ChipsAway specialists provide top quality repairs to minor car paintwork damage, quickly, conveniently and competitively. With 34 million vehicles on the UK’s roads and over 22 million repair opportunities a year, demand for the ChipsAway service is huge!
International, Motoring Services, Car Repairs
ChipsAway was established in the US where the pioneering Small to Medium Area Repair Technology (SMART) to carry out repairs to vehicles was developed. SMART allows for the repair of minor paintwork scratches, dents, scuffs to bumpers, and alloy wheels. The aim of a ChipsAway franchise is to provide an alternative to panel beaters that offers customers convenience, quality, and affordability.
In 1994 ChipsAway arrived in the UK. It is now a full BFA member with in excess of 200 franchisees nationally. In 2008 the company was acquired by the multi-brand franchisor Franchise Brands. This provides Chips Away franchisees access to a range of services and features such as accredited training, a customer base, national advertising and marketing, and ongoing support.
Franchisees begin as mobile operators. However, this can change. While the majority remain as mobile workshops that go to the client, others opt to open fixed-based centres and cater to customers requiring more substantial vehicle repairs. A further option is to acquire several mobile units.
The services, network, support structure, flexibility, and nature of the ChipsAway franchise have all contributed to it becoming one of the fastest growing and most popular franchises in its category. These factors are discussed in more detail later.
How to join
All potential franchisees can obtain a great deal of information before a commitment is made or any money changes hands. The first step is to register your interest on the ChipsAway website and to request the free information pack. The company also holds regular open days which are advertised on their website. These allow interested parties to ask questions, meet staff, and watch SMART demonstrations.
There is also the option of meeting with existing franchisees and perhaps going with them on a call-out to a customer. The aim is to give you a strong sense of the business and work before you commit to anything.
Once you are happy, the initial investment must be made before the next stage can commence.
Investing in a franchise
A Chips Away franchise costs £29,995 + VAT. However, the minimum investment is £15,000 + VAT as the company offers a few pricing options. These are available from the company directly. Further good news is that, because this is a recognised brand and a proven business model, banks are more open to granting loans or financing.
• Training: The first phase involves accredited training offered at an Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) facility. This program consists of a four-week beginners training course and a two-day sales and marketing module. There is further technical training during the first six months of a franchise.
• Launch assistance and pack: All franchisees are assisted with putting together a personal launch and marketing plan for their business and area. The company also provides leaflets, stationary, a uniform, local advertising, and a personal email address and website.
• Proven earnings potential: Based on the average repair cost and the number of enquiry calls head office receives, a new ChipsAway franchise is guaranteed a minimum of £80,000 worth of enquiries in the first year of operation (based on 2017 figures). Earnings are dependent on the amount of work the franchisee accepts and carries out. However, enquiry and current franchisee income statistics indicates the potential to earn in excess of £75,000 per annum.
• National integrated marketing strategy: ChipsAway is a nationally recognised brand that has been built over 20 years and is maintained through a multi-pronged sales and marketing strategy. The tools that are utilised include TV advertisements, online and SEO marketing, and print promotions. These activities build and maintain the brand and generate enquiries and business for members of the ChipsAway franchise network. In addition, the company has partnerships with motoring companies and accounts with others.
• Ongoing support: After the initial launch, franchisees continue to receive support from various sources. Firstly, new network members are assigned a mentor in the form of an experienced franchisee. Secondly, there is unlimited technical support and business advice available. Franchisees also have access to the Lead management CRM System that aids in managing a new business. Finally, there is an annual conference and regular regional meetings one can attend.
• Access to exclusive territory: Despite the size of the existing network, there are still territories available. However, it’s necessary to find out from ChipsAway if the specific or local area you are interested in is available. Each franchisee is given an exclusive or dedicated territory and every effort is made to profile customers to match each franchise owner.
• Expansion opportunities: All franchisees begin with a single mobile unit. Thereafter the business model allows for as much – or as little –expansion as the individual wants. It is possible to move from one van to multi-van, from a single territory to several, to establish a workshop or Car care Centre, to remain a one-person operation or to take on staff.
What has been shown by a YouGov survey is that ChipsAway is the most recognised car repair franchise in the UK. In addition, with 200 franchisees (and rising) it is the largest network of SMART vehicle repairers in the country.
Do I need experience?
No. The training courses assume that franchisees have no auto-industry or sales and marketing experience. The back-up provided aims to provide the skills and information you need.
Do I have to pay anything monthly?
No. Your investment is a one-off amount, and there is no fee or percentage that is paid to ChipsAway thereafter. You will of course have monthly overheads such as fuel, vehicle insurance and maintenance, equipment, etc.
Where does ChipsAway operate?
The company is currently in the UK, Russia, Ukraine, Greece, Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, Chile, Republic of Ireland, Saudi Arabia, and Licensees in America/Canada and Austria.
Will I be able to get an area of my choice?
Although there are territories available that can’t be guaranteed. You would have to enquire directly with ChipsAway to find out what areas are still on offer.
Is income guaranteed?
Income is not guaranteed as it depends on several factors including the amount and quality of work done by the franchisee. What is guaranteed is a minimum number and value of enquiries referred from Head Office.
How soon will I start making money?
You will start generating income as soon as you start providing services to customers. How long you take to cover your initial outlay depends on how fast your ChipsAway franchise becomes established.
Do I need to do my own marketing?
Yes. You will be assisted with marketing when you launch your ChipsAway franchise in your area. You also have the ongoing value of a very strong and high-profile brand behind you. However, part of your job is to actively promote your franchise in your area. There is always someone available to offer support and guidance in this regard.
What is not included when I purchase a ChipsAway franchise?
You will need to invest in a suitable vehicle (unless you already have one), vehicle livery (branding for the vehicle), and the equipment you will require.
There are many reviews online that are easy to find with a simple Google search. Results are, inevitably, mixed. There are also reviews by franchisees, customers, and those who have some sort of anecdotal comments. One has no way of knowing any of the back-stories that may have led to a reviewer being either pro ChipsAway or otherwise.
The best option is to contact the company and request contact details for their franchisees. This will allow you to randomly select several individuals to chat to. These kinds of ‘reviews’ are more likely to be helpful than others.
Since joining ChipsAway just under a year ago, redundancy victim Kieron Williams has built a well established business from which he is beginning to reap financial...Find Out More
The minor automotive repair company has taken the bold decision to ensure only fully trained specialists working on behalf of the franchise business will be able...Find Out More
The pilot TV advertising campaign by leading SMART automotive paint repairer ChipsAway has proved so successful that the company has booked a further autumn run over...Find Out More
Dowload FREE literature to learn more about ChipsAway International Ltd
ChipsAway is a franchised company with a nationwide network of franchisee specialists.
It’s been a busy few years for Ryan Lythe since he joined ChipsAway. In just under two years he has launched and expanded his business, taken...Find Out More
After being made redundant for the third time in two years, Kieron Williams decided to take control of his career and become self-employed - and it...Find Out More
Working as a painter for 22 years, Lee Janisch lived in the US for nearly 20 years and moved back to the UK to be with...Find Out More
New articles added every week
Hand picked franchise opportunities just for you
First class help and advice for franchising and business
We have the industries best contributors on board
Inspiring and insightful franchise case studies