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  • Cassie Farley

Types of Car Washes

Updated: Mar 18, 2019



In-bay automatic car washes are unattended terminals where owners pull their vehicles into the bay and the wash equipment moves around the parked car. This type of wash can physically touch the car and use brushes to remove the dirt or grim or alternatively can use high-pressure spray to remove debris. The process is completely automatic. The average sale per car for this type of wash is $6.34 per car.


Tunnel car washes are very similar to in bay automatic car washes except the car moves through the tunnel on a conveyor. The car moves through phases in the tunnel including chemical sprays, brushes, air blowers, etc. The average price per wash is $15 per car. Larger site is generally needed.


Self Serve washes are used by owners use wands to wash the outside of their own cars. They are basically paying a fee to use the car washes water, soap, brushes and sometimes towels. This type of car wash can be more maintenance and cleaning intensive. Least expensive in terms of an initial investment.


Detail washes are generally an additional service offered by car washes. Initial investment is generally higher. This type of wash may have more employees and management = more headache.


Mobile car washes use special equipment to wash a vehicle virtually anywhere.



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