How To Buy a Car Wash: Useful Guides & Tips

how to buy a car wash

The car wash industry is booming, with more than $4 billion dollars in revenue every year. To get a sense of just how much demand for car washes exists, you may want to consider the following statistics:

  • An average person goes through 5 gallons of gas per week;
  • Every weeknight each person in America drives an average 15 miles back and forth from work;
  • About 70% of a car needs to be washed at least once a month (topside, lower panels). 

How to buy a car wash is described as the process of acquiring, owning, maintaining and operating an auto washing business. The factors involved in buying a car wash include location, acquisition cost and staff size. There are many advantages for buyers of an established company, but it can be more difficult for new business owners.

Such as;

Financial Aspects:

To acquire a car wash business, buyers must first have the financial stability to do so. Real estate brokers, bank loan managers and commercial lenders will be necessary to finance the acquisition.

Income and working capital is also needed to buy a business because banks want to know that the owners can afford the acquisition and operation of the car wash.

Operating Costs:

Operating costs include labor, utilities and business supplies. Labor can be the most expensive part of the business to operate. Staffing a car wash can cost as much as around $1,000 per week to operate.


Labor includes all employees working at the car wash, including management staff, laborers or maintenance staff. There are many factors that enter into the labor cost of a car wash such as age and experience level, benefits packages and job classification.


As of the year 2004, full-time car wash employees averaged $12.83 an hour and $26,000 a year. Benefits include medical insurance and paid vacation time. An average 40-hour work week has employees making around $51,600 a year. Many companies are switching to part time employees, due to rising labor costs.

Direct labor is the work that is done by an employee that can be directly tied back to the car wash operation, such as washing cars or vacuuming floors.

Do your research

how to buy a car wash - do your research

To learn about the current market, find out what the average prices in your area are for pads and other car wash equipment. These items will have a great impact on your business because some of them, especially the pad, can be extremely expensive.


If the location of a car wash is convenient, then more people will use it; if it’s not convenient, then there may not be much business.

Research what other types of businesses are in or around the area that could potentially take customers away from your business. Also, research what businesses are NOT in the area – this way you can plan how you want to attract potential customers who aren’t nearby.

The location of a car wash is usually on an important street, in a highly populated area. Often, the street traffic that is in this area will be full of potential customers.

The site of a car wash is usually near a grocery store and/or gas station. Car washes are often located at the end of cul-de-sacs or at the end of long roads because they are easier to find and have more accessibility than other locations.

There are many different types of car washes, especially in the United States, like coin operated car washes, self-serve washes and touchless washes.

A manual car wash is a type of business that consists of workers washing cars by hand. This is not a very common type of car wash because it takes too much manpower to operate it (most other types of car wash use automatic equipment). Manual car washes usually have high water usage and energy costs.

An automatic car wash is a type of business that consists of a computerized machine that washes cars automatically. They usually have higher water usage and lower energy costs than manual car washes.

Because there are many different types of automatic and manual car washes, it’s hard to compare them all for the same reasons.

The importance of car wash operations is greater than ever. The car wash industry is not only growing, but becoming more and more profitable, as public concern increases over heavy traffic on the highway and the effect that it has on the environment.

The industry itself is cyclical in nature; as new technologies are developed, they can reduce costs and become easier to use. For these reasons, there are increasingly more car washes being built every year, many of which offer a variety of services such as detailing and tire washing.

Learn what customers want:

Check out different car washes in your area and ask yourself, “Is this what my customers want?” Ask them and other employees how they feel about various features that the car wash may have. You should learn what your customers want before you buy a car wash.

Get the right staff:

Because a car wash business is very labor intensive, you will need to pay people well. You should get employees who will work hard and provide quality services to your customers. Many new employees are not skilled in many areas of car washing, so it is important that you find workers who have some knowledge about the industry and can learn from someone with more experience.

Some owners hire people with no experience in car washing to take over their business, but because they have little to no experience, their business may go downhill and they may be sued. 

Efficient equipment’s:

If you have the money and the time (and energy), invest in a state-of-the-art car wash. This means buying new, more efficient equipment that will not only cut down on water and energy costs but boost your profit margins as well.

If you cannot afford to buy it all at once, take everything one step of the way. For example, if you are likely to buy a car wash with a pad in the future, then first buy a self-serve hand car wash and expand from there.

Car washing is about 90 percent labor and 10 percent technology. This means that managers must be able to manage their employees effectively in order for the business to run smoothly.

Additional equipment:

In order for your business to succeed and to pay off the debts that it costs to start the business, borrow money from a bank. Banks usually require collateral before they will lend money. Sell some of the company’s assets to pay off the money that was borrowed, if needed.

Consider your options

Once you have determined what type of business you want, consider your options. For example, if you want to open a hand car wash, consider whether you should invest in a self-serve car wash or a touch less state-of-the-art car wash.

Getting financing:

In order for your business to succeed and to pay off the debts that it costs to start the business, borrow money from a bank. Banks usually require collateral before they will lend money. Sell some of the company’s assets to pay off the money that was borrowed, if needed.

Having employees understand your business:

If you are hiring someone to take over your car wash business, make sure they are going to be able to perform well as an employee and as a manager. Employees should be able to work 15-hour days without complaining and be willing to work overtime when needed.

Having a competitive edge:

While your business may be competitive in the area it is located, it should be competitive in all areas. People that are working at the car wash should be skilled at washing cars and vehicles, too. They should ensure that they are getting customers to drive by their business and not another one.

Check on credit reports:

You may want to check on the credit reports of previous employers or employees because sometimes companies will deny jobs to people who have had a history of bad debts.

Make sure you can afford the business:

Although owning a car wash business may be your dream, doesn’t mean you have to rush into it. Before you start the car wash, check to see if you can really afford it. If not, then maybe you should wait on buying a car wash or try to find other ways to get enough money.

Common sense is very important in any sort of business, but especially when dealing with cleaning cars.

Choose the right car wash

When buying a car wash, you have to make sure that it will be in a good location where there are enough customers to keep the business going. Before you buy, check the area for any other car washes or parking lots that may get people’s attention and make them want to drive by your business. You can also see what type of cars people drive in the area, which will help you know if there are enough customers to go around.

Manage well:

If you manage the employees that you have, they will do a better job at running your business. Managers should ensure that their employees do the right thing and are working hard and doing their jobs properly.

Ask for help:

Many car washes already have a manager’s plan in place. This will include how many people there are and how many cars need to be washed at day. Make sure what equipment is already at the car wash so you aren’t purchasing something unnecessary.

Deliver quality work:

If you want quality work then make sure that you hire good employees who can do the job properly. Training will teach them how to do the best job possible and be able to get customers in your business.

Don’t always rush in:

Before you buy a car wash, consider whether it is really necessary for your business or not. You don’t want to buy a place which is too small so that it ends up being unsuccessful and you end up losing money on your investment.

Negotiate the price

When buying a car wash, you should always negotiate the price. You might want to offer a lower price or offer to do something in return for the car wash owner. If you don’t negotiate, you may end up paying more than the place is worth.

Make sure to include a very detailed description of the business, including the quality of equipment and facilities, in your listing. Also, make sure you have contact information for the seller. 

While some business owners may be willing to negotiate, others may not feel comfortable doing so. Don’t feel compelled to give them a lower price; you aren’t obligated to. This is why it’s important to get multiple offers from different people.

You can make an offer for a specific amount of money, or you can ask for the amount of money that the seller wants for the car wash. The seller should be able to tell you what they want if they have previous offers from other interested buyers. whether you aren’t familiar with the area, find out what kind of services they offer by asking questions.

Ask for references: 

Some car washes have a built-in system to allow visitors to leave reviews of their businesses. Ask the seller if they have a rating system and ask for specific information about their customers, such as how long they’ve used the business and why. This can help you decide whether or not you’re willing to pay more than you originally intended.

Ask for pictures: 

If the seller has a photo system, like an automated picture-taking device, ask for some information about their customers. This can help you decide whether or not you’re willing to pay the price and whether or not they should be considered a suitable business.

Get insurance:

Make sure that the car wash owner has insurance or have them install their own. It’s easier to find car washes with insurance than it is to find ones without it in case of an accident.

Get a warranty

While it’s not completely necessary to have a warranty, you may be required to receive one for the car wash if you want to buy it. A warranty can help you protect your business against certain problems that might occur after you’ve bought the car wash. Most warranties come with a list of things that won’t be covered, so make sure you read over the fine print before you agree to anything.

Make sure you know the asking price:

The first step in buying a car wash is to get a good idea of what the owner is asking for it. It’s best to thoroughly check out the market before you try pricing the car wash, so you can get a good deal for yourself.

Check out if it’s worth the price:

After getting an idea of what a car wash is worth, make sure you check if it’s actually worth that much. Do some research to see if the car wash is making a profit, or not. If you’re buying a car wash that’s losing money, you may want to avoid it and move on, as this can be hard to turn around.

Measure what you’re buying:

You should definitely try measuring the size of the property before deciding on how much you want to pay for it. If it’s larger than expected, then it might be worth more than you initially thought.

Maintenance and upkeep

There are many aspects of owning a car that need maintenance and upkeep. One of those items is taking your car to the dealership for a wash. This can either be done quickly after the day’s driving or once every few weeks on a designated day (the garage days). There are many different ways to buy from the dealership.

how to buy a car wash

One great way that some people opt is buying used car washes instead of new ones. However, you must be aware that these used car wash systems will eventually stop working. This is one of the reasons why some car wash owners decide to buy a new one when theirs stop working.

Though this can seem like a great option, you must consider that the used system might not work for your car. There are many things to consider when you buy a used system; the most important being safety. You don’t want to buy a system that will damage your car in any way.

An important thing to remember when buying car wash systems is that you need to do your research. There are many dealers out there and they all sell different makes and models of car washes, which can be overwhelming. Instead of going to a random dealer, talk with your local mechanic or the owners of the dealership closest to your home.

Another option that people have is to buy a new car wash system from their local dealership. This is a great option because you get what you pay for. A car wash system that you have bought from your local dealership is made specifically for your car, and it was made with the best quality materials and parts.

Oftentimes, a brand doesn’t sell their products at the local dealership; they send them through to the local distributor. Though this might be a good option, keep in mind that if something goes wrong, your warranty may not transfer over to the local dealership or distributor.


Car wash systems can be found in many places, but you should always try to do some research before buying one for your car. If you are looking for a washing system for your car, there are a lot of things that you should consider: how much space it will take up, how many bays it will take at the dealership, and how often your dealership does washes. Also keep in mind that some dealerships do not want to put these systems in the showroom because they damage the appearance of the cars.

Before you buy a car wash system, you need to make sure that it fits your car. If it doesn’t fit your car, then it’s not worth buying. If the dealership refuses to make alterations to the system, then find another dealership. Car washes are an important purchase because they can damage your vehicle if they’re not hooked up correctly. Remember these things when buying any car washing system.

You might like also:

Hey, I am Sakib Hossain Sojib, an entrepreneur known as an SEO Specialist, Digital Marketer, Blogger, and Content Creator. I have a team of researchers who guide and review products for our audience to help them by providing valuable information to help our audience makes the best decisions for their needs. I love to take care of my cars. So, I like and enjoy car maintenance and automotive research. The provided content is based on my learning, research, and understanding of the topic and its concept. Our extensive experience in the industry allows us to offer unique insights and perspectives on the latest trends and products. We aim to educate and empower our readers by providing them with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their needs.

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker

Refresh Page