Self-​Service Makes up 60% of Car Wash Profits

BY Rachel Cagle
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"Up until a few years ago, wand-​bay type car wash properties had declined and fallen out of favor with new investors as well as existing owner/​operators. Now that the economy and car wash industry are growing again, this may be a good time to revisit the self-​service business model, reports Cash Wash Magazine."

"Self-​service is often described as a 60% gross net business."

"Given consumer and industry trends (e.g., express exterior), self-​service operators should consider shifting the focus of the business from wands to in-​bay. The reason for this is there are simply more people today who want the convenience, rather than doing the work themselves, and they want a better value for the money."

"For example, the traditional self-​service model is a facility with four or five wand-​bays and one to two in-​bays. A different approach would be to build a facility with three or four in-​bays and only a couple of wands. The purpose is to increase yield.

"As shown in the table above, self-​service operations that emphasize automatic car washing perform measurably better than those that emphasize wands."

"Self-​serve isn’t dead; it just needs to be reinvented to compete effectively in an environment where automatic car washing represents over 70% of the total available market."

What better time is there to promote car washing services to consumers than when they're already in their cars? Last year, according to AudienceSCAN, 47.4% of Car Wash/​Detailing Shoppers took action after hearing an ad on both digital and over-​the-​air radio and 37% were driven to action by outdoor ads. These shoppers also believe that the best sources for auto news include magazines, TV, newspapers and direct mail and can be influenced to wash their cars through these platforms.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. In addition, AdMall contains industry profiles on car washes and auto service centers, as well as lead lists at the local level. Media companies, sales reps and agencies can access this data with a subscription to AdMall from SalesFuel.