Starting a car wash business needs time, planning, investment, maStarting a car wash business needs time, planning, investment, market research, and business strategy. It is better to take advice for industry experts because car detailing services can be of different forms. In this article, we will explain how to step by step start a profitable car wash business, what are the key success factors and what are the rules and regulations. rket research, and business strategy. It is better to take advice for industry experts because car detailing services can be of different forms. In this article, we will explain how to step by step start a profitable car wash business, what are the key success factors and what are the rules and regulations.

Note: Hiring a car wash consultant will save you time and money.

Business Planning

Proper planning is the first key to a successful car wash business. Location and wash style matters a lot.

For starting a car wash business, there can be two possible options:

The first option is to build a fully operational car washing facility with all available car washing equipment. This can be risky as well as costly.

The second option is to offer vehicle cleaning services at home. This option is less risky and more economical compared to the first option. It is easier to build and run. All you will be needing is the right marketing strategy.

Market Research

Another key factor to start and run a successful car wash business is the understanding of the market. If you know the market well you will be able to plan well.

In recent years, the car wash market has gone through many changes due to the arrival of new technologies and washing methods. Especially since the profession is moving away from its anti-ecological image by developing wastewater recycling solutions, using eco-friendly car wash products or simply by not using water at all! And these benefits attract in number. Thus, there is only a minority left to let their car shamelessly pick up the dust, the others going at regular intervals to a professional washer to polish their vehicle.

Car washing is a growing industry with plenty of room for new businesses. Unlike businesses dominated by a few big chains, small business owners own 90% of car washes. This means that there is plenty of room for new businesses. According to the United States Census Bureau, Americans are spending approximately $5.8 billion a year at car wash facilities.

In a large but increasingly competitive market, new car wash dealers must define a clear strategy and positioning. It will be necessary to carry out a serious and in-depth market study to find out the specific expectations of customers located in your area.

In vehicle washing, specialization in a niche may be a solution, but which must be validated by elements of market research.

The participants in the car wash market can be classified into different categories:

1. Independent home washers, who work with individuals or businesses (garage owners, SMEs), whether or not under a franchised brand.

2. Independent washing centers, under a franchised brand or not.

3. Washing services offered by service stations or supermarkets/hypermarkets.

The stages of building a car detailing business

Here are the main steps to start a car wash or car cleaning business:

1. Get trained if necessary: identify training in automotive cleaning that can guarantee you real market opportunities.

2. Validate your project with a market study.

3. Define your target and your commercial positioning.

4. Carry out an economic study: build a business plan and a financial plan; list your financing needs.

5. Identify a room (if necessary).

6. Get your funding (if necessary).

7. Order your equipment.

8. Choose your legal status and register (CCI).

9. Take out insurance.

10. Start communication and activity; create your flyer.

11. Find your customers (click to read our dedicated article).

The regulation of the activity of washing or cleaning cars

Car wash activities are not regulated; no diploma is necessary. Commercial and not artisanal in nature, they are the responsibility of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This concerns both the management of self-service washing centers and home cleaning services.

In terms of environmental protection, since 1992 regulations have required that washing water be treated in order to separate water from hydrocarbons before being discharged into sewers. Thus, it is theoretically forbidden to wash your vehicle at home. Car wash centers must, therefore, be equipped with water treatment systems. Home wash providers must opt for technologies adapted to this constraint.

These regulations explain the appearance of high-pressure washing systems, which consume less water, and steam or waterless washing technologies.

Read More: car wash regulations

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