Types of Financing For a Car Wash

Finding financing for a car wash is a critical step in starting or expanding your business.  While there a number of ways to find financing, here are a few of the most common. Leasing A portion of your car wash financing may include equipment leasing and can be a good source of financing if you […]

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What Type of Car Wash

A car wash business can take on a variety of formations but what type of car wash is best for you? Everyone is familiar with the standard coin-operated car wash business. The type of coin-operated car wash that is brought to most people’s minds is the exterior-conveyor wash. With this type of car wash, the […]

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Marketing a Car Wash

Marketing a car wash requires looking at the value you provide to customers.  If you have a competitive market and everyone is at the same price, what is going to make a customer loyal to your establishment?  What value do you offer to the customer to entice them spend their money with you, rather than […]

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What Does it Cost to Start a Car Wash

There are probably more variables involved with determining the cost to start a car wash than any other yet it is the most frequently asked question. If you are going to invest in a business your first question should be “How much money can I plan to make with a self-serve car wash?” The biggest […]

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Financing a Car Wash

You have put together the perfect business plan, the drawings or purchase agreement is ready, now financing a car wash is the next step.  Not so fast, choosing the wrong financing can doom your car wash from the start. I have seen so many people over leverage their car wash purchase with mortgages lasting 20-25 […]

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Car Wash Refund Policy

In my years of running a car wash, the best car wash refund policy is to refund money when requested.  Even though you may have the rare customer who claims to have put $10 worth of quarters in a bay that isn’t working, most requests are going to be legit (and if they aren’t is a few […]

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Valuing a Car Wash

While this is a simplified overview for self-serve washes and there lots of variables that go into valuing a car wash. An appraisal should be your first stop, especially in regards to location, a good rule of thumb has shown that on average a newer, well run wash will go for 5-6 times annual gross, […]

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Writing a Car Wash Business Plan

Before embarking on writing a car wash business plan, a definition of a business plan is in order. A business plan is a document to identify an opportunity, research why this opportunity is profitable and the steps needed to capitalize on the opportunity. The business plan can be a formal document or it can be […]

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Car Wash Soap

Getting the right car wash soap is a challenge and you need to make sure it’s right as if your soap doesn’t work, your customers cars won’t come out clean.  In addition to picking the right soap you have to decide on powder vs. liquid.  With the powder you have lower costs but incur the […]

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Car Wash Grants

There are a few places where you can find all the information you could ever care to find on business or maybe even car wash grants.  A grant for a car wash?  Dream on!  While almost everyone has probably heard about someone who got a grant to start their business or car wash, there aren’t […]

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Cleaning the Car Wash

You might think that since your business is dispensing just water and soap and the car wash stays clean, but cleaning the car wash keeps your facility looking good and is more inviting for customers than a dirty one.  There are a number of products for cleaning the mold, mildew and grime from your car […]

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Cleaning Graffiti From a Car Wash

At some point sooner or later your car wash will be a target for graffiti.  A few ideas for cleaning graffiti from a car wash that work quite well. Paint stripper – Be sure to get a good quality so you don’t have to do the job twice, but the paint stripper should weaken the […]

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Cleaning the Car Wash Pit

You rarely see any mention about cleaning the car wash pit when hearing about the wonderful opportunities owning a car wash provides.  The pit will tend to need more attention in the rural areas as more mud will get in there but regardless you will need to clean it out and isn’t the most fun. […]

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Painting a Car Wash

When painting a car wash, don’t go cheap and stick with the big name paint stores (Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, etc.) and look to a latex or oil based epoxy.  Talk with the local with the rep to get the blend and colors right.  This isn’t an area to try to go cheap as the cheap paint doesn’t stick […]

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Car Wash Operations in Cold Weather

While most people in the beginning stages think about the car wash and making money in the summer time, you need to consider car wash operations in cold weather.  In colder climates you will want to pay particular attention to freezing weather because of the potential for car wash equipment damage.  An often used method […]

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Car Wash Vending

Car wash vending machines may be a way to bring a little extra revenue at your car wash.  I say may because machines in some locations are nothing but criminal magnets and become more hassle than they are worth.  At one time one wash in a bad neighborhood had a Pepsi machines. It only took […]

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Car Wash Grate Theft

When metal prices rise many business will have any unsecured metals stolen and the car wash is no exception.  Car wash grate theft is an easy and popular target for thieves and not only do you have the issue of replacing the grate but you risk someone twisting an ankle or tripping and suing. The trough and […]

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Car Wash Coin Box Theft

Coin boxes at car washes are a popular target for thieves.  Not only are they easy to spot, but thieves know where most of the money is going to be.  How can you stop car wash coin box theft? Several brands of coin boxes are vulnerable to the thief using a speaker or other large magnet which […]

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Car Wash Employee Theft

While having employees allows you to grow a car wash business there is also a huge downside due to having a largely all cash business.  Most owners just trust their people, get sloppy and make crooks out of usually honest people.  This even includes hiring the proverbial “trusted family member”.  If you have cash that […]

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Car Wash Security System

Anyone who would spend several hundreds of thousands of dollars on any investment, let alone a car wash business and not protect it with a very good quality car wash security system is asking for trouble.  Why some car wash operators still do not have them is insane with how inexpensive systems are anymore.  The […]

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Car Wash Coin Changers

Car wash coin changers are at every car wash.  The big question is what coins will you vend? One issue with changers is people using them to make change and thereby leaving your machines empty for customers and the added hassle of going to the bank to purchase quarters.  It will be more of an […]

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Accepting Credit Cards At the Car Wash

Accepting credit cards at the car wash is a hot topic among car wash owners, but I recommend looking into having them seriously.  Surveys have consistently shown that people who pay with plastic (credit or debit) tend to spend more per purchase than those who pay with cash.  At most car washes, credit card customers generally spend […]

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Handling Car Wash Scratching Complaints

At some point while owning a car wash, operators will probably find themselves being accused of their equipment damaging the customer’s vehicle.  Handling car wash scratching complaints is usually something the customer is at fault for, there is a right and a wrong way to handle it.  Most of the time, a security system will […]

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Car Wash Employees

Unless you have to run your car wash at full volume or have nothing better to do than pick up trash at your wash then hiring employees is the only way to go if you ever expect to have a sustainable and profitable business.  The most effective way to increase the income of a car […]

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What Are The Best Switches For A Car Wash?

Many owners will debate what are the best switches for a car wash but in my opinion rotary switches are the best even though they are considered old school.  Rotary switches are inexpensive and very reliable while push buttons are expensive and more prone to moisture issues.  Keep it simple and easy for customers to […]

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Licensing a Car Wash

In many areas, licensing a car wash can be a frustrating experience.  Especially if you are building new, be sure you can get the licensing approved before purchasing the land and materials. Environmental Licenses Most car wash facilities are required by law to treat and/or reuse their water and may be required to maintain waste-water […]

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Designing A New Car Wash

If you are starting new and designing a new car wash, my best advice is to first visit other washes and see what you like vs. don’t like.  If you go to areas where you won’t be competition, most owners will be more than happy to talk with you provided you do it on their […]

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How Long Does It Take To Construct A Car Wash

I’ve been asked many times, how long does it take to construct a car wash.  The time to build a car wash will vary depending on how well organized you are, the size of the project and location of the project. Expect to spend 6-8 months in permit and design phase and another 4-6 months […]

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Car Wash Business Structures

Starting your car wash will require a business structure choice.  The business structure is basically how the business is organized and whether it is held personally or as a separate legal entity.  Each one has it’s own strengths and weakness.  Which car wash business structure is best for you? Sole Proprietorship The sole proprietorship is […]

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