How To Open A Hand Car Wash And Detailing Service

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It’s no secret that you’ve got scores, if not hundreds of business ideas at your disposal that have a low cost of entry yet potentially yield high profits. One such example is the hand car wash and detailing business model.

Even during times of economic strife, vehicle owners still want to keep their cars clean and sparkling. After all: having your car washed is a cheap luxury that most people can afford!

You’re undoubtedly thinking about opening a hand car wash and detailing business. But, you’ve never done so before.

Thankfully, the following tips and tricks will give you the guidance and inspiration you need to open a successful hand car wash and detailing business in your area. Here’s what you need to know:

Choosing The Right Location

Firstly, you need to find the right location for your new business venture. The sad truth is that some people make a mistake at this early yet crucial stage of their business startup – and most will inevitably fail.

When looking for potential locations, such as former petrol stations or car parks, you need to consider the following points:

  • Traffic – if you choose a busy main road, you’re far more likely to get queues of customers than in a quiet backroad;
  • Safety – your customers want to feel safe pulling into your hand car wash centre.

Creating The Infrastructure

Once you’ve found the perfect location, the next stage is to get your wallet (or purse) out and spend money on its infrastructure. What does that mean, you might ask yourself?

The infrastructure includes anything and everything from an IP rated junction box for your electrical connections to distributed water systems for each pressure washer in all “lanes.”

It’s worth having an electrician survey your location as they can then recommend the best way to power your site. Similarly, a plumber will advise how to distribute water across your car wash centre without compromising on things like water pressure and drainage.

Investing In The Best Equipment

Your new hand car wash and detailing business is starting to take shape! But, you’ve still got plenty of work to do before you can start inviting customers to get their vehicles valeted.

For example, you need to invest in the equipment you and your team will use to clean people’s cars. Pressure washers are the tools of choice for rinsing and adding shampoo to each customer’s vehicle.

However, you’ll need to consider other tools like DA (dual-action) polishing machines, a washing machine for cleaning all cloths, and so forth.

Finding Reliable Suppliers

Your hand car wash and detailing business will need regular supplies, such as car wash detergents, polishing compounds, wax, tyre shine products, and more.

While it’s possible to purchase those items from various automotive retail businesses, it makes sense to use a B2B supplier to get the best value for money.

However, you must ensure you choose a B2B supplier that is reliable, always has the products you need in stock, and is willing to negotiate favourable rates based on the number of products you purchase each month or week.

Hiring The Right People

You are almost ready to start inviting customers to your hand car wash and detailing centre! Before you can start valeting people’s cars for a living, you need to hire some people to work with you.

What’s great about such a business model is you don’t need to hire any skilled workers, meaning you can keep your costs low by only paying the minimum wage to your staff.

As an incentive, you could allow your team to keep any tips they receive from customers – although you should check with an accountant about the laws surrounding tips.

Marketing Your Business

You’ll likely get much of your custom from passing trade – that is, people driving down the road where your hand car wash and detailing business is situated.

To that end, the best way of marketing your business is by having large boards printed with price and service information, along with the name of your hand car wash centre.

That way, customers can see your details from a distance – especially if they are travelling in their cars at the time.


The information contained in this blog post will undoubtedly help you launch a successful hand car wash and detailing business. Strive for complete customer satisfaction, and you’ll end up with a business that is always profitable and has many repeat customers.

Good luck!

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Written by themoneyshed

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