Such has been the demand for Autovalet’s services, the Brent Cross site now employs 40 washers and valeters, while the company is operating from a further 24 further locations. In 2003, Stella was joined by Director Sharon Lopeman to co-helm the business and last year, the pair decided to launch Autovalet as a franchise opportunity to capitalise on the recognition and respect the company has acquired across the UK to extend its operations even further. Sharon brought to the company 15 years of business management experience in the recruitment industry.

To help Autovalet achieve its goal of offering up to 40 franchise sites in 2011, the company has recruited Karl Game as Business Development Manager. Karl has a wealth of experience in the valet industry including setting up and managing franchise operations.

The addition of Karl brings Autovalet’s senior management team’s experience in the industry up to 50 years.

“Autovalet sits alongside flagship department stores and designer names and ongoing research conducted in conjunction with our partners has taught us that our brand has become synonymous with reliability, trust and a job well done. Customers really do return to us, again and again.”

The company’s core values of professionalism, reliability and integrity remain at the very centre of its business philosophy and will be integral to the success of its franchise owners. Autovalet’s overriding ambition is to continually innovate and improve the services offered by its franchise owners.

In achieving this objective, the company works hard to establish good long-term partnerships with its key clients and to work with them to provide its franchise owners with customers wanting to use Autovalet’s excellent value for money and exceptional service.

For an investment of £10,000-£30,000, the Autovalet franchise package includes a host of benefits including national brand recognition with a proven business model, full product and business training, ongoing support and a 24 hour helpline.

Among the locations available immediately are North Devon, Cardiff, Bristol, Leicester, Wigan, Hertford, Bishop’s Stortford, Peterborough, Manchester, Yorkshire, Washington, with more areas being secured everything month.

Reported by Fraser McKay