Choose your country

Or view all businesses for sale


Car wash

How to Run a Car Wash

Discover more about what it takes to run a car wash.

Busy lives and a rise in the number of cars on the road means that your car wash is in a great position to draw in plenty of customers. This is a great business for aspiring entrepreneurs because of the huge range of options that are available.

You can adjust the kind of car wash you want to run depending on how much money you have to invest in your business. Your options also include buying a franchise or an independent business. 

So, if you’re interested in owning a car wash, read on to find out more about how to run it.


Essential skills

You will need to be good at managing a team if you are going to run a good car wash business. Customers will want to know that they can rely on extremely high-quality service over and over again. Keeping your standards up is a must!

Learning the systems that work best in a car wash are best learnt through experience. It might be a good idea to get some experience working at a car wash before you invest in one. Alternatively, don’t underestimate the power of asking advice from existing car wash owners.

Your car wash will need to either rely on automation or on staff. Although automation will keep you from having to pay wages, it will also require a much larger capital investment. This is because of the equipment that you will need.


One of the most important things for your customers is that they can easily get to your business. Having your car washed is often about convenience. When you are looking for a business to buy, you will need to consider this. 

The location and the access to the business are important. It can be a really big advantage to have your signage visible from busy roads. You also need to ensure that cars can get in and out without any trouble.



More than being visible to passing cars, you should make your business visible in other ways too! Put your business on social media where you can advertise specials that you have on.

You will be able to use both paid and unpaid social media marketing tools. Offering a discount to customers who tweet and tag your carwash could increase your business’s online visibility.

Consider creating rewards programmes for customers who return to your business. Giving customers an incentive to return will help to get repeat business. 

Remember, though, keep on top of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to marketing. You should be ready to change your strategy depending on the results of particular marketing efforts.



Be sure that your equipment is good quality and installed correctly from the beginning. You may be tempted to cut corners however, your business relies on your equipment being in good working order. It will pay off in the long run to have the right equipment.   

You should also develop good relationships with the businesses that you use for repairs. You should do the same with the supplier of cleaning supplies. 

Of course, you will also need to keep your drainage system in optimum condition!

Getting this right from day one will ensure that your business is a success. The car wash that you invest in will need to match your particular needs. 

Anthea Taylor

About the author

Anthea Taylor is Content Producer at Dynamis and writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable including, and as well as other industry publications.

Subscribe to our email updates

Sign up to receive the latest advice, most popular businesses, special offers and much more.

I'm interested in is committed to protecting your privacy. We will use the information you provide on this form to send you marketing emails . Find out more about what we do with your information in our Privacy Policy.
Marketing Emails: You will receive newsletters, advice and offers about buying and selling businesses and franchises. We will also send you information about events relating to buying, selling or running a business.