Many people see the car wash industry as a great business opportunity because they see it as a business that can be operated
semi-absentee that produces a great return on your investment. The truth is a bit more complicated than that. It’s not exactly rocket science, but if you ask any operator he will tell you the same thing—“It’s not as easy as it looks. You can’t just put your feet up on your desk in your office and open the doors.”
We are one of the largest firms in the tri-state area selling 10-15 car washes annually. You’ve probably seen many cars waiting on line each paying between $10 and $15 for a wash. You then start adding up what the owner is probably making today. You then project his sales for one year. You say to yourself, I need to get into this business.
There are three main factors you need to consider when purchasing a car wash.
1. The amount of capital you want to invest
2. The amount of time you want to spend running the business
3. The amount of money you’re hoping to make
The type of car wash that’s going to require the biggest investment from you, both in terms of time and money, is a full-service wash. That’s also the type that tends to generate the most revenue. But unless you have $500,000 or more to invest upfront, it’s probably not the best choice. An exterior car wash is the next highest in terms of investment, followed by an in-bay automatic car wash, and finally, a self-service car wash.
How much money can you make owning a car wash? The following is the profit potential of car washes:
· Full-service car wash: $400,000 to $750,000 per year
· Exterior car wash: $100,000 to $375,000 per year
· In-bay automatic car wash: $50,000 to $150,000 per year
Self-service car wash: $25,000 to $75,000 per year