Local and automated car washes are part of a multi-billion dollar industry. They provide a service that is always in demand. And labor costs and other expenses are generally quite low.
This means that it is a perfect opportunity for entrepreneurs to enter the world of business. However, there are two main options for doing this. You can open a car wash entirely on your own. Or you can franchise a car wash, purchase supplies and other relevant services from an established business.
Buying a car wash franchise allows you to use a proven model and a recognizable brand name. You just need to find the right opportunity. If you’re interested in going down this route, here are the best car wash franchises to consider owning.
Best Car Wash Franchise Opportunities
Here are 15 car wash franchise opportunities:
1. Mr. Clean Car Wash
Mr. Clean is one of the better known brands on the list. Franchisees also benefit from support for everything from site selection and training to advertising and supplies. The company is also known for its state-of-the-art facilities and various profit centers. The initial franchise fee is $35,000. And the full investment is estimated at between $2.3 and $3.2 million.
2. Tommy’s Express
Tommy’s Express has been in the car wash business for over 50 years. The company uses a 300+ point process to ensure every detail is covered during franchise development. In addition to helping franchisees with innovation, operations, and marketing, the company also hosts events and ongoing training. The initial franchise fee is $50,000. And the total net worth requirement is $2 million, with at least $1 million in liquid capital.
3. Prime Car Wash
Prime Car Wash provides a more complete experience than many other franchises. In addition to the self-serve features of other franchises, Prime also offers an indoor lounge with coffee and snacks. And customers can even enjoy personal service from team members. The initial franchise fee is $50,000. And the company estimates the total investment between $3.5 and $6 million. Franchisees are also required to have at least a $1 million net worth, with between $300,000 and $500,000 in liquid capital.
4. Oasis car wash systems
Oasis Car Wash Systems is a supplier of car wash equipment. Since it is not a traditional franchise program, there is no specific fee to get started. And business owners don’t get the depth of support and training that they might get with other options. However, the company does provide ROI analysis and resources to investors considering the car wash industry. And its products, featuring everything from no-touch to self-service systems, can help you get up and running quickly.
5. Fleet Clean USA
Fleet Clean is a mobile vehicle and mobile truck wash service. Unlike many other car wash companies, the target customer for this franchise is other companies. But that can make revenue even more stable and recession-proof. It also does not require a dedicated location. So the barrier to entry is pretty low. The initial franchise fee ranges from $30,000 to $75,000. But the total initial investment ranges from $158,375 to $321,375.
DISPLEXPERTS is a car and truck detailing franchise with a green twist. The company uses steam cleaning to make vehicles shine without tons of chemicals. They offer detailed stores and mobile units. Therefore, there are flexible business options for franchisees to consider. The franchise fee is $35,000. And the total total investment ranges from $88,500 to $195,000. Franchisees need a net worth of at least $300,000.
7. D&S Car Wash Systems
D&S Car Wash Systems is a supplier of car wash equipment and materials. As such, there are no traditional franchise fees to get started. However, the company offers a wide range of options to help those who want to open car wash businesses. They also offer assistance with things like site selection, financing, graphics, and rehab for those who already own a car wash.
8. Green Shine without water
Green Shine No Water provides an environmentally friendly franchise car wash solution. The company uses innovative technology to clean vehicles without water. The company offers two business models: one mobile and the other set up in a specific location like a parking lot. As such, the costs tend to be quite low. The franchise fee is $19,900. And total costs can range from $22,000 to $50,000.
Ziebart offers a wide range of services, including detailing, paint correction, rust protection, and boarding. This usually means more staff. But it also includes diversified earnings opportunities. The company has been around for 60 years and has more than 1,200 units worldwide. The company does not list a franchise fee on its website. But he estimates the total investment to be around $350,000.
Superior Wash is one of the leaders in the industry, with more than 80,000 vehicles washed each week across the country. The company offers mobile truck washing, which is a fairly stable and recession-proof business. The franchise fee is $15,500. And the company also has a working capital requirement of $10,000 to $20,000 when it starts.
Monkey Shine is a partner company for Grease Monkey, the popular oil and lubricant franchise. It is offered as an add-on for the Grease Monkey franchises. These stores use automatic washing bays. Therefore, companies can keep labor costs low and make money 24/7. There is no franchise fee associated with the addition. You just need to have a net worth of at least $250,000 and $60,000 to $75,000 in liquid assets.
12. Sonny’s The Car Wash Factory
Sonny’s is a provider of car wash equipment. But the company also provides resources for those interested in opening car wash businesses. This includes a car wash college, investment guides, signage, and consulting. Car wash startup costs vary depending on the equipment and resources you choose. But there is no traditional franchise fee.
Nanotek is an Australian based car wash franchise opportunity that also has locations internationally. Formerly Ecowash Mobile, the company offers a mobile service known for being green. The website does not provide rates or financial information on franchises. But you can contact the company to ask.
14. Cactus Car Wash
Cactus Car Wash currently operates multiple franchises in Georgia and North Carolina. The company works with franchisees at every step of the development process and once the business is set up. The franchise fee is $45,000. And startup costs range from $2.3 to $3.8 million.
No H2O describes itself as the super of the car wash. The franchise offers on-demand service through a mobile application to systematize the delivery of the car wash service. Since it is a mobile business, it also comes with flexibility and low operating costs. The franchise fee is up to $40,000. And the total total investment varies from about $150,000 to $200,000.
How much does a car wash franchise cost?
The cost to build a car wash can range anywhere from about $50,000 to $3.5 million. Mobile businesses that require only trucks rather than a dedicated location like an automatic car wash franchise fall on the lower end. Those with large teams and real estate generally fall in the $2 to $3 million range.
How profitable is a car wash?
A car wash franchise can be very profitable. Labor costs are generally quite low. And you can bring money in 24/7 if you offer an automated service. For traditional models, you can expect to earn between $1,200 and $1,500 per month for each bay. Depending on the size of the car wash and the location, this can result in profits between approximately $80,000 and $800,000 each year.
How do you start a car wash?
If you want to know how to start a car wash business, then you need to do the following:
- Learn about the car wash industry
- Conduct market research to assess the local opportunity
- Develop a business plan
- Identify and acquire the car wash equipment and technology you will need
- Find a location, and build or remodel a structure
- Market Your Business
These steps are complex and take time. This is why many aspiring homeowners turn to a franchise. A franchise can give you an edge with the key elements listed above.
An investment in a franchise is like getting a “business in a box.” You, as a franchisee/business owner, will have a lot of work to do to make the business a success. But with the support of the franchisor, you can hit the ground running and move on to creating a great car wash experience for customers much faster.