How to Start a Car Wash Using These Resources

December 18, 2020 280 views

Tips, Insights, and Resources For Starting and Running Your Own Car Wash

About This Post

In this post, you’ll find a large unique collection of hand-picked resources related to starting and running your own car wash.

You’ll use these resources while researching your business idea, when you’re ready to start and when you’re up and running.

Before you reach the resource section further down the page, let’s go over a few key considerations you’ll want to review before starting your business.

Is There a Demand for a Carwash in Your Area?

It’s important to do your research to determine the demand for a car wash. If there are none, maybe there isn’t enough demand to support a business.

Suppose there are many car washes in the area. In that case, you may find yourself in a saturated market where it will be difficult to get any business. In either case, you may be better off locating your car wash in a different location where there is a demand in the market that isn’t saturated.

For more on this topic, see What Is the Demand for Your Products and Services?

Are You Suited for This Opportunity?

With any business opportunity you’re considering, make sure you’re getting into the right business. You have to be interested in what you’re doing, or else with every little problem, you’ll think of ways to get out of the business instead of looking for solutions.

Can you see yourself running a car wash for the next 20 years? If your answer is yes, then you’re on the right track. If you answered no, then what can you see yourself doing? And should you be looking into that type of opportunity instead?

Starting and running your own business isn’t easy. It takes a lot of hard work, determination, and planning. You need to be determined. You need to be passionate about what you’re doing. For more on the subject, see Passion – An Important Key You Need to Succeed in Business.

Do You Have the Necessary Skills?

The next thing you need to consider is the skills necessary to run a car wash. There are two sets of skills; your business skills and the skills to operate the car wash.

If you don’t have the business skills, you can learn them by taking a course or learn as you go. I recommend you have a trusted advisor for those important decisions. This can help you when starting out and keep you from making mistakes until you gain enough confidence and experience to run a business.

Suppose you’re experienced in business, but you’re not experienced in operating a car wash. In that case, you can learn as you go, and just like the example above of having a trusted advisor, you can do the same with the skills needed to operate a car wash.

Ensure your advisor isn’t a competitor because it doesn’t make sense that someone would give you good advice if you’re competing against them.

For more on the skills you’ll need to run a business, see How to Run a Business – A Quick Look Into Skills You’ll Need

For more on the skills you’ll need to run a carwash, you’ll find a few courses in the resource section further down the page.

The next thing you want to do is create a plan for your business. Without a plan, you won’t get anywhere. You won’t even be able to get any estimates. Your plan is important. Let’s go over a few of the issues.

What Type of Car Wash Will You Open?

There are different types of carwashes you can open. Which one are you considering? Are you going to focus on an automated system or a self serve car wash? Or are you considering a hand wash set up? There are different types available, which you can review in the resources that follow. Each has its pros and cons, and you want to make sure you choose one right for the location you’re planning to start your business.

Each of the car wash systems has its own demands.

For example, the automated car wash will probably be the most expensive.

Second, you’ll have your self-serve system, and your hand-wash car wash is the cheapest to start because you don’t need any special equipment.

Startup Cost Considerations

Next, you’ll have to focus on your startup cost. Until you decide on a carwash system, you won’t get any accurate estimates.

Suppose you’re planning on an automated system. In that case, you’ll need a commercial location. You’ll also need to consider if you’ll purchase or lease the building?

Once you have a general plan in place, you can then figure out your startup costs. You can make adjustments. You can have two or three plans before you decide on the one that makes the most sense.


You can expand this type of business with additional products and services that may be interesting to your customers. Here are a couple of ideas that come to mind.


Detailing and car washes go hand-in-hand and can be a great add-on!


You can offer accessories in a storefront model located in your car wash. You can offer car cleaning products, air fresheners, car wax, interior products that clean and protect.

When your customers are in the mood to keep their vehicles clean, these supplies will sell.

Accessories, such as floor mats, mud flaps, ski racks, cell phone holders, speakers, etc., are items you can carry in your store. A lot of these accessories can have a high-profit margin and offer an additional stream of income.

Getting the Word Out and Getting Customers

Getting clients to a new startup is one of the hardest parts of starting a business. Many people believe that once they open the doors, they’re starting to make money.

If you can get people through the door, you’re probably bringing in revenue, but profitability takes time. The cost to get a customer can be very expensive; therefore, you have to develop creative ideas to get people through the door when you’re starting.

Free Car Wash

For example, one creative idea is to give free car washes for the first week of your grand opening. This will draw a lot of attention if you advertise it correctly. If you could get 25% of the people that try out your car wash during your free trial, it’ll be well worth it.

Ensure that you can handle the rush of customers that come in and that they’ll have a good experience during your grand opening.

Local Business Deals

Another creative way to get people through the door is to speak with body shops in the area and offer them, for example, 10 free car washes just to try you out. The body shops will use your service once they finish the repair on a vehicle before returning it to the customer.

You could also do the same with car dealerships that don’t wash their own cars and even offer an onsite mobile car wash service for them.

Use Your Vehicle As Advertising

By putting your business name and logo on your company car every time you use it, you’re advertising your business. You could get a custom vehicle wrap, which is less expensive than a paint job and allows you to design creative graphics that will stand out. Whenever you’re parked or driving, people will see your message, and it can draw attention to your car wash.


When running a business, a return customer is very valuable. With a car wash, you can create packages that will allow one customer to become a repeat customer because they have purchased a package from you. The key is to make the package attractive and allow the customer to save on the package instead of getting the same number of carwashes.

For more marketing tips, you’ll find a section further down the page in the resources.

Next – Time For the Resources

You have reached the resource section mentioned earlier. There is a lot to go through, and you won’t be able to go through all of them from this visit.

The good news is they are here when you need them.

Keep in mind that various authors created the content, offering a broad understanding of the carwash industry from several perspectives.

A Collection of Resources Related to Starting a Car Wash

How to Start a Car Wash

10 Steps For Starting a Car Wash From The Ground Up

How to Start a Car Wash

What is Everything You Need to Know About Starting A Car Wash

How To Start a Car Wash Business [Beginners Guide]

How to Start a Car Wash – StartingYourBusiness.com

How to Start a Carwash: A four-step checklist to success

Benefits of Starting a Car Wash | Value and Profit

How to start a car wash business in 2020?

How to Start a Car Wash Business: The Ultimate Guide

10 Mistakes People Make When They Start a Car Wash Business | Sonny’s The CarWash Factory

How to Start a Mobile Car Wash Business From Scratch | Washos Blog

8 Steps to Starting a Car Wash Business – Nulook Car Care Inc.

How to Start a Car Wash Business — New Horizons Car Wash

What to Consider Before You Start

Reasons for Getting Into Your Own Business

The Pros and Cons of Owning Your Own Business

10 Questions You Must Ask Before Starting a Business

Passion – An Important Key You Need to Succeed in Business

Steps and Considerations

Over 21 Steps and Considerations When Starting Your Business

Getting Inside Information

An Inside Look Into The Business You’re Considering

A Simple Guide To Starting A Business

How to Start A Business – Making a Complex Topic Simple

Types of Car Washes

The Pros and Cons of Different Types of Car Washes

The Different Types Of Car Washes: Which Is Best For Your Finish?

6 Types Of Car Washes | The Pros & Cons | Know What You’re Getting

The Four Types of Car Washes | Did You Know Cars

Wash me now: What’s the best type of car wash?

The Pros and Cons of Running A Car Wash

Pros & Cons of Starting a Car Wash Business | Small Business – Chron.com

Car Wash Business: Understanding the pros and cons

10 Pros and Cons of Starting a Car Wash Business | ProfitableVenture

The pros and cons of the themed carwash | Professional Carwashing & Detailing

How to Finance Your Business

How to finance your new carwash

Car Washes – Eastern Funding

7 Ways to Get Financing for Your New Car Wash Business |

How To Get An SBA 504 Loan For Your Car Wash | TMC Financing

Car Wash Loans & Auto Detail Financing – GUD Capital

Get Approved For Car Wash Financing – Small Business Funding

Car Wash Business Loans & Financing: Do You Qualify?

Everything You Need To Know About Business Loans

How To Register a Business

How to Register Your Business Using These Resources

Understanding the carwash approval and permit process | Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Local Business Registration and Getting Your Car Wash License

How we get the license for car washing business? – Quora

Car Wash Name Ideas

Selecting a Good Name for Your Business

Car Wash Business Name Generator + (Instant Availability Check)

201 Good and Catchy Car Wash Names – BrandonGaille.com

150 Catchy Car Wash Names + Name Generator | Brand Experts

139+ Best Car Wash Names to Start: Be Catchy And Cool! – Venture F0rth

366+ Creative Car Wash Business Name ideas Ever | Small Business

Business Plan

How to Write a Business Plan Using This Unique Collection of Resources

How to Write a Marketing Plan Using These Select Resources

Car Wash Business Plan – Executive Summary

Creating a carwash business plan | Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Car Wash Sample Marketing Plan – Marketing Strategy – Mplans

Trends and Statistics

Car Wash Service Market Size, Share | Industry Report 2019-2025

21 Car Wash Industry Statistics and Trends – BrandonGaille.com

Car Wash & Auto Detailing in the US – Industry Data, Trends, Stats | IBISWorld

12 Shocking Statistics About the Car Wash Industry That You Need to Know | Washos Blog

2020 Car Washes Industry Statistics & Market Research Report – AnythingResearch

Profitability and Revenue

Estimating the Profitability and Revenue for a New Business

The Car Wash Business Profit You Should Expect – Nulook Car Care Inc.

Passive Income With a Car Wash – Cash Cow or Money Pit? – Creating a Passive Income

How Much Money Can You Make Owning a Car Wash?

Car Wash Cash Flow Calculator (Plus Explanation) | Pit Crew

5 Secrets of Successful Car Wash Businesses – Motor City Wash Works

Startup and Operating Costs

Estimating Startup Costs – Are You Missing Anything?

The Car Wash Business Profit You Should Expect – Nulook Car Care Inc.

Passive Income With a Car Wash – Cash Cow or Money Pit? – Creating a Passive Income

How Much Money Can You Make Owning a Car Wash?

Car Wash Cash Flow Calculator (Plus Explanation) | Pit Crew

5 Secrets of Successful Car Wash Businesses – Motor City Wash Works


Essential Office Equipment You May Need to Run Your Business

Car Wash Equipment and Supplies

Car Wash Equipment & Car Wash Supplies, Mobile Cleaning & Truck Wash Division

Automatic Car Wash Equipment Manufacturers | MacNeil Wash Systems

Car Wash Tunnel Systems | Automatic & Self-Serve | Motor City

Car Wash Equipment – Systems, Vacuums, Booms, Detailing Stations

Sonny’s CarWash Equipment | Sonny’s The CarWash Factory

D&S Carwash – D&S Car Wash Equipment

Car Wash Equipment Manufacturers Suppliers | IQS Directory


Car Wash Equipment Supplier | Sonny’s The CarWash Factory

Wholesale Car Wash Supplies, Auto Products & Vending Items

Top Car Wash Supplies | TEXBRITE

Carwash Supply – Home

Best Car Wash Supplies – Car Washing Products, Soap, Shampoo, Drying


Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Business Insurance

General Liability Insurance Car Wash, Commercial Insurance For Hand Wash Centers, Business Insurance

Auto Detailing and Car Wash Business Insurance Quotes | Insureon

Carwash Insurance | The Insurancenter

Car Wash Insurance – Cost & Coverage (2020)

Car Wash Insurance | Pie Insurance

Car Wash Insurance Program | McNeil & Co Inc

Car Wash Insurance | Allen Financial Insurance Group

Carwash insurance 101 | Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Car Wash Insurance | JMG Insurance Agency

Employee Considerations

The Pros and Cons of Running a One-Person Business

How and When to Hire a New Employee

Hiring the right carwash team | Professional Carwashing & Detailing

6 Hiring Tips for Car Wash Operators to Help Build Effective Car Wash Teams | PSD Codax

Hiring and training carwash employees | Auto Atlantic Automotive Industry Magazine

Common Jobs Needed for Running a Business

Hiring an Employee VS Subcontracting


Industry Associations

Business Cards

How to Design Business Cards That Draw Attention

Car Wash & Detailing Business Cards Templates & Designs | Vistaprint

Car Wash Business Cards

Car Wash Business Cards (Standard Horizontal) – Customizable Design Templates – YouPrint.com

Car Wash Business Card Graphics, Designs & Templates

Latest Image Search Results Related to Car Wash Cards


How to Create an Impressive Logo

1900+ Premium Car Wash Logos | Free Car Service Logo Design

Car Wash Logo Maker | Online Logo Maker | Placeit

Carwash Logos: the Best Carwash Logo Images | 99designs

Car Wash Logo Maker | Create A Car Wash Logo | BrandCrowd

Free Car Wash Logo Designs | DesignEvo Logo Maker

Car Wash Logo Images | Free Vectors, Stock Photos & PSD

Latest Image Search Results Related to Car Wash Logos


DIY / PROCEDURES & FORMS – Superior Image Car Wash Supplies

Create Car Wash Service Form For Vehicle Washing Centers | FormGet

Car wash form template | Serviceform.com

Car Wash and Detail – PDF Templates | JotForm

Car Wash and Detail Form

Free Car Wash Receipt Template – Word | PDF | eForms

Cancel Quick Quack – Fill Out and Sign Printable PDF Template | signNow


3 Best Car Wash POS Systems | Top Car Wash Software

The Best Car Wash POS Systems | Manage Lines with Software

4 Best Car Wash POS Systems | Increase Sales with Software

Carwash Operating System Reviews and Pricing – 2020

Car Wash Software 101: POS, Booking, Marketing & More!

Car Wash Software | Detail Pro

Washify: Car Wash POS | Point of Sale System

‎Car Wash Software on the App Store

Mobile Car Wash & Auto Detailing Appointment Scheduling Software

Business For Sale

Buy A Business or Build one From Scratch?

An Inside Look Into The Business You’re Considering

Car Washes for Sale | LoopNet.com

Car Washes For Sale – BizBuySell

Car Washes For Sale in the US, 170 Available To Buy Now

Car Washes for Sale | Buy Car Washes at BizQuest

Latest Search Results Related to Car Wash For Sale

Franchise Opportunities

The Ins and Outs of Owning A Franchise

15 Best Car Wash Franchises – Small Business Trends

TOP 10 Car Wash Franchises in USA for 2020

How to Buy a Car Wash Franchise | Small Business – Chron.com

How much is the cost to buy car wash franchise? Opportunities & profits in car wash business

Car Wash Franchises for Sale – 26 Opportunities

Franchising | It’s Your Time to Shine | Mr. Clean Car Wash

Car Wash Franchise Opportunities Guide

Established Car Wash

Commercial Plus Top 100 Home • Commercial Plus Top 100

The 2019 Top 50 List of Conveyor Carwashes | Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Top 50 Car Washes – DRB

Marketing Tips

7 Ideas to Attract New Customers To Your Car Wash | by Doron Vermaat | The Customer Loyalty Marketing Blog – Loopy Loyalty

49 marketing tricks to boost business at your carwash | Professional Carwashing & Detailing

6 basic carwash marketing strategies | Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Car Wash Marketing Tips | How to Market a Car Wash

Car Wash Marketing – Win Every Customer – Online and Onsite – By Slam

Car Wash Marketing Strategies From Social Eyes Marketing

Car Wash Marketing Strategies That Work | Thanx

11 Fantastic Car Wash Marketing Ideas – BrandonGaille.com

Car Wash Marketing — New Horizons Car Wash

6 Ideas to Kick-Start your Car Wash Marketing in 2018

10 Marketing Ideas to Grow Car-Wash Profits

Car Wash Marketing | Suds Creative

Choosing the Best Car Wash Marketing Channels | Pit Crew


Starting a carwash? Our Top 5 challenges and how to avoid them | MacNeil Wash

Solving the Car Wash Industry’s 5 Biggest Challenges — Thanx

How to Start a Carwash: Five little-known challenges for startups | Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Problems & solutions: Conveyor carwashes | Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Overcoming the Toughest Car Wash Business Challenges | Sonny’s The CarWash Factory

Car Wash of the Future — Build on Assets and Overcome Challenges | Auto Laundry News

Online Car Wash App – Business Challenges & Solutions

5 Common Houston Car Wash Problems (and How to Avoid Them) – CarWash


How to start a carwash: Avoid these common mistakes | Professional Carwashing & Detailing

10 Mistakes Car Wash Businesses Make

10 Mistakes People Make When They Start a Car Wash Business | Sonny’s The CarWash Factory

Top 5 Mistakes Business Owners Make When Running a Car Wash

Top 10 Car Wash Business Mistakes – Speed Car Wash

Common Mistakes Car Wash Owners Make

Car Wash Business: Top 3 Mistakes in Business Management | NS Wash

3 Mistakes That Could Lose Business for an Express Wash

Running a Business

How to Run a Business – A Quick Look Into Skills You’ll Need


Glossary of Terms | Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Glossary and Terminology of Car Detailing Terms | National Detail Pros


Commercial Car Wash Management Training & Education | NCS

Training Courses | Sonny’s The CarWash Factory

Sonny’s CarWash College | Sonny’s The CarWash Factory

Professional Car Wash Training from MacNeil Wash Systems


Car Wash Magazine

Carwash Industry Publications | Car wash Trends WashTrends Magazine

Magazine Archive | Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Professional Carwashing & Detailing – Babcox Media

Auto Laundry News: Home

Top 20 Car Wash Blogs and Websites To Follow in 2020

Article Mix

A Guide to Running a Car Wash Business | CoFounder

The secrets to successful carwash ownership

8 Things to Know When Starting a Car Wash Business – DRB Tunnel Solutions

Starting a car wash business. Advice and assistance.

9 Tips on How to Run a Successful Car Wash

UCLA Labor Center | Conveying Carwash Owner’s Stories

Helpful Business Tips for Car Wash Owners | Pit Crew

5 Secrets to Generating More Revenue at Your Car Wash

The Crew Story | Crew Carwash – Indiana Car Wash

Mike’s Carwash – Countless Cars Washed


Books from Amazon Related to Starting a Car Wash

Google Book Search Related to Starting a Car Wash

The Latest about Starting a Car Wash

Google Searches

Latest Search Results Related to Starting a Car Wash

Latest Scholar Search Results Related to Starting a Car Wash

Latest Image Search Results Related to Starting a Car Wash


Latest News Related to Starting a Car Wash


Tweets Related to Starting a Car Wash


Videos Related to Starting a Car Wash