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buying a new AAMCO

Is it a good time? the good? the bad? the ugly? or would you look at a Meineke? if so why?

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Answers (4)
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Westmoreland County, PA

Sam, I have owned many Aamco centers and I know I will buy another. I know of some decent centers for sale. If you would like to talk email me @

Aug 24, 2009
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Franchise Advisory Group


I am very familiar with AAMCO and have met a great deal of Franchisees, especially since their corporate is here in Philly. Once AAMCO got bought by Cottman Transmission people, things went down hill. They do have plenty of Franchisees who make a lot of money, but the major are in the middle to low end. They have started offering full service repairs, but most people still think of them as transmission only. I have a list of their resales and they have a lot of them. I recommend you looking into Tilden Car Care. They are a true full service auto repair company, but they are a pleasure to deal with, because they are small (60) units through out the country. I just became an Area Developer for them here in Philly and will be opening my own shop in September. They also just got an Area Developer in NC, so drop me an email and I'll send you all the info. 888-241-6629

Aug 22, 2009
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I bought an AAMCO franchise in 1998.

1. Do not attempt a start up. Do not, do not, do not. Contrary to what AAMCO tells you or what the franchise industry tells you, most of them fail.

2. AAMCO is horrible to deal with. Once you are committed they can only be described as hostile. After some years of ownership, if you are making money, they will leave you alone. But they are awful. The first meeting with them they sit you down in front of a microphone and grill you with questions all designed to protect themselves from lawsuits - take that as a warning.

My rules for business:

1. Never attempt a start up unless you can easily (easily) afford the loss.
2. Never buy a franchise (I have also owned a Jani-King commercial cleaning franchise).
3. Never buy a business dependent on a key employee. When I bought AAMCO they were transmissions only. The tranny builder is a highly skilled, hard to hire, key employee. If you cannot build trannys yourself stay away from AAMCO. I have heard that AAMCO is now general auto repair but I think the issue is still valid.

When I bought my AAMCO I violated all 3 of these rules - and paid for it.

If you have a business AND at least some auto repair background then look at buying an existing shop. If you buy a large shop that has a manager(s) then you might be able to get away with a lack of auto repair experience as long as you can effectively work with and manage blue collar workers (many people cannot). Paying a franchise fee may or may not be worth the expense and lack of freedom to run your business as you see fit, so definitely consider independent shops in addition to franchises. Buy something well established, that makes great money, and don't change anything for at least 6 months no matter how smart you think you are.

Best of luck.

Aug 21, 2009
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The BAF Group LLC

I have never seen an AAMCO that makes much money. At best, with the ones I have seen you are buying yourself a job, rather than making an investment - again, at best!

If the cash flow is right, it is always a good time. Take a look at the last six months of income, month by month to make certain the current economic situation is not taking its toll and eroding the business. Meineke seems to be a better, overall business concept. But it all depends on the current owner and what has been done with the business over the past three years. You will inherit whatever has happened during those last years.

Aug 21, 2009

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