Choosing a place for a car wash

March 2022

Location is a key parameter of the profitability of a car wash. The advantageous location ensures high traffic. And if there are no cars, there is no profit from the site.

Own traffic on the self-service car-wash is when the object is located in the traffic flow (highway, avenue, exit to the city, etc.). Or if the car wash is the only one (without competition) and / or unique (optional) in this place. The flow of cars is provided.

But most often the car wash gathers customers not by itself, but thanks to large and strong neighbors – “donors”. Finding a good place next to the “big brother” generating traffic is the task of the future owner.

Who are these donors?

  1. Large shopping malls. Parking at the mall has always been a lucrative job for a car wash. The expensive rent was more than offset by high traffic.
  2. Hotels are a traditional gathering place for taxi drivers.
  3. Car centers, dealerships.
  4. Sites near logistics hubs and warehouses, where many employees and customers came.
  5. Densely populated residential areas. This place was and remains at the top of the list. A car wash near the house is always convenient. Neither a high average check nor queues frighten customers. By the way, it is in residential areas that the highest percentage of regular customers in car wash.
  6. All types of markets: grocery, clothing, automobile.
  7. Grocery hypermarkets. Mostly people come here by car and for large purchases. Food is always a trend.

Can a car wash be profitable without a donor and go astray? Can it generate traffic on its own in the area of the second line? How do you determine the trigger factor that will be a key to profitability?

The answer is: yes, it is possible! Let’s look at a concrete example.

The hero city is the port of Murmansk. Closed 6-post self-service car wash with ALLES equipment on Admiral Lobov Street, 17B. Opening – July 2021.

THE PROBLEM: The location is not the center, the third line, the industrial zone is next to the railway, there is no through traffic.

The starting factor is the price that made it possible to buy, rather than rent, the entire building for a car wash. For Murmansk, with its harsh polar climate, a closed self-wash is what we need.

SOLUTION: What was done?

  • The hangar was prepared and insulated, heating – pellets + diesel fuel.
  • Rich functionality (10 programs and 3 modes) + connected loyalty system ALLES Bonus + trained staff.
  • The dry zone is inside the building in front of the washing posts! So, customers do not need to go outside to dry the body and vacuum the interior.
  • Powerful media support at the start: geoservices, social networks, radio and outdoor advertising.

THE RESULT: An inconspicuous hangar turned into one of the most successful “self-service points” in Murmansk in a few months. Even today, the car wash retains a 5-star rating on Yandex.Maps and high customer traffic. Up to 65% of monthly income comes from customers using the ALLES Bonus loyalty program, from those who come regularly. The owner, seeing the full load of posts, expanded the possibilities of car wash and purchased equipment for 2 additional washing posts, the benefit of the area allows. The solution turned out to be cost-effective and profitable. Steadily growing revenue figures allow the owner to recoup his initial costs within 2 years.