How much is a petrol station franchise in South Africa?

There are different options to franchise a petrol station in South Africa, but the price will inevitably be dependent on a variety of factors.


The fuel retailing industry in South Africa and all around the globe is a highly complex industry to enter and operate in.

One of the most common ways for people in South Africa to enter this industry is through franchising. There are several costs associated with franchising a petrol station, including those of opening a new location and purchasing an existing franchise. It is also possible to open an independent petrol station without having to franchise.

The fuel retailing sector in South Africa

The fuel retailing industry has always been complicated, with fluctuation, micro- and macro-economic influences, as well as foreign exchange markets and local infrastructure making it difficult to plan and maintain a steady income from petrol stations.

For owners involved in the fuel retailing sector of South Africa, it could sometimes seem like there is an impossible number of considerations to be made in a day. Especially when you factor in the technological advancements in hybrid and electric vehicles, fuel stations will always have to adapt to their consumers. However, there are also a multitude of reasons why owning and operating a petrol station could be quite a profitable endeavour.

How much is a petrol station franchise in South Africa?

The fuel retailing industry is a resilient industry, and this is what draws most owners and investors to purchasing or franchising a petrol station.

However, entering this industry does usually require a significant upfront capital investment to get the business started, even if you are just obtaining the rights to open a franchise from one of the leading oil companies, and will be operating the business side of things on your own.

There are several financial considerations to be made for franchising a petrol station, and several ways to go about the transaction. The cost for each of these options will be based on a myriad of different factors. There is also the option to open an independent petrol station.

How to go about franchising a petrol station?

If the initial investment of opening an independent petrol station is too much, a safer option would be to purchase a franchise from one of the leading oil companies in South Africa. Some examples of oil companies that offer franchise options in South Africa are Engen, Shell, Total, Caltex, BP, and Sasol.

There are two main routes to owning a franchise petrol station. You can either develop a new location to franchise, or you can buy an existing franchised location from the oil company if one is available for purchase. The price of each of these options will be highly specific to the oil company that you are acquiring the franchising rights from, and multiple other factors.

What is the cost of franchising a petrol station?

When it comes to purchasing an existing franchise operation, there are several pricing considerations, including the location of the franchise, the amount of fuel pumped, other add-ons to the location like retail stores, and the age of the station and its equipment. The influence of these factors as they relate to the price of purchasing the petrol station can be summarised as follows:

Factor Influence on price
Higher amount of fuel pumped Higher price
Desirable location Higher price
Retail store on the premises Higher price
New equipment Higher price

The price of purchasing one of these existing petrol stations will reflect all of these factors and can vary drastically from one brand and station to the next. Some of these existing locations have been listed for between R6 million and over R 22 million.

What is the cost of an independent petrol station?

The other option for opening a petrol station is to invest in the property itself, and build a new petrol station from scratch. Here, there are several start-up and development costs to consider, like building the infrastructure and the roads to access the petrol station.

Locations near freeways offer the highest potential profits as they usually have high demand, but these locations also usually have a higher overall development cost. The investment costs for opening an independent petrol station can also vary, with reported prices ranging from R10 million to R100 million, depending on the size and location of the development.

Final thoughts

The fuel retail industry in South Africa is very dynamic and entering this industry is quite complicated.

There are different opportunities when it comes to franchising a petrol station, which are associated with different costs. Similarly, opening an independent petrol station also has its own costs, and there are various other factors to consider that will influence the price of owning a petrol station.

Source: Political Analysis South Africa:

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