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How Much Should You Charge for Car Wash Services?

A single automatic car wash will cost between $10 and $25. However, the exact amount you charge for car wash services will vary depending on amenities, location, and other factors. 

Keep in mind that you will have to charge less for basic wash which might include free vacuums. You will need to charge more if the customer will be getting waxing, ceramic coating, and tire shine along with a free vacuum.

Do not underestimate the importance of your pricing structure to the success of your business. You need to understand that setting the right prices for your car wash services will make or break the business, as such it’s important to find the appropriate balance for your pricing.

Note that if what you charge is too high, clients might decide your services aren’t worth their investment, and this might mean losing out on business. Howbeit, if you charge too low, you may not make enough profit.

How to Set Prices for Car Wash Services 

  1. Understand Your Car Wash’s Unique Features

No two car washes are ever the same, as such you need to understand the things that make your business unique and different from other related businesses. The primary features you will want to take into account are;

  • Quality
  • Convenience
  • Method
  1. Determine Your Cost Per Car

According to experts, this is the best way to come up with the right pricing structure for your car wash business. This is especially true since you need to understand how much of your supplies, labor, and other costs go into your services, to ensure that you can properly comprehend how much of the final price is profit. When making your cost-per-car calculations, it is important you take into account your volumetric.

This simply means the precise amount of cleaning chemicals utilized in each car wash process. Understand that cleaning chemicals remain one of the most significant expenses of operating a car wash business. There are numerous methods used to calculate or better understand your cleaning chemical usage. Those methods include;

  • Graduated cylinder method
  • Digital scale method
  • Dividing the total cost of materials
  1. Consider Your Market

Building and operating your car wash in a wealthy and higher-income area will mean more pay and income. As such, when seeking the best location for your car wash, it is recommended you go for a location that is close to other shopping destinations, businesses, and major roads.

Do not make the mistake of choosing the wrong location for your business. Understand that things like the cost of living and average prices of goods and services vary from city to city. In the United States, urban cities are known to possess higher costs of living than remote, rural towns.

  1. Consider Upselling

This is one sales technique that will greatly favor your car wash business, especially when it comes to determining your pricing structure.

This sales technique entails giving customers reasons to select add-on items or spend slightly more than they originally planned.

In the United States, you will find that a good number of car washes provide a wide range of services and items — from the lowest tier to more premium services.

  1. Consider Memberships

Car wash memberships have proven to be very beneficial to modern car washes, particularly since they can in many ways help to boost the number of returning customers and its overall revenue. According to experts, the pros that come with offering memberships include;

  • Return customers
  • Guaranteed monthly revenue
  • Introduce customers to added services
  • Pull business away from your competition
  • Collects customer information
  • Memberships make great gifts

It is easy to see why offering memberships is a valid move in this line of business. Nevertheless, it can also be daunting to price them. The only way to make your clients purchase this membership is to offer value and make the memberships enticing to buy.

  1. Eliminate Undercutting

Your sole intention in this line of business should be to provide your clients with substantial value while also remaining competitive in your market. Nevertheless, it is recommended you don’t do too much or even sell yourself short.

Undercutting is used to refer to the practice of providing services that are far below competitors’ prices, and although this practice can draw in a substantial amount of customers, note that you will be slicing into your profit margins, perhaps even too much.

Your car wash operating expenses as well as your cost per car are some of the pertinent variables to take into account when it comes to pricing, as such don’t undercut too far.