Semi-Synthetic Prices Rise at Quick Lubes


The average price for an oil change using five quarts of semi-synthetic oil rose 11.4 percent this year to just under $48, while the cost for one with full synthetic oil dipped to just over $74, according to results from National Oil & Lube News’ survey of quick-lube operators.

The 2018 survey accounted for 1,700 facilities spread across all 50 states. The majority of participants operated only one to three stores, as this year’s survey did not receive responses from franchise corporate offices, which had participated in previous years. By comparison, the 2017 survey compiled data about more than 7,000 facilities.

On average quick lubes covered in this year’s survey charged the following for an oil change using five quarts of oil:

  • $37.32 for conventional oil, down less than 2 percent from $37.99 in 2017.
  • $47.96 for semi-synthetic, up 11.4 percent from $43.04 last year.
  • $52.22 for high-mileage oil, up 3.5 percent from $50.47.
  • $74.39 for full synthetic, down less than 1 percent from $74.97.

In terms of motor oil sales by weight and grade, 36 percent of oil changes used 5W-30, and 31 percent used 5W-20. Trailing behind were 0W-20 at 13 percent, 15W-40 at 8 percent, 10W-30 with 5 percent, 5W-40 with 3 percent and 0W-16 at 1 percent. Others accounted for the remaining 3 percent.

The average miles customers drove between oil changes was 4,792 miles, which was up almost 15 percent from 4,178 miles in the 2017 survey. The average number of miles on vehicles served reached 102,442, up 12 percent from 91,402 miles. The average age of vehicles served was 8.3 years, down slightly from 8.4 years in last year’s survey.

Quick lubes covered by the survey performed an average of 30 oil changes each day, down from 34 last year. The percentage of facilities getting all of their revenue from oil change services remained static at 56 percent.