Investing in a Car Wash


Starting a Car Wash Business
Making Money in the Business

It's true! The car wash business can be very profitable. Of course, profitability depends on a few contributing factors.

Location, competition, equipment, services, appearance and management are just some of the factors that lead to a profitable location.
Many ask how the car wash business can be so profitable.

Here's how:

  • Low labor cost... typically only one part- time employee
  • Low direct operating cost
  • Cash only... coin/token/credit card operated machines means no account receivables and no personal checks
  • Customer provides labor
  • Inventory is small
  • Open 24 hours a day
  • You control prices for special promotions
  • Not just a seasonal business... car washes are used year round
  • Broad target market... anyone who owns a vehicle, regardless of age, income or gender
  • Fixed costs such as bookkeeping and insurance are minimal

Why do so many people invest in the self-serve car wash business?

  • High rate of return on initial investment
  • Easy management
  • Minimal labor issues
  • No cash flow or inventory control problems
  • Cash business -no accounts receivable
  • Tax incentives
  • Expansion Opportunities

The Price is Right

The cost of owning a car wash system can vary, depending on land, number of bays, building structure and a few other factors. You may already own land, if not, purchasing or leasing property will be added to your cost of investment. Building structure, of course, will vary because of local building codes which may require you to use certain materials. You should consult with your equipment supplier regarding construction cost and what material you should use.

Equipment costs for your self-service - automatic touchless car wash will vary depending on the number of self service and in-bay automatic bays installed. In addition to the car wash bays themselves, you should always install the maximum number of income producing equipment the property will allow. With the best locations bringing a premium price you will want to get income from as many sources as possible. Another factor is method of payment. Customers should be able to pay for all services available at your site with whatever type of money they have with them at the time they visit your wash. This could be coins, bills, or credit cards.

Owning a car wash can be expanded into related areas such as full service, exterior automatic and detail centers. The self service car wash is an industry which offers car cleaning services to the motoring consumers who can wash their own vehicle. By vehicle, we mean that you can wash cars, trucks, boats, campers or anything that is portable. With this in mind, imagine how many "dirty" vehicles are in your area alone!

Today's Modern Car Wash

In the beginning, self-service car washes offered limited services which were simply high pressure wash and rinse with vacuums for the inside of the vehicle. Today, the car wash facility has developed into a complete car care center with a wide range of services and income producing options that include:

  • Count down timers
  • Low pressure pre-soak
  • Low pressure tire/engine cleaner
  • High pressure hot soft water wash
  • Foaming brush for scrubbing action
  • High pressure clear cold soft water rinse
  • High and low pressure sealant wax
  • High and low pressure Clear Coat Protectant
  • Low pressure spot-free rinse
  • Bug Remover
  • Powerful vacuum cleaners
  • Interior shampooer machine
  • Interior fragrance machine
  • Vending products
  • Polyshell TripleShine® Conditioner
  • Triple Color Foam Brush
  • Foaming Conditioner
  • Swipe-N-Clean® Credit Card Service
  • In-bay Automatic Blowers

Today's consumer is looking for value and quality service for their car cleaning needs. The self-service car wash provides them with just that. Since you wash the car yourself, you'll gain the personal satisfaction of knowing that all the tools you need to do an excellent job are available there for you.

With today's demands on time and convenience, an in-bay automatic proves to be an essential component for successful modem car washes. One in-bay automatic typically generates the income of 3-5 self-serve bays. With that kind of income potential in a single bay, selecting the right in-bay automatic is very important.
For that reason, it is important to choose an automatic that is loaded with features and options that customers can choose from. Features that, not only provide a clean vehicle, but also, put on a good show, making the car wash a fun experience!
Features like:

  • Hot Foamy Presoak
  • Tire Cleaner Applicators Onboard
  • Undercarriage Wash
  • Scrubbing Action Oscillating High Pressure Wash and Rinse
  • Triple Shine Foaming Conditioner
  • Sizes the Vehicle -Length and Height
  • Spot-Free Rinse
  • Onboard Blowers
  • Rollover Design for Faster Wash Cycle

All components needed to create a unique wash experience that will keep them coming back.

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