Opportunities, The Tentmakers

How to start a car wash business

Samuel Chinedu

You are probably reading this post because you are already convinced that a car wash business is right for you. Instead of telling you how this business is lucrative – trust me, it is – let’s just dive right into the heart of the matter; this is how to start your own car wash business on any level.

Learn professional car washing

This is actually the part where people start to fail. To understand what I’m about to say, enter any street and ask people there to recommend a car wash for your car. That is when you will understand that not every cash wash is worth their penny. See, if it’s just to pour water on a car and wash it with soap, everybody would make money washing cars, won’t they?

Start by learning from professionals. Visit any professional car wash service you know and learn whatever you can from them. You can offer to work for free while they show you the ropes.

Be professional. Attend to customers with every courtesy, pay attention to details while washing the car

Find a good location

Location is very important for a car wash business. What is a good site?

For a start, your site should be a busy area with enough income earners who can afford to pay for your service. Remember when I said you target people who spend money to save time?

You may find ample cheap space in a rural setting with little traffic but you may not get enough business to keep yourself afloat. It might be OK to get a location a bit removed from the busy town and hope that your good works will draw much of the traffic your way. That could work, but the closer you are to where the action is, the better your business will be.

You want to pay close attention to the location of your business. People who visit an auto (mechanic) shop usually want to wash dirt/grime off their car before they continue on their business. Therefore, if you find some space close to an auto shop, you could be in business. The same goes for very dusty, dirty areas.


Make sure there is enough water

A car wash needs water, lots of water. You will need a steady source of water, so factor that into your consideration for a location. I have seen people who open a car wash business near a stream. Others buy a big water storage tank and contract tankers to fill the tanks daily.

If your location has a water borehole close by, that definitely works too. How you get water is up to you. One thing I can tell you is you cannot afford to turn customers away because ‘water no dey!’ (…there is no water)

Buy equipment and materials.

One thing I love about the car wash business is you can start it on any scale. You can invest huge amounts of money, if you can afford it, to start a state-of-the-art car wash. You can also get two buckets, one piece of cloth and some detergents and wash people’s cars in the morning before they move out for their daily business. Whichever way you go, you will make money if you render good service.

That said, the more tools you can afford, the better your business will be for it. As much as possible, get every equipment you can afford for your business. They will make life easier for you, and they will show your customers you really know what you are doing. You will also be able to charge a decent fee for your work.

Some of these equipment are:

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