Tuesday, September 26, 2023

How Much Does An Automatic Car Wash Cost

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Enjoy Your Passive Income

How much does it COST to start a CAR WASH business

Once things are finally rolling and you have passed the break-even point in your business, you will be able to start enjoying passive income as this kind of business can be fairly automated. Once you set up the car washing machines, have an outsourced plan in place for regular maintenance, and an efficient payment system, you should have no other inputs to provide. You can even continue enjoying your passive income while you travel.

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.

Passive Income With An Automatic Car Wash

There are many ways to create a passive income stream that lets you focus your time on things that matter to you in your life, and one of them is with an in-bay automatic car wash. Self service car washes do not require you to show up with a bucket of soapy water to clean cars every day. The whole process is automated so that the client easily gets their car washed, and drives away.

How to create passive income from an automatic car wash? There are fairly simple steps involved in setting up an in-bay automatic car wash business. If located in the right spot and maintained correctly, this business can make an excellent passive income stream.

Quote from Chuck King on LinkedIn: I used to own a self serve car wash that would net around $50,000 where I owned the land and the business.

With the example above, that comes to $4,000/month of passive income. You can imagine what owning a couple of these business operations can earn you. What is especially interesting is that the process is fairly automated, and therefore does not require you to spend a day in your life actually washing your clients cars or presiding over the business operations. Knowing that, you are probably wondering how do I set up an in-bay automatic car wash? If so, you are right where you need to be.

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Potential Car Wash Profit According To Car Wash Type

Having a car wash business can be very promising. In these fast-paced times we have, wherein people search for quick and easy solutions, most car owners would rather have their car cleaned in a car wash. That brings in a high-profit potential for car washes.

But there are also factors that can affect car wash profit and car wash owner salary. The main factor on how much profit you can earn when you open a car wash is the car wash type. There are many types of car washes, and each can earn a different amount of profit.

Car Wash Small Business Electricity

How much does automatic car wash equipment cost

Over 90% of car washes in the United States are considered small business. More specifically, car washes are a small business that requires and relies heavily on electricity and water to clean vehicles repeatedly throughout the course of a day.

There are several different types of car washes in the United States including,

Self-Service These types of car washes require the driver or a person to wash the car. Typically there is a power washer and a foam brush to assist in the washing process.

Exterior Rollover These are a fairly common type of car wash. It requires the driver to drive the vehicle into a bay area. Once in position washing and drying equipment moves over the stationary vehicle.

Exterior Only This is a very common type of car wash, where the driver drives their vehicle onto a track. The track then moves the vehicle forward, through the different elements of the car wash like washing, rinsing and drying.

Full Service The exterior of the vehicle is cleaned via either Exterior Rollover or Exterior Only, and then an attendant cleans the interior.

Detail Shop This type of car wash is typically done by hand to remove small scratches and dull paint. The interior of the car is also cleaned.

For Exterior Rollover and Exterior Only car washes, the;average cost per car for electricity runs from;$0.50 to $1.00. In addition, many car washes also use natural gas for heating water and air. The average cost per car for natural gas is, $0.12.

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How Much Does It Cost To Wash A Car

Car wash prices depend on the service you request, as some car wash outlets will offer packages ranging from £3 for a simple wash only to over £100 depending on what is included. There are different types of car washes and cleans available defined below:

Hand Car Wash: It involves washing your cars exterior by hand by trained professionals. This often is more time-consuming than an automatic car wash, but it has been said to be more effective for giving your car a longer-lasting clean finish. A hand car wash can do a better job, say, of cleaning your wiper blades so that they don’t streak your windscreen.

Automatic Tunnel Car Wash: You will find an unattended terminal where you buy a car wash service. Automatic car washes include the spinning brushes and the dangling cloth pieces that aid car washing. These may be quick and efficient enough if you are in a rush.

Self Service Car Wash: Here you insert coins into a self-service machine and wash the car yourself using the jet spray attached to the machine. You begin by parking your car in a wash bay. Self-service car washes are timed, and the amount of money you insert corresponds with the length of time you’ll have to wash your car. Most straightforward machines include three settingswash, soap, and rinsewhile more innovative machines include pre-wash and wax settings.

All the above options take care of the exterior of the car. We now move on to looking at options for cleaning the interior of the car:


Automated Car Wash Tunnel Equipment Cost

Equipment is essential to the smooth functioning of a car wash. Even more essential is such equipment for automated car wash systems. When building, equipment such as dryers, tunnel brushes, a water reclaim system , conveyor equipment room and arches are required.

All of these car wash tunnel equipment will cost about $400,000.00.

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What Is The Growth Potential For A Car Wash

Since getting a car wash is a matter of convenience, there is the possibility of having multiple locations served by a hand-wash company or a detailing company. For self-service, automatic, and touchless car washes, it is possible to have one on any major thoroughfare and even add other locations after the first location is successful.

Having the locations a few miles apart will help to make sure you do not cannibalize your own market.

How Profitable Is A Car Wash Business

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Car wash business is highly profitable and you can expect a sales of US $200,000 $600,000 annually, depending on where you are located and various other factors. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average monthly revenue generated per bay in a self-serve car wash is;nearly $1,500, while an in-bay automatic;car wash;generates $139,000 of revenue per year and provides a net yearly profit of approx. $86,561.

The average cost of getting your;car washed in an in-bay;car wash;is $6.34, which yields an average profit of $4.35 per wash while the average cost of a car washed in a tunnel or conveyor car wash is;$15 per vehicle, which adds up to an average;annual revenue stream of $686,250;for this type of facility but it needs much more investment compared to self-serve cash wash facility.

Considering the data above, you can expect huge profits in car wash and detailing business, if you learn the necessary skills required to manage a car wash franchise.

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How Passive Is An Automatic Car Wash

A self-service car wash business is passive, however it will become very costly and require a lot of maintenance if not setup correctly. There is no point at which a client needs to interact with a real person during the process of using an automatic car wash, unless it breaks down or is malfunctioning.

You need to have an automated process in place to avoid having to physically fix the machine . However, the customer can get their car clean without any assistance. Furthermore, the payments are collected by the machine. This, again, eliminates the need for human assistance. So, this business is fairly passive.

Costs Of Starting A Car Wash

Once you have an idea of the kind of car wash you want to open, youre probably going to ask yourself, How much does it cost to start a car wash? While certain start-up costs may be the same or nearly the same from one location to another, many factors that will affect the amount youll have to pay to start your business are largely dependent on where youre going to open your car wash.

If youre not going to buy an existing car wash, you should start figuring out how much start-up capital youre going to need by answering this question: How much does it cost to build a car wash?

Land acquisition, construction and equipment expenses vary by location and other factors, so its important for you to thoroughly research the going rates in your area to accurately estimate your capital needs. In general, if you dont already own land for your car wash business, you can expect to pay around $80,000 to construct and equip each bay your business is going to have.

No matter where you intend to establish your business, however, some of the costs of building a car wash will probably include the following:

Land Acquisition: Ideally, the land you acquire will not have any pre-existing structures on it. If it does, youll need to factor the expenses involved with tearing them down and removing the debris into your acquisition costs. You should seek out viable lots that are near frequently traveled areas close to other businesses and active, densely populated neighborhoods.

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Automatic Car Wash Cost To Build

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.

Start With Known Quantities

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Some of the costs associated with building a car wash are highly variable, such as land costs. Underlying Real Estate costs vary greatly based on size of lot, micro geography, and macro geography in which the carwash is being built and the real estate is located. Lets put those highest of all variability car wash construction costs to the side for now and focus on the more known to start framing a true answer to the question at hand.

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Site Location For Tunnel Car Wash

The ideal size for a tunnel car wash is at least one acre. For a 125-foot conveyor you need at least 225 feet in one direction. If you intend to also have vacuum pads you need to account for space for them and dont forget to ensure you have enough space for cars to line up as they are waiting to enter the tunnel and any turning radiuses needed for maneuvering within and out of your location. Even if you build the best tunnel car wash in town, if you dont have ample space for cars to maneuver youll lose potential customers.

Because of the somewhat large space requirements, a tunnel car wash often works best as a stand-alone business. Of all the types of car wash operations a tunnel, or conveyor, car wash requires the largest amount of space.

Cost Of Building A Tunnel Car Wash

Because of the large lot size needed and the high amount of equipment necessary, a tunnel car wash can be one of the most expensive types of car washes to build/start up. But, with the ability to process a high volume of vehicles and customers willing to pay a premium for a higher level of car wash there is a great potential for a return on your investment. A benefit to a tunnel car wash system is that they dont require much in the way of manual labor, which decreases the amount of employees needed. Fewer employees means lower overhead costs, which increases your return on investment.

In addition to the cost of the land necessary there is also the cost of the equipment to consider as well. The length and number of tunnels at your car wash will be a major determining factor on this point.

For more specific questions or cost projections contact a specialist at NuLook Car Wash Systems. They are experts in all aspects dealing with setup and maintenance a car wash and would love to answer any questions you might come across as you begin the steps to building and opening your new car wash.

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We Also Have Some Tips Below On How To Reduce Costs When Setting Up Your New Car Wash Business

How long does the process take?

As a rule this process should take around 12 months IF you have a motivated architect. Your design must have accounted for all council stipulations & your builder needs to be reliable. Over the years weâve seen set ups completed as quick as 6 months. Others have spanned out to the 2 year mark. If you use someone who is well versed in car wash design the process will be much shorter than going in blind.

So is a car wash business profitable?

Yes of course . A well-designed site with high quality equipment, in a good location is, in our opinion, going to be successful. Since Carwash World started in 2005 & we are witnessing steady growth for all of our customers.

IBISWorld reported that the Australian carwash industry is now forecast to be worth approximately $585 million by 2020. Between 2010-2015 the industry saw 2.5% growth. In the IBISWorld, report, the article stated within the;carwash;market, automatics account for 46.5 percent, & self serves for 37.6 percent with the remainder hand washing. Environmental concerns & higher density living is making services such as car washing much more popular. Car owners love the convenience of a drive in, drive out option.

How can I save money in the set up for a new car wash business?

For further advice on a car wash business your planning or for more tips on how not to over-capitalise we welcome you to contact us here.

The Average Income Of A Touchless Car Wash

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Time is money. A touchless wash and rinse can be done in 5 minutes or less. Adding wax and dry options can increase the time to 8 minutes per wash but you will charge more for the service. There is the potential to wash 8 cars per hour. However, some conveyor touchless systems are even faster with capabilities of washing up to 30 cars per hour. Price per car wash can range from $7-$15.

Statistics reveal that the average annual revenue for a single in-bay automatic car wash is $147,000. This is based on washing 21,000 cars annually at a basic $7 per wash. This equates to washing around 80 cars per day, operating for 5 days per week. In the first year of business, once you deduct your fixed and variable costs, the average profit is in the region of $50,000-$60,000. Adjust this figure accordingly to suit the pricing strategies for your car wash business and turnover of vehicles washed per year.

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How Much Money Does A Car Wash Make

How much money does a car wash make? Well, it depends on the type of car wash. This is a business that is extremely varied because there are so many different ways you can wash a car. Fortunately, this is a massive industry that seems to be growing year over year.

Currently, there are about 100,000 car washes in the United States, according the U.S. Census Bureau. Each year, these car washes clean 2.1% more cars than they did the year before. Though costs can be high , a car wash can be lucrative especially when combined with other services like gas purchases.


Customers spend a whopping $5.8 billion per year on car wash services.

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