When people think of franchising, these days they usually think about fast food restaurants like McDonald’s that are seen at almost every highway exit. But another common franchise type is car washes – since everyone likes to have a nice shiny car. Starting a car wash business may be lucrative if you set it up properly.
However, when you think of car washes, you are probably thinking about the large automated buildings that slowly pull your car through a series of brushes and washes. While this certainly describes many car washes, there is another type available for franchising as well. Hand washes, internal washes to treat seats, and companies that specialize in washing fleets of 18-wheelers – these are all types of car wash franchises that are available to you as a franchisee.
When considering whether or not you want to own a car wash franchise, you should consider what makes them the ‘best’ in a few categories. For example, you may want the franchise with the highest growth, the lowest startup costs, or the one that is most flexible in what kind of business you want to own. For each of these areas, you might want to consider the below franchises. Of course, you should have a good understanding of how franchising works before considering an investment.
Car Wash Franchise with the Highest Growth: No H20
The key feature of No H20 is exactly what you would guess: it does not use any water in its car washes. The company has developed a series of products without water to clean and shine your car – what they call ‘dry cleaning for cars’. This major advantage of this approach is that H20 can clean cars anywhere even without access to a source of water. The company has taken full advantage of this fact and has developed an app for On-Demand car washes. Customers can order from the app anywhere they are in just 4 clicks, and the car wash comes to them. The company sees this as moving car washing into the new age of technology. And it seems to be working since the company had 135% growth in the last 3 years, and 37% in just the last year!
No H20 has three types of business for its franchisees: Corporate, Static, and On Demand. The Corporate business comes from partnerships with major companies that give discounts for No H20 to their employees. For Corporate franchises, the franchisee still comes to the client’s location. These companies include Facebook, Apple, and Hertz. The Static business is more of the traditional model with car wash locations in parking lots. Finally, the On-Demand business is responding to requests from the company’s app and going to meet customers at their location. With so many ways to make money, franchisees have the opportunity to develop their business in a way that suits them best.
If you would like to learn more about No H20’s franchise opportunities, check out their website.
|2019 # of Franchises||66||Total Set-Up Costs||$81,500 – $120,000|
|Required Liquid Assets||N/A||Franchise Fee||$25,000|
|Required Net Worth||$100,000||Ongoing Fees||12%|
Car Wash Franchise with the Lowest Start-Up Costs: Green Shine
Green Shine is another car wash company that does not use water in its operations. Green Shine is a mobile car wash service, meaning that customers order services wherever they are and franchisees go to meet them. Since there is no need for water, franchisees can meet and service cars just about anywhere. The company has an online portal for customers to book washes in advance, and as a franchisee, you have an exclusive area where orders are sent to you alone. So, it’s a lot easier to start building up a customer base than trying to market on your own.
Green Shine, as you may be able to guess from its name, is also very committed to the environment. The company focuses on limiting runoff from washes and says that all of its products are eco-friendly.
But in addition to all these perks, this franchise is also one of the cheapest to start. Since it is a mobile car wash, you don’t need land or a building to get started. Your main expense is the cleaning products and the equipment needed for washes. Start-up costs for Green Shine range from about $48,000 to $160,500, so it can be expected to be on average about $104,000. Compared to some more traditional car washes that can cost several hundred thousand, Green Shine is a much easier franchise to start.
Green Shine is looking for franchisees, so if you are interested you can learn more by filling out their form online.
|2019 # of Franchises||17||Total Set-Up Costs||$48,000 – $160,500|
|Required Liquid Assets||$32,000||Franchise Fee||$20,000|
|Required Net Worth||$75,000||Ongoing Fees||7%|
Car Wash Franchise with the Most Flexible Business Model: Detail Experts
Finally, what may be most important to you is flexibility. You want to be able to choose how you make money, and how much you work. In this category, DetailXPerts is a good opportunity.
DetailXPerts uses steam to wash cars, using only 2 gallons of water to clean 15 vehicles. This technology even has a patent-pending, so a good amount of thought has gone into using less water while still cleaning a car well.
The company has three business models that franchisees can choose: Model A, Model B, and Model C. Model A is a free-standing location, so a fairly traditional car wash model. Franchisees can take advantage of agreements the company already has with parking garages around the country to find a location (making it much easier to get started and get customers quickly), or they can choose to build their own location. Model B is a mobile car wash business – franchisees go to the customers who have ordered services in advance. Within Model B there are two ‘sub-categories’: single and multi-unit operators. Single-unit operators can own up to 5 mobile car wash vehicles, while multi-unit operators can own more. The company does not allow everyone to become a multi-unit operator, as they think people new to business ownership should stay with smaller numbers as they learn the ropes. Finally, Model C is a combination of a free-standing location and a mobile business, so franchisees can have more than one source of income.
With this many options, franchisees looking for flexibility should find exactly what they are looking for with DetailXPerts. To learn more, you can fill out a form to request an info kit from the company.
|2019 # of Franchises||82||Total Set-Up Costs||$88,500 – $195,000|
|Required Liquid Assets||$35,000 – $75,000||Franchise Fee||$35,000|
|Required Net Worth||$300,000 – $1,000,000||Ongoing Fees||8%|
No matter which car wash franchise you might be thinking about, the important thing to remember is that you have lots of options. The ones listed above are a few – there are dozens more that are also great options.
In addition, if you have a strong interest in cars, you can also consider other auto-related franchises, such as auto detailing, auto repairs, or car rental companies. If you would like to find out about more car wash or auto-related franchises, check out these lists by Franchising.com and Entrepreneur.com.
- “No H20.” Entrepreneur.com, Entrepreneur, 2019, https://www.entrepreneur.com/franchises/noh2o/335879.
- “About Us.” No H20, No H20, 2020, http://www.noh2o.com/about-us/#.
- “Franchise Brochure 2018 USA.” No H20, No H20, 2018, http://www.noh2o.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/franchise-brochure-usa.pdf.
- “Green Shine.” Entrepreneur.com, Entrepreneur, 2019, https://www.entrepreneur.com/franchises/greenshine/334088.
- “Franchise Opportunities.” Green Shine, Green Shine, 2020, https://www.gogreenshine.com/franchise-opportunities/.
- “About.” Green Shine, Green Shine, 2020, https://www.gogreenshine.com/about/.
- “DetailXPerts.” Entrepreneur.com, Entrepreneur, 2019, https://www.entrepreneur.com/franchises/detailxperts/335293.
- “Car Wash Franchise Opportunities.” DetailXPerts, DetailXPerts, 2020, https://www.detailxpertsfranchise.com/car-wash-franchise-opportunities/.
- “Commercial Cleaning FAQs.” DetailXPerts, DetailXPerts, 2020, https://www.detailxpertsfranchise.com/commercial-cleaning-business-faqs/.
- “Car Wash Business.” DetailXPerts, DetailXPerts, 2020, https://www.detailxpertsfranchise.com/car-wash-business/.