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How to Buy a Car Wash in 2022

a car being washed in a car wash with two blue spinning brushes on each side and three water sprays over it

Image Source: WHQ

We all want a solid investment to secure our wealth and cash flow. You can grow your money by buying houses, or look for small business ideas, and make it earn well. One of those ideas is how to buy a car wash as an investment. 

If you’re thinking of buying a car wash, there are a few things you need to consider before making your decision. How much does a car wash cost, and is there a best time to buy one? And, what are the actual steps in purchasing a car wash today? 

This guide will answer all those questions in detail and more. But before we go into that, let’s first talk about why buying a car wash is a good investment. 

Is Buying A Car Wash a Good Investment?

Buying a car wash is a good investment in the post-pandemic world. Car washes are always in demand, and there is a low cost of entry to get started. A car wash business also has high-profit margins so that you can make a good return on your investment.

A Pew Research Center survey says that 8 out of 10 Americans own a car or belong to a household that owns one. And all these people don’t have enough time to wash their cars. Hence, car wash demand won’t decline and may provide steady returns on your investment.

What are the Costs of Buying a Car Wash?

The cost of buying a car wash depends on the size and location of the car wash. A small car wash business can cost as little as $20,000, while a more extensive car wash can cost upwards of $100,000. Depending on location, licenses and permits cost around $500 to $1,000.

The type of carwash and equipment will also matter. On average, the equipment cost for a self-service carwash bay is between $8,000 and $10,000. For an automatic or touchless carwash bay, equipment costs range between $31,000 and $100,000. 

When is the Ideal Time to Buy a Car Wash?

There’s none if you think there’s an ideal time to buy a car wash. Car washes are a staple need, and there’s a growing trend of people cleaning their cars on car washes more often. Hence, the best time to buy a car wash is as soon as you can afford it. 

Steps on How to Buy A Car Wash in 2022

By now, you know that car washes are suitable investments, and you have an idea of how much they cost. If you decide to go for it, here is the step-by-step guide on buying a car wash in 2022. 

1. Make a Business Plan

Begin with a business plan. It’s your roadmap in setting up your business before it gets into the tedious details. Study the things you need to look out for and see if it’s workable in your situation. 

To start, determine if you’re going to buy an existing car wash or start from scratch. Then, decide what type of carwash you will be starting. It could be self-service, automated, soft-touch, touchless, or by hand. 

Once you have decided on the type of car wash business you’re into, committing to it is vital. Every business takes huge upfront responsibilities, costs, and time. Don’t hesitate or hold back, and execute all the way through. 

2. Get Financing in Order

Once you have your plan together, it’s time to start looking for financing. You can buy the car wash immediately if you have savings ready for investment. But, if you want a more gradual exit flow of your money, financing is the way to go.

Moreover, if you’re taking out a loan, shop for the best rates and terms. After that, you’ll also need to give collateral, such as real estate or equipment. Be careful; only apply for loans from trusted and reputable lenders. Once you get your financing and your business running, the company will pay for itself. 

3. Find the Right Location

The location is vital and should meet two things: convenience and visibility. You want a convenient place for customers to park into and easy to find. Likewise, look for a location with high traffic and good visibility from the road.

Moreover, don’t forget to check the water supply, waterways, and piping. You don’t want hidden leaks or poor drainage systems ruining your business. Ask around the area if water shortages or outages are prevalent so you can take measures.

4. Review Zoning Regulations

Once you’ve got the location right, review the city’s zoning regulations. You’ll need to ensure that your business meets all the requirements for its zoning district. Each state has various zoning policies; we don’t want them visiting you with penalties on hand. 

5. Complete the Legal Paperwork

After meeting all zoning regulations, you’re ready to finish the legal paperwork. Prepare the certificates, licenses, and any other permits required by the local government. These licenses will also let your customer see that your car wash is a legitimate business. 

As much as possible, don’t try to skip this one out. If you are in it for the long term, future sanctions might damage your business and cost you more. If you get the legal work done, you won’t see issues down the line. 

6. Buy the Car Wash Equipment

Now it’s time to buy the equipment! There are a few different types of wash systems, so choose the one that’s right for your needs. Ensure the brushes are soft and firm enough to clean car exteriors but not damage side mirrors. 

Likewise, you’ll need to buy supplies, such as soap, cleaners, and towels, and have an inventory system set up. Be careful with the cleaners; make sure it’s suitable for any car and should not harm the paint. A car wash with high-quality equipment will draw more car owners to your business.

7. Install the Equipment and Start Washing Cars!

Once you’ve set up all these, it’s time to open and start washing cars! You can recruit people to work for you if you can’t operate them and train them on equipment use and safety guidelines if you have hired employees. 

Then, market your business on the web and in your social groups, and pay attention to first-time customers. If you give them an excellent experience, they will return and spread the word to their friends. 


These are the complete steps in buying a car wash in 2022. By following these steps, you can be sure you’re making a sound investment with no significant issues. You’ll be well to owning a successful car wash business in 2022.

Buying a car wash for investment is one of the tips we at Abundance Hunters give for you to have financial freedom. If you find these helpful, read our other useful guides here

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