How Much Income a Car Wash Brings: Experts Experience

Profitability is one of the main criteria for business success. This is an assessment – what income from a car wash with a basic or advanced list of services determines the greatest efficiency. Taking into account the financial capabilities and specific goals, you should choose the type of car wash: manual, self-service, portal, or tunnel, with the best profitability.


Factors Influencing Car Wash Income

Income is one of the most important economic factors, defining the profitability and payback period. Income is understood as all funds received from activities. Car wash income is a value that depends on a large number of factors. The basic ones are:

  • good location – close to potential customers;
  • productivity and equipment (i.e., installation of good auto detailing steamers or HPW);
  • the cost of one operation (it may significantly vary depending on the equipment: for example, the water consumption of the auto detail steam cleaner is many times less than of the high-pressure washer).

To correctly compare which income of a car wash of any type is higher, it is worth taking into account:

  • the profit from one washing post;
  • if there is a good flow of vehicles;
  • working hours;
  • availability of the additional services, for example, cleaning the engine with a steam machine for car detailing, dry cleaning the interior, etc.


Self-Service Car Washes

Self-service car washes give the motorist the right to clean the auto on their own, but in a professional environment – using high-quality washing equipment. Taking into account the necessary technological pauses, on average, one post can serve up to 60 cars per day and bring about $1,500 to the cashier in a month. The regular self-service washing station for six bays can bring $9,000 per month accordingly. Extra income can be generated if extra services (i.e. cleaning the engine with a car detailing steamer by Fortador, etc.) are provided.


Automatic Car Washes

All automatic washes are divided into two types: portal and tunnel. In the first case, the washing equipment moves along the vehicle, in the second, the cleaning operations are carried out exactly the opposite: the vehicle moves on a special conveyor along with the brushes and other devices. The fastest are tunnel washes that can simultaneously serve several cars. It can serve 7-8 cars during the hour or, with a 16-hour work schedule, 110-130 cars per day. It means that it can generate up to $5,000-8,000 a day. A comparative analysis of the income of a wash station of a particular type brings tunnel washes into the first place due to the high speed of service. However, the breakdown of complex and expensive equipment can reduce profitability and lead to long-term downtime. Meanwhile, self-service car washes can provide extra services, such as cleaning the interior with the steam cleaner for cars, and generate extra income. Therefore, it is likely that if there are self-service stations nearby, motorists will choose a “more gentle” type of cleaning.

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