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How big is Memorial Day weekend for auto service businesses?

In this 7 minute read

  • How much do auto service businesses make on Memorial Day weekend?
  • The Friday before Memorial Day is the biggest day of the year for auto service businesses
  • Which types of auto service businesses benefit the most from Memorial Day weekend?
    • Auto repair shops
    • Gas stations
    • Car washes
    • Tire shops
  • In which states was Memorial Day weekend the biggest for each type of auto service business?
  • How to get the most out of Memorial Day weekend if you own an auto service business

Each year Memorial Day weekend signals the official kickoff of the annual “outdoors” season. Americans across the country spend the holiday weekend taking much needed vacations, spring cleaning, and, apparently, getting ready to hit the road.

We analyzed a year’s worth of data at small and local businesses across the country to see which types of businesses did the best over Memorial Day weekend. As we dug into the data, we saw that auto service businesses did particularly well over Memorial Day weekend. So we decided to dig deeper into the data to see just how big Memorial Day weekend is for auto service businesses of all types.

Keep reading to see which surprising day was the biggest of the year for auto service businesses, which states love to wash their cars on Memorial Day weekend, and a whole lot more!

How much money do auto service businesses make on Memorial Day weekend?

Throughout Memorial Day weekend (from Friday through Monday), the average auto service business sees a 8% bump in daily revenue. Interestingly, this is primarily thanks to a huge increase in foot traffic, with the average auto service business doing 28 transactions (65% more than the annual average) over the weekend.

However, the closer you examine the performance of auto service businesses, the clearer it is that the biggest impact comes on one day in particular. The Friday before Memorial day.

The Friday before Memorial Day is the biggest day of the year for auto service businesses

On the Friday before Memorial Day, Americans spent more money at auto service businesses than on any other day of the year (73% more than a typical day), making it the busiest day of the year for auto services across the country.

It was also the most profitable day of the year for individual auto service businesses who were open on that day, as they averaged $1,488 in revenue (34% more than the annual average). This was mostly thanks to a boost in foot traffic, as the average auto service business processed 23% more transactions than a typical day.

Which types of auto service businesses benefit the most from Memorial Day weekend?

It’s important to note that auto service businesses include everything from full service mechanics to gas stations, tire shops to body shops, and everything in-between. So in order to really understand the impact of the day, we took a closer look at the data.

Auto repair shops:

Auto repair and maintenance businesses experienced a 14% bump in revenue throughout Memorial Day weekend, and a 41% increase on the Friday before Memorial Day. This was due to a moderate bump in average number of daily transactions (from 5 to 6) and healthy bump in average ticket cost (from $267.63 to $315.45).

Gas stations:

Gas stations averaged $4,366 in daily revenue on the Friday before Memorial Day, a 47% increase over a typical day, and the largest daily revenue out of all the businesses we analyzed. It’s also worth noting that, unlike most other auto service businesses, gas stations continued to enjoy increases in average daily revenue on every single day of the holiday weekend.

Car washes:

Despite it being only the 5th biggest day of the year for car washes, the Friday before Memorial Day still brought a 49% increase in average revenue for car washes (more than any other type of business we analyzed).

Tire shops:

The Friday before Memorial Day was the third biggest day of the year for tire shops. Once again, the boost in revenue was primarily due to a decent lift in average number of transactions, as the average ticket was only 6% larger than on a typical day.

Where was Memorial Day weekend the biggest for auto service businesses?

It’s clear that Americans from coast to coast kicked off their Memorial Day weekend by getting a tune-up, a car wash, a full tank of gas, or more. But was this true in every single state? Were there parts of the country that did particularly well?

The Friday before Memorial Day was the #1 day of the year in terms of money spent at local auto service businesses in 7 different states, in the top 5 days of the year in 23 states, and only one state saw the day fall under the top 33 days of the year (Nevada, where it was the 86th biggest day of the year). But even in Nevada (and in every single state), the average auto sales business saw an increase in average revenue on the Friday before Memorial Day.

Next, we looked at the different types of auto services businesses and how they did across each state.

Where did auto repair shops make the most on Memorial Day weekend?

West Virginia, South Dakota, Connecticut, and Oklahoma topped the list of states where auto repair and maintenance shops did the best, with those businesses averaging over 90% more in revenue on the Friday before the holiday. Only one state, Vermont, was home to auto repair and maintenance shops that experienced a drop in average daily revenue.

Where did gas stations make the most on Memorial Day weekend?

Gas stations in Iowa, North Dakota, and Maine were all about the Memorial Day road trip. There wasn’t a single state in the country where gas stations experienced a drop in revenue on this busy day. Wyoming gas stations came in at the bottom of the list, with average revenues only slightly above the annual average.

Where did car washes make the most on Memorial Day weekend?

Along the east coast, people appeared to be more interested in cleaning their cars than hitting the highway with them. Gas stations in Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey all averaged more than double their annual daily revenue.

Local car washes in south saw less success on Memorial Day. Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi all brought in below average revenue on the Friday before Memorial Day.

Where did tire shops make the most on Memorial Day weekend?

Tire shops did especially well in Arizona, Alaska, Connecticut, and Louisiana. Outside of the top states, however, tire shops didn’t find nearly the same levels of success as some of the other business types on our list.

Three states (New York, West Virginia, and Idaho) all experienced below-average days, while New Jersey tire shops saw a substantial 28% drop in average revenue.

How to get the most out of Memorial Day weekend if you own a car wash, auto repair shop, or other auto service business

Do you own or manage your own auto service business? If so, is the Friday before Memorial Day one of your biggest days of the year? Our analysis shows that auto service businesses from coast to coast stand to make a lot of money throughout the weekend, and on Friday in particular, as Americans look to hit the road for the first time after hibernating over the winter.

Big days like these represent a wealth of opportunities for your auto service business, particularly when it comes to the average number of transactions. Our analysis showed that—depending on the type of auto service business you own—you may experience only a slight increase in average ticket size, but you should absolutely expect more customers coming in your doors than on a typical day.

Make sure you’re prepared for the increase in foot traffic, but think about ways you can go a step further. Hand out free snacks or popcorn if you expect to see long lines or extended waiting times. If, however, you struggle to draw people in your doors, perhaps look for creative ways to drum up interest and associate your business with the place to turn to before hitting the road on Memorial Day.

Read more: Building an effective small business marketing plan

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll want to capitalize on this influx of new and returning customers by ensuring you have a way to capture customer contact and purchase information. That way, when slower days return to your store, you can send friendly reminders or check-ins to guide your happiest customers back into your store.

Read more: CRM for auto service businesses — what do you really need?

Reputation management software like ours here at Womply can help you get the most out your busiest days. Sign up for a free demo today to see how businesses like yours have used Womply to bring in 20% more revenue while saving an extra 10 hours of work per week.

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