4 FAQs About Automatic Car Washes That You Were Afraid to Ask


automatic car wash

When you are starting an automatic car wash business, there are probably a few questions that you are hesitant to ask anyone.

Fortunately, you may not have to ask at all, because we are going to answer the four most frequently asked questions about automatic car washes that many people are afraid to ask.

How can this save water?

As the Alliance for Water Efficiency noted in a recent article, “automatic car washes are generally among the most efficient of the commercial uses (of water) in the local community.” This makes the expense of water for an automatic car wash much lower than many people think.

What’s more, you can optimize your water use by investing in the right equipment. High volume automatic car wash tunnels for example — some of which are able to clean up to 150 cars per hour — increase the efficiency of every aspect of the wash, including the water usage, to achieve their speeds. You should also have a water reclamation system to get more out of every gallon of water by literally reusing it.

Is bigger better?

Not necessarily. When it comes to the automatic car wash business, it is efficiency that will win the day. Simply expanding the size of your car wash arbitrarily will end up wasting your time and money.

If, for example, you have the option of either getting four car wash tunnels that wash 50 cars each, or two tunnels that wash 150 cars each, you should choose the latter option.

In addition to being more productive, the two 150 wash tunnel option will save you money on the initial investment and water, maintenance, and chemical use.

Also keep in mind that your washing capacity should be limited to your potential customer volume. For example, a smaller market car wash may only need a tunnel that can wash up to 85 cars per hour.

Can they help me make more money?

Absolutely. Automatic car washes have an extremely low operating cost (your customers do most of the work), it runs around the clock and it operates year-round. This is especially advantageous if you plan on running another business alongside of your car wash, because your customers will see this as an added convenience.

How long until I see a return on my investment?

As with most businesses, you should not expect to turn a profit from day one. However, an automatic car wash usually makes a rapid return, and it is easy to calculate. All you need to do is subtract the following from your revenue until you are in the black:

  • The initial investment

  • Variable costs like water and chemicals

  • Fixed costs like maintenance, insurance and rent

If you have any more questions about the automatic car wash business, ask an expert

If you have more questions about the car wash industry, we at MacNeil Wash Systems are more than willing to answer all of them. Additionally, we will help you upgrade your car wash system to increase its competitiveness.

Contact us to receive a no-obligation quote or for further information about running an automatic car wash.


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