How to Start a Headlight Restoration Franchise Business

Headlight restoration and repair is the fastest growing segment of the automotive appearance industry. With a national average of 3 out of 10 cars on the road being in need of this service combined with the lean low overhead business model, it is easy to see why many individuals are looking to invest in this new business opportunity. But before you do so there are a few things to consider ensuring you are making a secure decision. “Going it alone” is good for some, while others prefer the security of investing in a proven franchise model.


  1. 1
    Understand the demand. Replacing a damaged headlight with a new one is becoming less of an option these days. With the escalating cost of these new headlights, price conscious consumers are in need of a cost effective alternative. With an average replacement cost of $1000 per set of lights, headlight restoration offers a cost-effective solution to replacement. External headlight issues that require replacement or restoration include: oxidation, tarnishing, cracks, sand-pitting, rock-chips, and scratching due to collision. In addition, internal issues such as fixing damaged headlight seals, leaking cracks, headlight condensation, and HID hazed lenses can generate huge profits as current kits and conventional methods cannot address these issues. An internally damaged headlight can generally be repaired for $50 - $200. An externally damaged headlight can be reconditioned for $50 – 100 with the work being performed in 30-60 minutes. The replacement cost of OEM Headlights ranges from $400 to $6400 per light. The numbers clearly favor repair over replacement. It is mutually beneficial to all parties involved.
  2. 2
    Study the industry (the supply). The headlight reconditioning industry is fragmented into small, sporadically located mobile services, and a few headlight kit manufacturing companies. This is precisely what makes the industry ripe for the emergence of a high-quality specialty franchise. The small mobile services suffer from a lack of name recognition and legitimacy, network support/pricing and skilled headlight repair technicians. The kit manufacturers offer poor quality kits that have a reputation for peeling, yellowing, and oxidizing within a few months. New car dealerships, repair shops, car washes, and detail shops are all in need of a service which provides quick, efficient and accurate repair and reconditioning.
  3. 3
    Consider the benefits of a franchise:
    • Brand recognition. As an entrepreneur, starting your own business is filled with obstacles from building credibility to establishing customer base and ensuring customer retention. A franchise has already spent time and money establishing its brand as a nationally recognized industry leader. This allows its franchisees to take advantage of immediate credibility with consumers.
    • Selling Power: Ask anyone you know who has ever tried selling their service to a new car dealership and they will tell you it is close to impossible. Large nationwide accounts prefer to negotiate with national companies. Franchise sales staff will do just that… Sales associates will negotiate with new car dealerships, national auto service centers, insurance companies and others to help ensure your success over your local competitors.
    • Proven Success Record: To make a new business as successful as an existing franchise you would first have to develop a comparable headlight restoration process and be proficient in all areas of the business: Legal, Sales, Marketing, Accounting, Computer Science, Promotions, Telemarketing Sales, Tax Law, & Back Office Services. Buying a franchise eliminates the learning curve and allows you to concentrate completely on achieving your goals.
    • Buying Power: When a local business buys a roll of tape, the business often purchases for a single location only; therefore, it is buying a lower quantity at a premium price. When a franchisee buys the same product – even the same volume of product – it can take advantage of national accounts that significantly reduce costs for the individual dealer. Taking advantage of substantial buying power will help reduce your franchise´s expenses over your local competitors.
    • Networking Opportunities: Unlike individual businesses that can´t share best practices with one another owing to competitive pressures, our franchise system is designed to allow for networking and knowledge share in a non-competitive environment. That way, you´ll be in a better position to learn from not only the franchises corporate staff, but also from other more experienced franchisees.
  4. 4
    Brand, Support, Margins: On average, franchisees command between two and three times the price point over competitors per restoration. Franchisees command more money for three reasons: brand recognition, consistency of finish and warranties. Customers like the peace-of-mind that comes with the knowledge that an individual’s work and warranty is backed by a national company. Depending on the particular franchise, you may have free access to personal website development, search engine optimization, on-line ad creation and more… Some franchises even offer their franchises complete turn-key build-out including on-site training and commercial account acquisition, allowing the new franchisee to begin generating substantial revenue immediately.
  5. 5
    Choose a process; headlight cleaning kits, buffing or polishing.
  6. 6
    Create warranty terms; None, 1-Year, 5-Year, Lifetime.
  7. 7
    Decide who your market will be; wholesale, retail or sublets.
  8. 8
    Develop your sales approach.
  9. 9
    Register your business with the Secretary of State.
  10. 10
    File with the IRS for a TIN or EIN.


  • Choose a franchise that includes a complete build-out. Check their warranty terms and ensure the build-out includes comprehensive on-site training on their system, account acquisition training, and on-going support.


  • Beware of individuals grossly misrepresenting the sales of product as a business and furthermore a franchise. By law a franchise must be registered and have a Uniform Franchise Offering Circula (UFOC) that is available to qualified, prospective buyers. As a franchisee, you will be making a secure investment in a successful franchise with a proven business model, not purchasing a trunk-load of headlight kits.

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