Business for four hours a week: self-service car washes

The massive search for new business ideas is currently a concern. Does a business idea really need to be innovative for a future business to be successful?

Not every business needs to be new and original in order to bring tangible success in the market. Sometimes you need to use proven business plans to achieve professional success and create a profitable venture. The creation of a car wash can become a successful business idea in Russia.

Types of car washes

You can open a manual or automatic car wash. Contactless car washes are especially popular in Russia. An interesting alternative can be called car washes, where the client himself washes his car with the tools provided to him. To create such a car wash, the owner only needs to choose the right place and purchase cleaning products and equipment, for example, a pressure washer.

Another type is a tunnel car wash, where the car enters the tunnel, and there are performed various modes of cleaning, washing, rinsing and polishing the car. Such sinks are quite common in the vastness of Russia.

There are also car washes with a wash podium, where the customer himself cleans the car, or the work is done by car wash workers for a slightly higher fee.

Cleaning the interior with a special vacuum cleaner

Target Market Research

Before you set yourself the goal of opening your own car wash, you need to analyze the competition in the area. It is not at all necessary to undertake expensive market monitoring with a third-party firm, you can safely perform the analysis yourself. To begin with, you must write a list of all car washes that are located in a city or in a residential complex, depending on whether the car wash is located in a small or large city.

If there is a lot of competition in the industry, this may indicate a saturated market. In such circumstances, it will not be profitable to create your own car wash, unless it will provide services that are not available in the target market.

Polishing the interior of the car

The fashion for self-service car washes has come to Russia. According to independent research, in the summer of 2021, there were about 28,000 such car washes in the country, with most of them operating in the southern regions and in Moscow. The situation has changed over the year, but the market is still far from its peak.

Who is the self-service car wash business suitable for? Which equipment to choose? How not to burn out? We tell you about trends, pitfalls and secrets of business profitability.

Current market trends

Despite the embryonic state of the self-service car wash business, certain trends have already emerged in this area. Firstly, the mentality of car owners is gradually changing in favor of washing their cars on their own - it's faster and cheaper. Secondly, competition is growing rapidly, which indicates the popularity of car washes as a business investment.

The number of self-service car washes is increasing like an avalanche. It is difficult to call this type of property investment attractive for large businesses, but they are very popular in the medium and small segment. Economy class services are in demand among the population due to the crisis. In addition, in Europe, the car wash business has already been formed, and on its example, it is possible to make forecasts for Russia with a high degree of reliability, taking into account national characteristics.


So what to expect from the competition? Serious business activity. Already now in Europe more than 60% of all car washes are self-service complexes. In Russia, the figure is still about 15%, but experts predict rapid growth in the coming years, and in five to seven years the figure should quadruple.

There are no large investors in the market. Self-service car washes are a small business in which there are no clear statistics and analytical data yet. The installation of online cash registers, enshrined in law, should improve the situation. It is to be expected that with the appearance of specific statistical data, large investors will enter this niche, who will form a powerful competitor to the existing networks and independent complexes.

Right now is a favorable time for formation: active businessmen are trying to occupy a niche and gain a foothold in it before the arrival of serious competitors.

Who can become a businessman

To open your own self-service car wash, you must have start-up capital and the status of an individual entrepreneur or LLC. It's good if you already have business experience or specialized education. In general, there are no restrictions. For successful development you only need a good start with competent support and a desire to earn money.

But don't think that everything is simple. Some self-service car washes close shortly after opening for the reason that the owner simply did not calculate his strengths and capabilities and could not devote enough time to opening his business. Yes, after launching and setting up the car wash will require a minimum of time, but for this you need to invest very well at the initial stage.

Opening your own car wash for someone is a lifelong dream, and someone considers this option as an opportunity to earn money. In any case, profitability will be an important component of such a business. A well-thought-out and correctly drawn up business plan for a car wash is able to systematize the organization process, avoid common mistakes, soberly assess the possibilities and speed of return on investment.

Relevance of the idea

The number of cars in the country is growing steadily. If a few decades ago even the simplest car was a luxury for Russian families, today many of them own a good car, and sometimes several. The active growth in the number of vehicles is one of the reasons why you should think about opening your own car wash. In general, this line of business has the following advantages:

  • There is a place in the market. The car wash niche is not crowded. In small towns, there are usually 1 - 4 service companies. Settlements with a population of 500,000 people have up to 15 - 20 car washes. In cities with a population of over one million, their number can reach 50 - 200 enterprises.
  • High demand. The presence of cars implies a constant need to use the services of a car wash. Very few people put their cars in order on their own, the rest prefer to turn to professionals with special equipment.
  • High liquidity. The main investment in a car wash falls on the purchase of equipment. If necessary, you can sell it and get money. Many also want to buy a ready-made business, car washes in this regard take 3rd place after beauty salons and online stores.
  • Ease of doing business. The technological process of the car wash is simple, it does not require special knowledge or conditions. There will be no difficulty with the purchase of consumables, there are a lot of wholesalers on the market. There are no serious requirements for personnel in this area - a person can be quickly trained in everything. And some types of car washes do not involve employees at all.
  • High level of profitability. It usually ranges from 30 to 50%. For many areas, such an indicator is unattainable. This efficiency is explained by the low fixed costs, which consist of taxes and contributions, wages and rentals, and utility bills.
  • Ability to quickly open additional service points. The streamlined process of one car wash can be easily transferred to the whole network. If the brand is known in the city, then it will not even require additional investments in advertising to attract customers to new points.

Of course, such a case has its drawbacks. When drawing up a business plan for a car wash, it is imperative to take into account the seasonality of demand. To avoid downtime, you will have to offer your customers additional services that are relevant at any time of the year.

Competition Analysis

The level of competition and the number of car washes may vary from region to region. For example, in Moscow the number of such points has long exceeded 1,000, while in small settlements there may be only a few of them. If you open a car wash in a city with 400,000 - 500,000 people, then the main competitors of the entrepreneur will be:

  • well-known large car washes;
  • Gas stations that provide an accompanying service in the form of car washing;
  • hand washes;
  • mobile car washes;
  • car washes in car services.

The most difficult thing will be to separate from the large players, since they are well-known in the market, have their own circle of consumers and are located throughout the city. They can be opposed by a lower cost of services while maintaining quality.

Small car washes are much easier to deal with. It is enough to choose the right place for opening, conduct a competent advertising campaign, purchase high-quality equipment and provide a high level of service.

Opening a car wash by franchise: current offers

It is often difficult for a novice businessman to organize a full-fledged car wash alone. Lack of experience and the necessary knowledge can minimize its results. An excellent way out in such a situation will be the acquisition of a ready-made business model, especially since the work on a franchise is becoming more and more popular every year. It allows you to minimize risks and get an experienced mentor to help build your own business.

Many entrepreneurs are wondering how to open a car wash and make it profitable? The increase in the number of personal vehicles makes car maintenance services cost-effective. The demand for car washing, refueling and maintenance is growing. The result of starting a car wash depends on the entrepreneur himself. Compulsory drawing up of a business plan, observing competitors, calculating payback, accounting, advertising a car wash and other measures will help you easily open your first car wash.


About the opening

Before going for a license to provide services, a novice entrepreneur should choose:

  • Come up with a name;
  • Type of car wash - automatic, manual, self-service, etc.;
  • Estimate the amount of required material costs;
  • Think about a franchise - if there is a lack of initial capital;
  • Choose a premises for a service - take a long-term lease or buy out;
  • Collect permissions from the responsible services.

A simple and budget option is the opening of a company designed for the simultaneous maintenance of 3-5 cars.

Should I open?

You can ask on specialized forums or in direct communication with the owners of such firms about opening a car wash, how much money is needed and where it is better to locate the service.

Opening such services is a profitable enterprise with a quick payback. In 12-24 months, the money invested should be returned if the owner places the car wash correctly and thinks about marketing.

Types of sinks

Before opening a car wash, you should study the specifics of its varieties, factors that affect the number of clientele. The amount of taxation, the form of the object, changes from the number of jobs in the enterprise.

Types of car washes are presented:

Standard - Most car enthusiasts prefer to use manual cleaning services. This category belongs to those common on the territory of the Russian Federation.

The Internet community is friendly to the car wash business. It is believed that opening a car wash is, albeit troublesome, but quite profitable. As arguments, the growth of the country's car park, and stringent requirements for washing the bodies of foreign cars, and the high margin of this business are cited.

“We have 500,000 people in our city. We have already opened three such sinks. Really stood in line for such a wash and was the twelfth. Every day I pass one of them. I have never seen less than four cars. The cost is from 250 to 1000 rubles. Mostly jeeps go to wash, and this is from 750 rubles for a wash! So consider the approximate recoupment of the complex ", - shared his observations staff member StaffCop.

However, there are skeptics. “First of all, you need to think very well. The invested funds can completely burn out. The biggest disadvantage is the opening itself (even without taking into account technical issues: the purchase of garages, their repair and equipment). Let me explain, when opening you will have to go through a bunch of authorities (sanitary and epidemiological supervision, firefighters, redevelopment, traffic police (if you need to organize an entrance), etc.). You will have to leave a lot of money, and most importantly nerves, ”- the forum member burratino doubts.

Food for thought

According to the entrepreneur, a car wash is not a complicated business. Three or four boxes, with simple equipment, with an average workload, bring the owner up to 100 thousand rubles of net income per month. Risks include relations with the sanitary and epidemiological supervision, which “get it” with fines for violations of the rules of draining and minor damage to cars during washing, for which you have to pay compensation.

The most important thing is the personnel issue. No special knowledge is required to wash cars, at the same time, this job, as a rule, is low-paid, and cannot be called easy. High humidity, temperature changes in winter when the car enters or leaves the box, monotony - all this dulls attention. At a minimum, customers express complaints, at a maximum, you have to pay for minor but expensive body repairs due to scratches.

Cleaning systems are serious

“I am not a supporter of renting unprofitable car washes,” Alexey Selivanov, an expert on small business, Ph.D. in Economics, is convinced, “a bad background requires analysis. We need to find out why the business of the former entrepreneur went wrong. If these are systemic problems, for example, low traffic, strong competition, problems with communications and regulatory authorities, then it would be wise to look for other boxes.

At the same time, ready-made car washes are already focused on this business and the corresponding premises do not require additional expenses. Analyzing the bankruptcy of car washes, Selivanov noted serious miscalculations of the businessmen themselves. Often this concerns problems with the drain, which, out of habit, are solved by bribes. However, this path may prove to be a dead end if complaints from nearby houses continue to flow in an endless stream.

This requires a professional approach to the selection of treatment plants. At the entrances to the city from the side of summer cottages and hunting grounds, different washing technologies will be required than at car washes in the center. Jeeps, which are not afraid of dirt, require more "aggressive" detergents than slightly splattered cars of lovely ladies. Relations with the environmental inspectorate also depend on the right choice. These installations cost from fifty thousand rubles and depend on the volume of treatment.

“A car needs about 60 liters of water, while for a big jeep - as much as 160 liters,” says the owner of the car wash, Andrey Marshalov, “therefore, the required flexible tariff system. It is possible to "break" the price so that the "dirty" will leave by itself. "

Start with cleaning systems if you plan to rent car washes, Selivanov is convinced.

From idea to implementation

Maybe you will be interested
We use cookies
We Use Cookies to Ensure That We Give You The Best Experience on Our Website. By Using The Website You Agree to Our Use of Cookies.