Selecting and Purchasing Car Wash Equipment


Whether starting a car wash business or caring for your fleet as a dealer, you need good reliable car wash equipment to make your business a success. Even modest setups based on hand car wash equipment require a significant investment, and it is important to select equipment that not only fits your budget, but provides long-lasting, reliable, quality service that will provide a return on that investment.

The Basics
First, understand your needs and your space. What sort of building do you have? How many bays? Make sure you fully understand your space restrictions and possibilities. How much investment will be required to install different kinds of machines? Can you put in a conveyor system? Space and money will be the major deciding factors in what kinds of car wash equipment you purchase. Before you purchase machines that will require expensive alteration and installation work, make sure that you can afford not only to purchase them, but to make them work in your space as well. Hand car wash equipment systems will normally require less investment up front and less complicated work to put in. Finally, think of your vision for your car wash. Consider:

  • Hand wash vs. automated car wash equipment
  • Full service vs. self-service
  • Exterior only vs. exterior and interior cleaning

All of your decisions must begin with a clear picture of your budget, your goals, and your space.

Used Car Wash Equipment
Consider buying used equipment. As other car washes upgrade, close, or change hands, and decent equipment comes up for sale regularly. Look online for consignment sellers. Obviously new equipment is likely to have less wear and tear, but for most startup businesses the money saved will be worth it. Let the new equipment come after your business is running strong and making money. Of course, care should be taken to avoid purchasing used machines that show wear or signs of abuse that may cause problems down the line. Having already done the work of gaining a clear understanding of what kinds of machines are right for your business, you will have a better idea of what to look out for when surveying car wash equipment for sale.

Mobile Car Wash Equipment
Mobile car washes are popular and profitable businesses that take advantage of the time-conscious nature of modern society by reaching customers when they are at home, rather than making them take the time to go through a car wash while they are out. Savvy mobile car wash businesses also target car dealerships for business. Mobile car wash equipment can be much simpler than for a stationary car wash. Old fashioned sponges and brushes with towels and a bucket will be used alongside pressure washers and buffers. Having a truck with a water tank and generator will also provide independence from wall outlets and water spigots, which you will otherwise have to ensure access to at every home or business at which you wash cars. Either way, an adequate supply of extension cords and hoses is wise to remember as well as your equipment and wax and soap products. Most mobile car wash services also provide interior and under-hood detailing as well, so a vacuum cleaner with a variety of attachments and a variety of brushes, wipes, and cloths will be essential.

A car washing business can be extremely profitable if well-planned, budgeted, and marketed. An important part of this process is selecting car wash equipment that fulfills a realistic view of a business’s budget, clientele, facility, and desired style of car wash. Drive around, become a customer, see what you like and figure out if it’s something you can make a business out of.  What equipement are they using, if looking for vacuums, check out car vacuum cleaner reviews or other product reviews. Be sure to do your research and get your business off to a clean start!

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