Starting a Car Wash Business

starting a car wash business

Starting a car washing business during the summer is a great way for teens to earn extra money. There’s very little startup costs, you can do it with friends and it can be good fun.

I don’t recommend it as a long term business though - it’s hard physical work. If you want to start a more long-term, profitable teen business then take the lessons and apply them to something different, ideally where your work isn’t proportional to your income (like having a website running 24/7 vs. working in McDonalds for an hourly wage).

Take a bucket and some soapy water to a busy shopping centre (you might have to check with the shopping centre itself), ideally during the summer. People will pay to have their dusty cars washed, and you and some friends get a load of extra money. Win :-]

Smart Locations for a Car Wash Business:* Outside Shopping centres
* Car parks
* In towns
* Alongside beaches

Time any car wash days around the weather. Whilst rain will rinse cars, they’ll quickly pick up mud, dust and dirt which will quickly blemish any shiny, washed look. On a summers day after rain, a dirt-clad car is prime target for cleaning.

starting a car wash business Getting Attention and Marketing

Flyers and posters near where people are parking their cars are a smart idea (you can order free ones via VistaPrint). Display them by nearby roundabouts, entrances to car parks and by car park paying facilities. Promise fast, thorough service at a time convenient to them (whilst they’re out shopping/eating etc.) at a price which is still good value to the customer.

Consider offering a discount off a second car, or a discount voucher to give to customers to share around. You could also take the sleazy, yet lucrative route and hire some bikini-clad friends to help wash cars and/or promote your business...

Getting Bigger Business

If washing half a dozen cars in an hour is good money between a few friends, imagine how much you could make if you got a contract to clean a whole fleet of taxis, or buses or a car showroom, or perhaps a car park full of rental cars.

Live near an airport? Bus station? Taxi company?

Get in contact with a company with a large fleet, figure out how many vehicles of each size you can clean per hour with however many people you can muster and make an offer. Expect them to negotiate you down a little, but offer them something of extra value like cleaning the insides if you’ve got the equipment.

Starting a car wash business


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