If you are planning to open a car wash, the location is the essential thing. Even the best, most up-to-date, and most customer-friendly facility will not make a profit if it's hidden. A car wash has to be found quickly and easily – but that's not all that makes a good location.
Wherever you have lots of cars, you'll find many potential customers. This means that a location for the car wash on a main street is generally positive. It is ideal if the vehicles are forced to slow down about level with the site, for example due to a stop sign or stop light. Flags, large signs or even spray-painting the walls of the facade facing the road will help you attract your potential customers here.
Intersecting roads or second-row streets are not suitable as a location if you rely on through-traffic. Even if you place clearly visible signs with precise, short and easy to grasp directions on the main road, only a few people on the way from A to B will turn off specifically to find you. It makes a big difference whether you can see the car wash and reach it directly or not.
At busy times, the cars can build up on the site. Ensure that the cars flow through as smoothly as possible by creating wide accesses to and from the premises. Above all, the access roads should, if possible, be directly accessible from the main road. Having to turn off once or twice before reaching the car wash tends to confuse less decided motorists, so they may prefer to put off the wash to another time.
If you own a gas station or garage, you can expand your business with a car wash. Anyone who is already on the road in order to take care of their car is more likely to give it a wash at the same time. Also, customers can easily remember the location. You don't forget the gas station with the car wash so easily. The visit can easily become a ritual for people in the area, for example at the weekends.
Anyone who does not own a gas station or garage can at least make sure that either one or the other is in the immediate vicinity of their new car wash. They benefit from the proximity of the other services and can make arrangements with their operators. For example, petrol station customers can get a discount on car washes if they use their receipt to prove they have filled up at the petrol station next door.
You can also do good business in industrial areas or other parts of the town with numerous larger companies. Especially near transportation companies, wash systems for large vehicles such as trucks or buses pay off. Again, you can retain your customers by offering volume discounts to their operators. The same applies to companies that have a fleet of cars for their employees.
Many cities have shopping centers or squares where many different businesses and service providers are clustered together. Siting a car wash in these areas can also be worthwhile. Families can share their chores here. While one partner is shopping or doing other errands, the other can take care of washing the car.