Self-service car wash - profitability level and payback period

A thorough analysis of many criteria will help make your business profitable and profitable. Many entrepreneurs are interested in – what is the profitability of a self-service car wash, and when can you expect a 100% return on investment and a stable income?

The answer to this question will be a clear understanding of the most important factors that determine the financial feasibility of investing in such a popular and attractive commercial project.

Where is the best place to place a self-service car wash?

The amount spent depends on whether the object will be built on the site you own or whether you need to buy a specific place. At the same time, it should be determined how well the car wash is visible from the roadway and whether the entry and exit lane back to the track is properly organized.

For most drivers, this moment is very important and always directly affects the number of customers, potential profits and payback periods.

High-quality equipment - a guarantee of stable operation

It is not always necessary to save on the cost of technological equipment at the stage of car wash construction. Below the threshold of the price of components of one post for open type objects from 5,000 euros, closed 10,000 euros, premium class starting from 20,000 euros, should not be lowered.

Imagine that a very large location has been chosen, structures have been assembled and equipment has been supplied at a low cost. At first, the work is very intensive, there is no end to visitors, the cashier pleases the owner with fullness.

But competitors are also on the alert, it is likely that in the near future they will want to order the construction of a self-service car wash with more expensive equipment. Due to the increased class of technical equipment, they will simply lure the owners of vehicles to them. Therefore, with the help of qualified specialists, it is necessary to find a golden mean between the price of equipment and its performance.

Average check indicators

Any self-service car wash, according to the characteristics of the cost of the average check, depends on the degree of completion of the main technical means and its location. The proximity of a busy highway or a large residential area in a large city increases this figure by at least 30%.

A well-thought-out system of additional services in the form of dry cleaning, blackening of rubber, vacuum cleaner services, refueling cars with glass washer and other types of services increases the average bill by 20%.

We pay attention to the increase in the number of programs that are popular with motorists. In this case, everything is extremely simple – the larger the choice of offers, the larger the check.

Profitability of a self-service car wash

The De-Wash company, based on many years of experience in this business, can confidently assert that in 2-3 months after commissioning such an object begins to operate at full capacity.

The main indicator in this type of commercial activity is the number of cars passed during the day. It is possible to bring this parameter to the required value under pre-fulfilled conditions, which involve monitoring a number of factors:

  • a balanced approach when choosing a site;

  • guarantee of high quality washing of vehicles;

  • competent organization of the direction of client flows on the territory of the facility;

  • stability and efficient operation of existing equipment;

  • the optimal number of posts at the self-service car wash;

  • features of the climate in the region.

The owner of the facility independently deals with pricing for the services provided by the car wash. The cost is formed on the basis of pre-monitoring of the solvency of the majority of the population of a particular region, the design project and the proposed format of the complex, current prices in this business segment at the moment, client flow, location convenience, etc.

Taking into account the functionality of the technology used, up to 9-10 vehicles can be serviced at one post within an hour. Each owner of a vehicle, according to statistical surveys, washes a car from 15 to 25 times a year. Based on these figures, as well as the number of cars in a particular locality, you can get information about the number of potential customers.

Average statistics for the complexes put into operation

Let’s consider the actual averaged data for the complexes built by De-Wash, which are in full operation.

For ease of calculation, due to the floating exchange rate of the hryvnia, all prices are given in euros.

An example would be the analysis of a premium self-service car wash in a well-chosen, good location:

  • On average, 55-75 cars actually visit one post per day. The presence, for example, of 5 posts guarantees attendance in the range of 275-350 vehicles.

  • The average check for a budget token is from 0.8 €, the average category is 1.2-1.3 euros, and the premium class is 1.9-2.9 €.

  • For 5 posts, even with minimum traffic of one post of 50 cars, the number of customers will be 7500-8000 cars.

  • The total box office revenue will be approximately 13 to 15 thousand euros for the minimum token, in the second category – 17-20 thousand, and from 21 to 23 thousand in the premium category.

And the expenditure part, together with the rental load, takes about 25% of the revenue.

Thus, in the most negative scenario, the amount of net profit, depending on the class of equipment, is from 11,000 to 17,000 euros. In practice, the income is almost always higher.


The profitability calculation of a self-service car wash built in a format with several posts and an optimal set of equipment shows a full return on investment in a facility in 14-24 months. And with an ideal location, it could be 1012 months.

It is hardly possible to quickly name any other legal type of business with such a high and stable profitability.

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