Why Are There So Many Car Washes? – 7 Main Reasons


The availability of car washes in several locations can satisfy the demand of car owners anytime and anywhere nearest to them. It also makes it seem that car washes are doing excellently.

Although it’s very beneficial, their proliferation can provoke the thought, “Why are there so many car washes?”

There are several reasons. But it’s mostly because they’re in demand and a successful business, especially when well-operated. According to car wash statistics, car washes in the US clean eight million-plus vehicles per day.

Reasons for the Proliferation of Car Wash Facilities

1. High Demand From Busy Car Owners


Many car owners have busy schedules and can’t find the time to clean their vehicles. So they go to automatic car washes as a quick solution.

And with so many car washes being built, consumers can get a car wash anywhere at any time or take advantage of their membership in a branch nearest to them. Whether from home, work, school, or wherever they’re at.

2. Multiple Vehicles in One Household


Nowadays, there would often be several vehicles in one household. In addition, residential areas are also increasing in population.

So the great number of vehicles in growing residential areas provides a good opportunity for opening a car wash even if there are already other existing car washes.

3. Climate


The climate can also affect the need for people to take their vehicles to a car wash. The elements can soil vehicles with all sorts of contaminants that can harm them.

For example, during winter, cars can get covered in dirt, grime, slush, and road salt. On hot days, they can usually get dust and dirt on them, and there are also harsh UV rays. And in spring, pollen is a huge issue.

4. Community Environmental Regulations


In an attempt to protect the environment, communities have been implementing environmental regulation prohibiting car washing at home. And more communities are adhering to this environment-friendly regulation. That results in the increase of car washes’ customer base.

5. Profitable Business


The profits of a car wash depend on its business model. Nevertheless, it’s a good investment, as it has attractive gross margins, which ensures consistent, long-term income.

With the massive customer base and great demand for car washing, a car wash is surely a profitable business with a high income potential. Below are car wash businesses’ average annual income depending on the type of car wash they operate:

  1. Self-service car wash – $41,000
  2. In-bay automatic car wash – $86,531
  3. Exterior conveyor car wash – $686,250
  4. Full service car wash – $500,000 – $900,000

The car wash owner salary isn’t the only great value in this type of business. The resale value of car washes is also high. Especially if a car wash business were well run, it would be easy to sell.

6. Variety of Car Wash Business Options


From the in-bay automatic car wash that can be soft-touch or touchless to a full-service car wash that can be automatic or manual, there are various types to choose from when starting a car wash business.

And these options can be configured accordingly depending on some factors. A person planning to start a car wash business would have to consider the land where the car wash will be built or car wash rental space, location, and the local community’s needs.

7. Modern Car Wash Advancements


Because of modern technology, various car wash trends that improve the car washing experience have emerged. These attract many customers and provide consistent income for car wash owners.

For example, a lot of car washes these days are fully automated.

Most of them have also been providing express services. And they usually offer various unlimited car wash membership plans that customers can choose from, which are easily managed through an app and allows seamless car washing.

The advancement that attracts customers most is the membership plan because it allows them to have their vehicles cleaned as often as they want at a fixed price per month.

The Benefits and Challenges of Car Washes


1. Benefits

  • Car Wash Services Are Often Needed

There are millions of vehicles in America, which can likely be prospects for car washes. Because vehicles are prone to get dirty, especially those that are driven often, they will have to be regularly washed.

And not all vehicle owners can wash their vehicles themselves, either because of busy schedules or because they’re simply not inclined to it.

  • A Car Wash Can Generate a Large Amount of Profit

As mentioned earlier, car washes can generate as much as $41,000 to $900,000 annually, depending on the car wash type.

Such large amounts of profit can be achieved by putting careful thought into the business to do it right. It’s important to have an excellent car wash location and use clever marketing strategies.

2. Challenges

  • Seasons and Day-to-Day Weather Can Affect Profits

Car wash profits can go up and down as seasons pass and day-to-day weather changes.

Self-service car washes, however, wouldn’t have as many customers during winter, as they don’t provide car owners the comfort of keeping warm inside their vehicle as they have it washed and detailed or wait for the cleaning to be finished.

Also, the rainy season and rainy days aren’t very good for car washes. Since rainwater can wash away surface contaminants, fewer customers would be compared to dry periods.

So for a car wash to be successful, financial strategies must be used to ensure consistent monthly revenues. One example of an effective strategy is the car wash membership.

  • Competition is Tough

There’s a lot of competition in the car wash industry, as in most locations nowadays, there are at least two already existing carwash buildings.

So creative ways to attract many customers must be done to keep them coming. Some examples are freebies, access to additional tools for car cleaning, 24-hour car wash operation, membership discount, family plans, fleet programs, etc.


Several factors contribute to why are there so many car washes. And as long as these factors remain, car wash businesses will continue to serve millions of vehicle owners and thrive. Although car washes may also have challenges, some strategies and approaches can be done to overcome them.

5/5 - (2 votes)



"As the content writer of Charmcitycirculator, I intend to bring just the best purchase options and straightforward answers to your problems. Other than what we put up on our website, we hope to hear more from you. "

– Bruce Sonnier