How to Open a Touchless Car Wash Business


Some people can be extremely meticulous about their cars, often getting them washed four times a month. A touchless car wash, which uses high-pressure water instead of brushes, is perfect for their needs. If you are looking to start a lucrative touchless car wash, the key is to find those people. There will always be a market for car washes; however, the right location is everything. It will take about $400,000 to start your car wash.

Things You'll Need

  • Insurance
  • City approval
  • Equipment
  • Determine what services you will provide. You may want to have three or four touchless bays and two or three self-wash bays. You should include vacuum stations, coin machines and vending machines. You may want an onsite bathroom and small office if you will have employees. Locate potential locations for your touchless car wash. Look for high traffic areas. Depending on the amount of bays and additional services that you will provide, you will need a quarter-acre or half-quarter acre lot.

  • Contact your local government office about zoning ordinances, water restrictions, noise restrictions (near residential areas) and other issues that could affect your business at each of your potential locales. You may be required to build a sidewalk or handicapped access. If none of your picks work, it may be more beneficial to open your car wash in another county or just outside city limits.

  • Contact the utilities company to determine the fees and deposit for water, sewage and electricity for each locale. Take this into consideration when selecting your location. Once you've decided, get all of the required permits, such as a sales tax permit and construction permit and incorporate your business. Have an engineer or architect help you draw up construction plans. Submit these to the city for approval. Once you are approved, build your car wash.

  • Purchase equipment such as the touchless car wash system, an auto cashier that accepts credit cards and coins, bay accessories such as ceiling brooms and brushes (if you will include self-wash bays) and industrial vacuum systems.

  • Purchase liability insurance for your business. This protects you in case of lawsuits related to accidents, including injury to customers, workers or others on the property.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you will need financing, draw up a business plan. Visit for assistance on how to write a business plan. List your business in local online directories and Google Maps. Consider hiring employees to dry off the cars as they come through the car wash. Be sure to purchase workers compensation insurance. Advertise on the radio, in newspapers and on bulletin boards at colleges. Consider offering specials such as the first 25 customers get a free wash on the first Saturday of every month.


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