STATIONS - CLASSIFICATION
Where the operator fills the customer's tank and provides other
services such as checking oil level and tyre pressures etc (operators
of such sites include lessees/licensees, owners/dealers and commission
agents) it is a conventional site. There are only few of these sites
left and are usually privately owned. The operator often works in
conjunction with car repairs.
SELF SERVICE SITES
With self service pumps (operators of such sites include
lessees/licensees, owner/dealers and commission agents). These are the
most common service station type.
CLASSIFICATION BY TYPE OF OPERATOR
LESSEE/LICENSEE SITES (CONVENTIONAL AND SELF SERVICE
These sites are owned by a major oil company and leased or licensed to
an operator who purchases the bulk of his petrol supplies from the
company. The total number has declined because of rationalization
programs as major oil companies are switching to large volume self
service sites which are often but not always, commission agents.
Applies to most of the "conventional" sites but does include some self
service sites. They are owned by the operator (or leased from a person
other than a major company) and supplied by a major oil company or an
independent. The number of owner/dealers have declined over the years
since 1951 when the oil companies began to concentrate the sale of
their products through one brand lessee/licensee sites and
owner/dealers now have something less than 25% of retail volume.
COMMISSION AGENT SITES
Commission agents are almost all self service sites. They are owned by
a major oil company or an independent. The operator simply sells petrol
as an agent for the owner at prices fixed by the owner. While a
commission agent does not pay rent on the tank and forecourt facilities
(the cost of which are borne by the owner) he/she does pay rent (as a
quasi lessee) on any additional facilities such as the accessories
shop, work bay, supermarket or restaurant.
CLASSIFICATION BY LAND USE
PETROL SALES AND
MAJOR REPAIR WORKSHOP
A number of
the older style and privately owned sites generate a great deal of
their revenue from activities other than petrol sales. This applies
particularly to repair workshop and accessory shops. Under a number of
town plans only a "car repair shop" is allowed to carry out major
repairs and therefore, the valuer should check the zoning for such land
uses (existing use rights may apply).
PETROL SALES AND MINOR REPAIR WORKSHOP
This type of service station generates a great deal of the total
revenue from petrol sales but also generates a large proportion from
the workshop/accessory shop. If the site is large and fronts a busy
road it is an ideal site for upgrading into a more modern service
station. Therefore, the valuer should determine the value of the
improvements very carefully, as if rebuilding to a higher and better
use applies, the buildings/plant may have no value.
However, it is the
most vulnerable service station and the opportunity cost land value may
indicate a higher and better use. For example, commercial/retail if the
site adjoins an expanding shopping centre.
PETROL SALES AND RESTAURANT - TRANSIT SERVICE STATION
This service station type was pioneered by Golden Fleece. Typically,
the station is located on a busy highway just outside a large
provincial town. The restaurant part of the business is most important,
attracting travellers and truck drivers. Because of the need to cater
for cars and trucks for a long period such stations are on a large site.
This type is nearly
always owned by the oil company with the operator on a commission
arrangement. They have proved to be a very strong station and if there
is little likelihood of new competition, will show a high value.
However, the buildings may be old and therefore, a rebuilding program
may be required in the near future.
PETROL SALES AND SUPERMARKET
A recent trend is for oil companies to concentrate on supermarket
retailing together with petrol sales. This land use requires new
buildings, canopies, pumps and parking areas with an efficient design.
Typically, the station is open late (sometimes 24 hours), 7 days a week
and offer competitive pricing against nearby small supermarkets and
general stores. Oil companies have stated that they expect their
supermarkets to dominate the convenience shopping market within the
near future. Because a large part of the revenue is from the
supermarket operation, the valuer should approach the valuation using
the same criteria and assessment techniques as for other retail land