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How Much Do Car Washes Make

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Automatic Car Wash Cost To Build

How much money did my second Car Wash make!

When youre trying to determine the amount of money youll make on a car wash business, you have to factor in how much youre going to be spending up front. Do you want some quick cash, or are you in this type of business for the long term? You stand to make a lot more money with an in-bay automatic or exterior conveyor car wash than with a self-service wash, but it also costs a lot more up front.

An automatic car washs cost to build is much greater than other car washes because it requires expensive, specialized equipment and a lot of space. Automatic units cost between $31,000 to $49,000 per bay, whereas self-serve car wash equipment generally costs just $8,000 to $10,000 per bay.

After the equipment, you also need to factor in the cost of space and construction. For an in-bay automatic car wash, youll need about 7,000 square feet for each bay, and youre going to want more than one bay. You can expect to spend about $17,000 to construct a single self-serve car wash bay and upward of $42,000 to construct an automated or conveyor bay.

Step : Obtain Necessary Permits And Licenses

Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.

State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.

In addition, certain local licensing or regulatory requirements may apply. For more information about local licenses and permits:

Labor Safety Requirements

It is important to comply with all Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements.

Relevant regulations include:

  • Proper safety precautions when operating potentially dangerous equipment

Certificate of Occupancy

A car wash is generally run out of a physical location. Businesses operating out of a physical location typically require a Certificate of Occupancy . A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws and government regulations have been met.

Average Car Wash Cost

To better understand the average income and profit potential a car wash business is likely to make, youll need to figure out its cost implications. As stated earlier, there are variable and fixed costs.

To help you better appreciate the income and profit potential of the business, lets discuss both concepts .

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Create A Maintenance Checklist

Based on these definitions of the different types of maintenance, we can conclude that while reactive maintenance only occurs on an as-needed basis, preventative maintenance must be performed regularly. But how do you know how often you need to do this? We recommend creating a checklist of tasks that you perform regularly.

To determine how often these tasks need to be performed, follow these steps:

Days Of The Year In Operation

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Next, you need to write down how many days out of the year your car wash is open. Take into account closing for holidays, inclement weather, routine maintenance or occasional equipment failure. If you are unsure about these variables and how many days you are actually open a year, you should use a worst case, median, and best case scenario figures. Well use an average of 320 days of the year in operation for our calculations.

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Resources To Help Women In Business

There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. Weve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:

  • Funding
  • Guides
  • Support

If youre a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.

How Much Money Is Needed For A Car Wash Business Code

The area of ââa car wash for an automatic car wash is about 5000 square meters, which is much larger than the area of ââa self-service area. This will of course change your spending significantly. Then you should also check the permits, licenses and fees to start a business. On average, permits and licenses range from $150 to $200.

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Step : Get Business Insurance

Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your companys financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.

There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If youre unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so its a great place to start for your business.

Learn more about General Liability Insurance.

Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, its a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers’ Compensation Coverage.

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How Profitable Is A Car Wash

How Much Money $$ a Car Wash Makes – in 1 Week!

The average annual profit for an in-bay automatic car wash is $86,531.

The average annual revenue is $139,000 based on approximately 20,000 cars washed each year.

Source: Brandongaille

So we see that, on average, in-bay automatic car washes have the potential to generate healthy profits per year. That’s the good news. What about the bad news

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What Is A Mobile Car Wash

What is a mobile car wash? Virginia Beach, Virginia. Mobile car washes are a type of car wash that can travel to different locations to provide different services that a mobile car dealer can provide. It has several benefits, and it’s a myth that just because it’s portable limits the work they can do.

Average Car Wash Income

The provision of standard car wash services will fetch you varying degrees of income. The main reasons for the differences in income are due to type, size, location, and market or demand. There are 3 main types of car washes.

They include in-bay automatic car washes, self-serve car washes, and tunnel car wash businesses. The income for each of these types varies significantly.

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What Is A Touchless Car Wash

The automatic touchless car wash is a hands-off experience. It only uses high-pressure water jets and detergents to remove road grime, dirt and other deposits. No one physically touches the car. Automatic spinning brushes are not required. Many customers prefer this kind of brushless car wash system because there is no physical contact with their car, thus minimizing the risk of damage to the exterior paintwork of their vehicle.

Tunnel Car Washes With Rotating Brushes

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The traditional old-style car wash with rotating bristle brushes is much maligned in favor of other, newer car wash technologies that are described as gentler to your cars finish. But head-to-head comparisons have shown that the old-school car washes will actually cause less damage to your cars finish than the newer alternatives because the brushes do not hold onto abrasives to the extent that soft cloth scrubbers do.

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Exterior Conveyor Car Wash

The exterior conveyor car wash, or otherwise known as the tunnel car wash, is often compared to fast-food drive-throughs due to some similarities in the service process. Like in a fast-food drive-through, after choosing a service in an exterior conveyor car wash, your car would be moving forward to receive the service, but from a variety of car wash equipment.

Its one of the most high-profit car wash types, next to the full-service car wash with just a slight difference. Its average charge is more than double the cost of the in-bay automatic car wash at $15. With this car wash type, you can earn an average income of $686,250 annually.

Whats The Average Profit Margin For A Car Wash Business In The Uk

The average car wash income is around £102,000 which can increase depending on the location of the business

Car wash business is a very lucrative business in the UK and its a great way of making a living. With an estimated £1billion a year car wash business in the UK, this is a good venture for entrepreneurs. It is common to come across car washes as you travel around the country, and it is estimated that there are over 20,000 car washes operating in the UK.

For the next 5 years, the business is projected to grow, thus you should expect to see more car wash businesses coming up.

So, whats all the fuss about the car wash business? Does it pay? How much profit should I expect if I open a car wash business in the UK? If you intend to open up a car wash business in the UK, then youre at the right place.

After several days of research, I managed to come up with the average profit margin for a car wash business in the UK.

Continue reading to find out.

Factors that influence the profit margin of a car wash business

  • Operator expertise

The more experienced or excellent the operator is the more the business will reduce costs and deliver outstanding services. For instance, a professional operator will know where to apply a triple coat and in what quantities. So, you need to hire the right workers.

  • Location

Demographics play an important role in the profit that your business makes. This is because it impacts labour costs, electricity rates, sewer rates, and water.

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Select The Best Site Possible

Location, location, location is the real estate industrys mantra. It should be in our industry as well. For a car wash business, location is everything, so select the best site you possibly can.

A good site will have the following characteristics:

  • Ease of access. Make it easy for customers to find the entrance to your car wash. Situating your wash at a busy intersection wont do you much good if people cant easily figure out how to get to it.
  • Highly-traveled street or road. Find a location on a highly traveled street or road where the speed limit is set at 40 MPH or less. That way, you benefit not only from a lot of traffic but also a speed limit that gives drivers time to read your signage.
  • Sufficient space. Your site should be large enough for vehicles of all sizes to navigate through the car wash lands and access other areas, such the vacuum bays. Also, ensure you have enough room for cars to line up without blocking roadways.

What locations work best for car washes?

What Is The Car Wash Profit Margin

How much my car wash made in just 6 days

The average profit margin for an in-bay automatic car wash is $4.35 per car. This represents 68.6% of the average ticket price per car, which is $6.34.

Source: Brandongaille

That is an extremely high-profit margin per car. Of course, it is important to recognize that these are averages and your results may vary.

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Know What You Dont Know

There is a lot you may not know about what it takes to run a successful car wash business, including everything from site selection to water conservation to the chemicals and equipment used in marketing, advertising, hiring, pricing and even the software needed to run your business.

There is a lot to learn and the best place to start is to know what you dont know then task yourself with gaining as much knowledge and expertise as possible about every facet of the car wash operation.

How Much Does A Car Wash Make In Texas

As of Nov 12, 2021, the average annual pay for the Car Wash jobs category in Texas is $19,479 an year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $9.36 an hour. This is the equivalent of $375/week or $1,623/month.

While ZipRecruiter is seeing salaries as high as $29,239 and as low as $14,620, the majority of salaries within the Car Wash jobs category currently range between $16,834 to $22,151 with top earners making $27,467 annually in Texas.

The average pay range for a Car Wash job varies greatly , which suggests there may be many opportunities for advancement and increased pay based on skill level, location and years of experience.

Based on recent job posting activity on ZipRecruiter, the Car Wash job market in Texas is not very active as few companies are currently hiring.

Texas ranks number 40 out of 50 states nationwide for Car Wash job salaries.

To estimate the most accurate annual salary range for Car Wash jobs, ZipRecruiter continuously scans its database of millions of active jobs published locally throughout America.

Find your next high paying job within the category on ZipRecruiter today.

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Start A Car Wash By Following These 10 Steps:

You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your car wash. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.

Check out our How to Start a Business page.

Ongoing & Maintenance Fees

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You can start promoting your business to create hype a couple weeks before it opens. This can be done on social media and everywhere you might find potential customers, such as on local papers, radio, or by handing out flyers. You can also hang posters in local businesses, send postcards in your area or implement a texting program. You can offer discounted prices, or offer the promise of an environmentally friendly operation , now that people are so keen on saving water and using organic cleaning compounds to reduce chemical pollution.

Reactive maintenance consists in fixing damage when it occurs. This may require an on-call mechanic who can come in at any time the machines break down to carry out repairs. You can avoid reactive maintenance with regular preventative maintenance checkups and a clear checklist of daily, weekly or monthly checkups that need to be carried out on the machines. Check out the maintenance checklist ideas on this site.

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Costs For Car Wash Care And Maintenance

If you own a car wash, youre no doubt intimately familiar with the common car wash repairs and costs that take place on a daily basis around the business. You know that no matter how well business is going, there are still likely to be plenty of repairs and the like going on behind the scenes that the customers would never guess.

But have you ever stopped to think about all the factors that contribute to the final dollar value you spend on maintenance and repair? If you already have a firm grasp on these figures, you might think you know all there is to know about these types of expenses. Were willing to bet that there is more to learn, however. And if, on the other hand, you feel you dont know much at all about common car wash maintenance costs, we hope youll learn a bit about them today.

To help you out, weve put together this guide to walk you through all the ways you can help make the most of your maintenance and repair budget. By the time youre finished reading here, we think youll be ready to tackle and understand any expenses of these types with no trouble at all.

How Many Gallons Of Water Do Car Washes Use

Each time a machine is washed, approximately 38 gallons of water are used. This is a heavy burden on the environment, especially when you consider that around 8 million cars are washed in car washes every day. In fact, it’s about 304 million gallons of water that is used every day in car washes around the world.

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What Type Of Job Is A Car Washer

Car washers clean cars, trucks, and other vehicles. In this career, your job duties include meeting with customers to figure out what kind of wash they want, then ensuring that the vehicle meets their expectations. Some car washers wash the car entirely by hand, while others do part by hand and part by machine.

How Much Money Does A Hand Car Wash Owner Make A Year

How Much Did My 2nd Car Wash Make In 1 Week?

Cars get dirty. That’s a fact of life but not everyone is going to want to clean them. This is why owning a carwash can be a very lucrative business venture. It’s also a great way to generate passive income depending on the type of carwash you choose to own. Self-service carwashes have some of the lowest startup costs with the biggest rewards.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people who work at carwashes make a median income of $25,770 a year which increases if your business is mobile. A mobile carwash operator can generate an average of $100,000 a year with $30,000-to-$40,000 in pre-tax profit.

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