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.

Operational Costs

While it’s great that you have the potential to make money as the operator of a car wash, you might be asking yourself, “How much money can I make owning a car wash?” Unfortunately, it’s impossible to answer that question, because the response depends on a host of factors, such as the type of car wash you have, the number of bays at your location, your prices, and your expenses, among others.

Although there are many things that will influence a car wash’s business profit, one is common across the board. That factor is the cost of operating your business. After you cover the fees to open your wash, you’ll still incur ongoing expenses that are both variable and fixed.

Here are some common variable expenses and the average cost per car for each:

  • Electricity: $0.50
  • Natural gas: $0.12
  • Water: $0.16
  • Chemicals: $0.64
  • Repairs and maintenance: $0.47

Labor and administrative costs are two fixed expenses you’ll probably need to budget for. Per car, these expenses cost an average of $1.24 and $1.00 respectively. Your rent or mortgage payment is another fixed expense you’ll need to account for.

Calculating a Car Wash’s Business Profit

Not including rent or a mortgage payment, the average business cost to wash a car at a professional location is $4.13. With a given bay washing 20,000 automobiles every year, your operational expenses will be $82,600 annually. If you charge $10 per car wash, your net profit will be $117,400.

While a six-figure bottom line is certainly impressive, it’s important to note that number is the potential profit from just one bay at an average car wash. You have the potential to make significantly more with that bay by attracting more than the average number of cars. Savvy entrepreneurs can also multiply their profit by installing additional bays or opening more car wash locations.

Get a Better-Than-Average Wash From New Horizons Car Wash

If you want a car wash that has the potential to outperform an average wash, you should get in touch with New Horizons Car Wash. We’ve been the go-to source for great-looking, high-performance car washes for years because we produce and install durable washes that catch drivers’ eyes. Our washes look great at any location and they complement the areas that surround them.

Contact New Horizons Car Wash to get a quote for a new car wash that can boost your bottom line now.

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