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How to Start a Car Wash Business in 5 Easy Steps

Are you interested in starting a car wash business? If so, you’re not the first person to consider it. Owning a car wash is a business that a lot of people are interested in because of its potential return on investment. 

Want to know how to get the process started to owning a car wash? Keep reading below.

How to start a car wash business

To start a car wash business, there are several steps you need to move through before you can start bringing in an income. They are as follows:

Create a business plan

First, you need to develop some sort of car wash business plan or model that you want to follow when starting your business. This requires some research and an investment commitment.

Do some research 

Do a lot of research on types of car wash businesses. For example, you could start a self serve car wash or an automatic car wash. You can also decide whether you want to purchase an existing business or start one from scratch. Additionally, you should research potential locations and fees for filing permits, building the business, etc.

Make the investment

Next, it’s time to commit to an investment. Buying an existing car wash may be cheaper but if you’re starting one from scratch you can spend upwards of $1-$3 million. You’ll need to consult a bank if you’re taking out a business loan and have that secured before moving forward. 

Secure a location

When you’re ready, you can secure a location for your car wash business. Again, this location can already be set up for a car wash or it can be a piece of land ready for development. Just keep in mind that permits are specific to the type of land your buying.

Build a car wash

If you’ve chosen a location that needs a car wash, then get to building! Want some design information? Click here

Hire a team

With the building done, you can start to hire a team to help you run the business. You’ll need a management staff as well as full/part time employees.

Market yourself

Everything’s ready, now you just need to market the business! Hire a marketing agency to help you spread the word and build up the opening in the community with limited offers and free goodies.

Ask us more

Want to learn more about starting a car wash business? No problem.

New Horizons Car Wash has been manufacturing car wash buildings for business owners like you for years. Our team of experts are standing by to help answer all of your questions so you can get your business up and running in no time.

What are you waiting for? Give us a call and let’s get your business off the ground today!

Car Wash Construction – How it Works

Preparing to start a car wash business is no easy feat, especially when it comes to car wash construction. The process doesn’t have to be overwhelming though! Below, we’ll dive into the details of car wash construction so you can see what all goes into your car wash building and soon, you’ll be able to see why it’s such a great investment.

The car wash construction process

The car wash construction process is pretty straightforward, albeit it time-consuming. There are several main tasks that go into it, including:

The permits

Before any construction is done, you need to make sure you have your permits in order. This is very important and will ensure that your business is following the law. If you need help filing permits or you’re not sure where to get started, reach out to your local government office and ask for more information. 

The framing

Once the permits are taken care of and you’ve been given the go ahead, you can officially start on the car wash construction process. This begins with the framing for the building and all of its internal pieces such as the moving frame. This is what the car latches onto before rolling through the car wash.

Once the framing is all done, it’s assembled and then the walls and wheels are attached with the motor. This is the official base skeleton of the car wash.

The brushes

With the framing all done, then the brushes can be assembled. The frames are constructed and then the polyflex materials and strips are added to form the brushes we see in car washes. They spin and oscillate to clean tires, roofs, and everything in between so your car leaves the lot with a glistening shine!

The computer system

Next up is the computer system that runs it all. This is assembled and tested vigorously before being added to the car wash hydraulics. It must be connected to the framing, the moving brushes, and even the soap dispensers that provide the exact amount of soap needed for each car wash. By the end of the process, it’ll be able to run the entire car wash without needing a single operator. 

The test

Last but not least, the full-assembled car wash is tested thoroughly with a real car to make sure that it’s not only functioning properly, but it’s doing a great job of cleaning a car from top to bottom. 

Car Wash Investment

The car wash construction process sounds pretty easy, right? That’s because it is in the grand scheme of things. Are you ready to get the process started on your car wash business now?

If so, New Horizons Car Wash has you covered. We’ve been manufacturing car wash buildings for years and our team of experts can build any custom car wash however you need it.

Give us a call today, we’d love to get started on your car wash building today!

Pros and Cons of Owning a Car Wash

Thinking about owning your own business? Then opening a car wash may be the perfect option for you! Every business has its pros and cons and the car wash business is no exception. Keep reading below as we discuss the pros and cons so you can decide for yourself if this business is for you.

Pros of owning a car wash

There are plenty of pros to owning a car wash. Below are our top 3:


The best of all! Everyone wants their business to be profitable and car wash businesses have the opportunity to turn into incredible investments. This can be especially true with very little competition in town, but anyone can be successful in this business with hard work and determination.


Starting a business allows you the opportunity to be completely in control of how things are done. While it’s always a good idea to take advice when it’s given and to ask for it when it’s needed, owning a car wash will allow you to decide how everything runs and how the business is portrayed to the public.


There’s nothing better than being able to set your own work schedule. Want to take the weekends off? You can do that when owning a car wash because you decide how the schedule works. Keep in mind that you’ll need to invest a lot of time on the front end to get the business running, but once everything is profitable, you can do whatever you’d like.

Cons of owning a car wash

With all of the pros come a few minor cons. Below are two of the most common that pop up when running a car wash business:


Typically, the car wash business relies on good weather to be profitable. So when it’s raining or snowing outside, your business is going to take a hit in sales because people don’t want to wash their car in bad weather. But this brings a caveat- all storms end and when they do, the business will come back with a boom because people will want their cars cleaned from all the dirt and/or salt on the road.


Something to also consider is when the car wash machinery breaks down. Unfortunately, it does happen so preparing ahead of time with a list of contacts to reach out to will limit the amount of time your business is down. To counteract this, you can always invest in more than one car wash but be aware of this nonetheless because it will eventually happen.

Get Started

The pros definitely outweigh the cons if you ask us! If you’re ready to get started and take the plunge into opening a car wash, then you’re going to need a car wash building.

At New Horizons Car Wash, we specialize in creating custom car wash buildings for your business. Our team of architects, contractors and builders are all exceptional professionals and your business’ success is our first priority.

Give us a call today, let’s get your car wash business up and running!

How Much Money Can You Make Owning a Car Wash?

How Much Money Can You Make Owning a Car Wash?

Even though it hasn’t been studied as closely as other industries, the secret is out — the car wash industry in the United States is profitable for many entrepreneurs and independent operators. The International Carwash Association estimates that the U.S. is home to about 80,000 car washes, not including mobile units. Total retail sales at car washes located throughout North America amount to approximately $15 billion annually.

If you think the number of people who choose to take their car to a car wash has leveled off, think again. The percentage of U.S. motorists who use a professional car wash has increased from 47 percent in 1994 to a whopping 72 percent in 2014, despite the occasional struggles the country’s economy experienced between those years.

What do those figures mean for you? They mean you can make money as the owner of a car wash regardless of whether you want to be hands-on or you intend to make passive income from a car wash.

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How to Improve Car Wash Performance

How to Improve Car Wash Business Performance

If you already operate a car wash, you know the current state of the car wash industry in the United States is strong and that the future is even brighter for responsible operators. Even if your business is already profitable, you may still look for ways to make improvements. It’s important to be on the lookout for opportunities to make improvements, because they don’t just benefit you and your staff — they can add increased value for your customers as well.

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How to Select a Car Wash Builder

How Do You Select a Car Wash Builder?

Owning a car wash is a highly lucrative business venture. According to the International Carwash Association, North American entrepreneurs operate nearly 80,000 car wash businesses across the continent. Combined, they generate approximately $15 billion in annual revenue.

Small to medium-sized businesses own the majority of car washes, independent of the oil and gasoline industry. And all successful car wash owners have something in common: They know the right type of car wash design for their market, and they know how to find the best car wash builder.

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Car Wash Promotion Ideas

Car Wash Promotion Ideas for New and Old Businesses

Promotions are an important part of operating a car wash business. Whether you’ve been open for years or are just starting out, a good marketing campaign can help you attract loyal customers and drive business.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell which campaigns will actually pay off in the long run, leading some car wash operators to sink money into promotions that return very little. With careful planning and execution, it’s possible to successfully promote your car wash business and meet your goals. To get started, consider these four promotion ideas, which your customers will appreciate.

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Planning Ahead: Having a List of Contacts Ready in Case of a Car Wash Business Emergency

Planning Ahead:

Having a List of Contacts Ready in Case of a Car Wash Business Emergency

Every car wash operator hopes their business can run smoothly every day of the year. Unfortunately, no matter how well you care for your equipment, mishaps can still occur. Even the most experienced owner deals with technical problems once in a while.

When you do eventually have to confront a problem with your car wash, you shouldn’t have to scramble to come up with a solution. Instead, you should have a plan already in place. The best way to prepare for an emergency is to compile a list of business contacts you can count on to help.

Why Create a List of Contacts?

Car wash owners need to keep a detailed list of business contacts in order to deal with emergencies as quickly and painlessly as possible.

It can be difficult to find contractors and vendors at the last minute, especially if you want to get a good deal. Collecting contacts and negotiating rates ahead of time can save you money and stress.

In addition, collecting contacts before they’re needed allows you to choose vendors with the proper qualifications, licenses and insurance, which can protect you from fines, mistakes and other issues.

In short, finding qualified and honest vendors ahead of time can help you deal with an emergency and resume operating your car wash without delay or stress.

What Business Contacts Do You Need?

It’s clear that a list of supply-chain contacts can help protect car wash businesses from unnecessary crises. How many contacts do you actually need to keep?

The short answer is that you should have at least one business contact to help you address problems with each part of your system. This includes someone like an electrician as well as other, potentially more surprising professionals.

Here are some of the essential business contacts every car wash owner should have at their disposal:

  • Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Wastewater management specialists
  • Drain cleaning services
  • Vending machine repairs
  • Chemical suppliers
  • Replacement parts suppliers
  • Construction and building repairs

You should also keep contact information for any other services you need to keep your business running. Some extremely proactive owners might even keep information for professionals they doubt they’ll ever need to contact, such as marketing or PR specialists to help in the case of an image emergency. It’s better to be safe than sorry, after all.

Add New Horizons Car Wash to Your Contacts

In the case of a car wash emergency, you don’t want to be caught without a solution. At New Horizons, we know how important fast repairs and updates are to your business, which is why we design our glass car wash structures to be installed quickly.

If a natural disaster or other emergency leaves you in need of a new building, we can help. Add New Horizons to your contact list and reach out to us to learn why car wash owners have trusted us with their buildings for years.

Benefits of Adding a Car Wash to Your Convenience Store

What Are the Benefits of Adding a Car Wash to Your Convenience Store?

Why do people go to convenience stores? In general, consumers go for the very reason that’s included in the name – convenience. Maybe they’re closer than the market, they tend to lack long lines or they sell gas or propane in addition to a few food items. For whatever reason, convenience stores are simply a preferred retail location for a lot of consumers on at least some occasions.

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Should You Open a Car Wash? Benefits of Being in the Car Wash Business

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Should You Open a Car Wash?

Benefits of Being in the Car Wash Business

Have you ever considered investing in a car wash? Maybe you’re one of those people who values a good car cleaning and thinks of owning a car wash as a way to make a living while helping people protect and extend the life of their cars. But how much does it cost to run a car wash, and how much money can you make?

We can give you an overview of the advantages of owning a car wash, to provide you with the background knowledge you need before opening your own facility. The first thing you probably want to know is whether you can make money.


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