Skip to Content

How to Write a Car Wash Business Plan [Sample Template]

If you drive through the streets in metropolitan cities of South Africa, you will notice several car wash centers in strategic locations. These goes to show that car wash business is a thriving business in South Africa. One good thing about car wash business is that it can be started by anybody as long as they have eyes for details and some business skills. If you have experience in this regard, it will be easier for you to start and effectively run a car wash business in any city in South Africa.

Please note that most standard car wash centers in South Africa usually run complimentary services in other to maximize profits from the business and if you want to operate a standard car wash business, then you should also think of other complimentary services to run alongside your business.

If you are convinced that starting a car wash is the right business for you to do, then you need to write your own business plan. The essence of writing a business plan before starting any business is for you to have a road-map of how you would setup, manage and expand your business. Below is a sample car wash business plan template that will help you write yours with little or no stress.

A Sample Car Wash Business Plan Template South Africa

1. Industry Overview

In South Africa and even all over the world, the car wash industry is regarded as one of the industries that accommodate more unskilled workers than skilled workers because some of the services offered by car wash companies revolve around cleaning, washing and waxing services for automobiles.

In the car wash industry, you will also find customized services such as full and self-service car wash services, as well as truck and bus washes and vehicle detailing services. The industry is open to both small entrepreneurs (neighborhood car wash) and big time investors.

In the last four years, the car wash franchising sector in South Africa has displayed resilience, consistently growing its contribution to the country’s GDP from 9.7 percent in 2014 to its present contribution of 13.3 percent, according to the Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA).

One rapidly increasing franchise is that of car wash services, which are increasingly dotted on the country’s landscape, dovetailing the rise in shopping centers, catering for motorists who live in complexes with strict corporate policies.

The cars wash industry in South Africa has a positive growth potential considering the increasing number of motor vehicles in the country. In South Africa, cars are a status symbol for some people.

All around the globe and in South Africa, advancements in technology are simplifying car wash operations making car wash businesses convenient, reliable, fast and also improved payment methods such as credit and debit cards make payments easy for customers.

As a matter of fact, car owners who patronize car washes are becoming more environmentally conscious, hence the need for more environmentally friendly car wash technology. Water conservation is becoming a concern for the population, so environmentally-responsible car washes are an attractive option.

The market for car wash is driven by the purchase of cars and the increase in consumer spending – in essence, as the general economy of a country grows, more people will buy cars and more people will patronize the services of car wash on a regular basis especially if their driving habits encourages them to do so.

The trend in the car wash industry is that most car wash companies in the bid to survive the recent global economic meltdown included additional services to their core service offerings. Some car wash companies include washing of rugs, selling of car accessories, running a bar, barbing saloon and even restaurant within the same premises if they have enough space.

It is much easier for car wash companies to increase their revenues by diversifying as against increasing the scope of their market. Car wash businesses in South Africa and all over the world are still enjoying good patronage particularly if they are well positioned and if they know how to reach out to their target market.

2. Executive Summary

Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC is a standard car wash company that will be located in the heart of Pretoria – Gauteng Province, South Africa. We are strategically positioned in one of the cities with a large number of car owners and we are set to service the whole of the community as well as visitors and travelers.

Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC will be providing our esteemed customers with three basic services which are exterior car washing, interior cleaning, and waxing services. Although our intention of starting a car wash business in Pretoria is to offer only the above stated services, but we will not close our doors to diversification as long as it does not affect our core services.

In a bid to maximize our position as the number one car wash company in Pretoria, we will offer our esteem customers the opportunity to buy quality car care products in our reception area.

Our car wash company is located in a full-service car wash facility which has the following features: a seventy foot fully automatic tunnel; 3 high pressure wand self-service bays; and 5 vacuum stations complete with fragrance and carpet shampoo dispensing machines.

At Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC, we are passionate in the pursuit of excellence and financial success with uncompromising services and integrity, which is why we have decided to start our own carwash business. We are quite optimistic that our values and quality service offering will help us drive our car wash business to enviable heights and also help us attract the number of clients that will make the business highly profitable.

We are quite aware that in order to become the number one choice in our city, we must continue to deliver quality car wash services and that is exactly what we will do. We are open to the use of latest technology in the car wash industry. Our excellent customer service and the range of services we offer will position us to always welcome repeated customers.

Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC is owned by Thomas Ulundi and his immediate family members. Thomas Ulundi is a businessman par excellence and he has the required business acumen to build Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC to favorably compete with leading car wash companies in Pretoria.

3. Our Products and Services

Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC is a carwash company that offers a wide range of services that revolves around washing cars. We intend giving our customers reason to always come back which is why we have customized our services.

Our customers will definitely maximize their time when they visit our car wash. These are the services and amenities that will be made available to our customers;

  • Exterior car washing
  • Interior cleaning
  • Waxing services
  • Vehicle detailing
  • Sale of automobile accessories
  • Home service
  • Washing of rugs
  • Cigar Lounge
  • Bar
  • Barbing saloon

4. Our Mission and Vision Statement

  • Our Vision is to become the ‘go to car wash’ center in the whole of Pretoria – Gauteng Province and every location where we intend opening our car wash.
  • Our mission is to develop a highly successful car wash business which provides quality services in our community and to become a standard for car wash businesses in South Africa.

Our Business Structure

Car wash business is generally seen as a small scale venture, but that does not stop Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash from putting structures in place that will help us achieve all our business goals and objectives.

As a matter of fact, we will build a car wash business that will be a standard for the car wash industry in South Africa. We want to build a business of dedicated workforce who will go all the way to ensure that our customers are satisfied and they get value for their money.

We aware that it takes a business with the right employees and structure to achieve all we are set to achieve, which is why we will be putting structures in place that will help us deliver excellent services. The success of our car wash business will be anchored on the team not on any individual.

With the wide range of our service offerings and the plan to sell franchise, we are only expected to employ more than is required to run a conventional car wash business. Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC will employ professionals and skilled people to occupy the following positions;

  • Manager (Owner)
  • Accountant/Cashier
  • Marketing Officer
  • Washer men/women (5)
  • Bar Manager
  • Barber (3)

5. Job Roles and Responsibilities

Manager (Owner)

  • Responsible for providing direction for the business
  • Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Answerable for fixing prices and signing business deals and payment of salaries
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization
  • Responsible for managing the daily activities in the organization
  • Ensures that the office facility is in tip top shape and conducive enough to welcome customers
  • Makes budget for the organization
  • Defines job positions for recruitment
  • Carries out induction of new team members
  • Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.

Marketing and Sales Executive

  • Identify, prioritize, and reach out to new clients, and business opportunities et al
  • Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts; participates in the structuring and financing of projects; assures the completion of projects.
  • Writes winning proposal documents, negotiate fees and rates in line with organizations’ policy
  • Responsible for handling business research, market surveys and feasibility studies for clients
  • Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
  • Develops, executes and evaluates new plans for expanding sales
  • Documents all customer contact and information
  • Represents the organization in strategic meetings
  • Helps to increase sales and growth for the organization.


  • Collects payment for car wash, drinks served and balance all receipts.
  • Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports; analyzes financial feasibility for the most complex proposed projects; conducts market research to forecast trends and business conditions.
  • Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
  • Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for the organization
  • Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Ensuring compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for the organization
  • Serves as internal auditor for the organization.

Bar Manager

  • Interacts with customers, take orders for drinks, food and snacks
  • Check identification of the guest to make sure they meet age requirements for purchase of alcohol and tobacco products.
  • Mixes ingredients to prepare cocktails and other drinks.
  • Prepares alcohol or non-alcohol beverages.
  • Arranges bottles and glasses to make attractive displays.
  • Assesses customers’ needs and preferences and make recommendations
  • Makes lists of supplies in conjunction with the management


  • Manages the barbing saloon
  • Handles any other duty as assigned by the manager

Washer men/women/cleaners 

  • Washes cars (exterior car washing, interior cleaning, and waxing services), trucks and bikes et al
  • Cleans up after customers
  • Maintains a clean working area by sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning of glass doors and windows, etc. if required.
  • Ensures that toiletries and supplies don’t run out of stock
  • Handles any other duty as assigned by the manager

6. SWOT Analysis

A car wash business can easily generate sales with little stress as long as it is well positioned. We are building a standard car wash business with variety of services which is why we have decided to subject our business idea to SWOT analysis.

Ordinarily, we can successfully run a car wash business without writing a detailed business plan, but because of the kind of car wash business we want to establish, we don’t have any option other than to follow due process. We know that if a proper SWOT analysis is conducted for our business, we will be able to position our business to maximize our strength, leverage on the opportunities that will be available to us, mitigate our risks and be welled equipped to confront our threats.

We hired the services of a business consultant with bias in startups to help us conduct SWOT analysis for our company and he did a pretty job for us. Here is a of the result we got from the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC;

  • Strength:

Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC is centrally located in a densely populated area in Pretoria; our location is in fact one of our major strengths. We are also a car wash company that offers variety of services. For instance, if a client visits our cash wash to wash his car, he has the options of barbing his hair within our facility, he also has the option of patronizing our bar and our mini mart where he can buy car accessories et al.

  • Weakness:

Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC is a new business which is own by an individual, and we may not have the financial muscle to sustain the kind of publicity we want to give our business. So also, we might not have the support structure that is made available to established car wash franchise operators.

  • Opportunities:

We are centrally located in one of the busiest areas in Pretoria with loads of car owners and we are open to all the available opportunities that the city has to offer. The truth is that there are no car wash facilities within the area where our car wash is going to be located; the closest car wash to our proposed location is about 6 miles away. So we do not have any direct competition within our target market area.

  • Threat:

Some of the threats that are likely going to confront Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC is unfavorable government policies, seasonal fluctuations, demographic/social factors, downturn in the economy which is likely going to affect consumer spending and of course emergence of new competitors within the same location where our car wash is located.


  • Market Trends

The car wash market is dependent on loads of factors; at least for people to patronize car wash, they must first of all own a car. From recent statistics of car purchase in our target market, it is obvious that there is steady increase which indeed is a positive for the car-wash market.

Car wash business responds to the increase in household spending and also increase in the volume of cars in a particular area. The trend of the market can be predicted without stress.

Another obvious trend in the car wash industry is that most car wash companies include additional services to their core service offerings. Some car wash companies include washing of rugs, selling of car accessories, running a bar, barbing saloon and even restaurant within the same premises if they have enough space. It is much easier for car wash companies to increase their revenue by diversifying as against increasing the scope of their market.

8. Our Target Market

Before choosing a location for our car wash business, we conducted our feasibility studies and market survey and we were able to identify those who will benefit greatly from our service offerings. Those who will benefit from our service offering are car owners and they cut across different sectors of the economy.

These are the category of people that we intend marketing our services to;

  • Corporate Executives
  • Business People
  • Car Dealerships
  • Households
  • Transport Companies

Our Competitive Advantage

The fact that car wash business is an easy to set up business that does not require formal training means that anybody can set up a car wash business if they have the required capital. It means that the possibility of a car wash business springing up in the location where our car wash is located is high. We aware of this which is why we decided to come up with a business concept that will position us to become the leader in Pretoria – Gauteng Province.

Our competitive edge is that we are a standard car wash business that has loads of complimentary business offerings that can easily attract car owners within the radius of our car wash business. For the time being, Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC has no real competitors that can match the quality of services we offer. Our customer service will be customized to meet the needs of all our customers.

Lastly, all our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry. It will enable them to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and objectives.


  • Sources of Income

Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC. is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the car wash industry and we are going to go all the way to ensure that we do all it takes to attract clients on a regular basis. Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC will generate income from the following service offerings;

  • Exterior car washing
  • Interior cleaning
  • Waxing services
  • Vehicle detailing
  • Sale of automobile accessories
  • Home service
  • Washing of rugs
  • Cigar Lounge
  • Bar
  • Barbing saloon

10. Sales Forecast

Our sales forecast is based on the data gathered during our feasibility studies and also some of the assumptions readily available in the field. We expect to wash 70,000 cars in the full-service operation and 30,000 cars in the self-service operation during our first year of operation.

We have been able to critically examine the car wash services industry, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. The sales projections are based on information gathered on the field and some assumptions that are peculiar to similar startups in South Africa.

  • First Fiscal Year: R240,000
  • Second Fiscal Year: R480,000
  • Third Fiscal Year: R850,000

N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and there won’t be any major competitor offering same services as we do within the same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.

  • Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy

The marketing strategy for Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC is going to be driven by excellent customers’ service and quality service delivery. We want to drive sales via the output of our jobs and via referral from our satisfied customers. We are quite aware of how satisfied customers drive business growth especially businesses like car wash.

Our unique selling proposition is that we have various complementary services such as barbing saloon, bar, cigar lounge and sale of car accessories which will endear our customers to us. In view of that, we are going to adopt the following strategies to ensure that we do not only attract customers but generate repeated sales from them;

  • Open our car wash business with a party so as to attract residents who are our first target market.
  • Introduce our car wash business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to corporate organizations, households, car dealership shops, transport companies, haulage companies and key stake holders in and around Pretoria – Gauteng Province.
  • Advertise our car wash business on community newsletters, local TV and radio station
  • Promote our business online via our official website and all available social media platforms
  • Deliver consistent customer experience to all our clients; making our first impression count positively
  • Make use of attractive hand bills to create awareness and also to give direction to our car wash
  • Adopt direct mailing coupon marketing approach
  • Position our signage / flexi banners at strategic places
  • Create a loyalty plan that will enable us reward our regular customers
  • Enter into business partnership with car dealership shops, transport companies and haulage companies

11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy

Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC is set to create a standard car wash services company in Pretoria – Gauteng Province which is why we will go all the way to adopt and apply best practices to promote our business. Good enough, there is no hard and fast rule on how to advertise a car wash business, so we will ensure that we leverage on all conventional and non – conventional publicity and advertising technique to promote our business.

Here are the platforms we intend leveraging on to promote and advertise Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC;

  • Encourage our loyal customers to help us use Word of Mouth mode of advertisement
  • Advertise our car wash services in relevant magazines, local newspaper, local TV and radio stations
  • Promote our business online via our official website
  • List our business in local directories (yellow pages)
  • Sponsor relevant community programs
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, twitter, et al to promote our brand
  • Install billboards in strategic locations all across Pretoria
  • Direct coupon mailing approach
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
  • Ensure that all our staff members wear our customized clothes, and all our official cars and trucks are customized and branded.

12. Our Pricing Strategy

Our pricing system is going to be based on what is obtainable in the industry, we don’t intend to charge more and we don’t intend to charge less than our competitors are offering in Pretoria – Gauteng Province. The prices of our car wash services and other services we offer will be same as what is obtainable in the open market.

  • Payment Options

The payment policy adopted by Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of South Africa.

Here are the payment options that Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC will make available to her clients;

  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our client make payment for our services without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials.

13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)

In setting up any business, the amount or cost will depend on the approach and scale you want to undertake. If you intend to go big by renting a place, then you would need a good amount of capital. The tools and equipment that will be used are nearly the same cost everywhere, and any difference in prices would be minimal and can be overlooked.

As for the detailed cost analysis for starting a standard car wash company; it might differ in other countries due to the value of their money. We have been able to pull cash that will be enough for us to successfully launch a standard car wash company in Pretoria – Gauteng Province. These are the key areas where we will spend our startup capital on;

  1. The total fee for incorporating the business in South Africa – Name reservation application costs R50 and company registration R125
  2. Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines and other software) – R3,300.
  3. Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC the amount of R3,000 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at R0.04 per copy) for the total amount of R3,580.
  4. The cost for hiring business consultant – R2,500.
  5. The cost for insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – R2,400.
  6. The cost for payment of rent for 12 months at R1.76 per square feet warehouse facility in the total amount of R100,000
  7. The total cost for car wash facility remodeling (2 – 3 x Wash bays (72 m2 steel structure), 8-10 Drying Bays (Shade cloth), store room, staff change room and toilets, as well as a grease trap and office.) – R20,000.
  8. Other start-up expenses including phone and utility deposits (R2,500).
  9. Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – R60,000
  10. The cost for start-up inventory – R100,000
  11. The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – R13,750
  12. The cost of purchase and installation of CCTVs – R5,000
  13. The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (Computers, Printers, Dedicated customer care line, TVs, Sound System, tables and chairs et al) – R4,000.
  14. The cost for the purchase of van (for home services) – R25,000
  15. The cost of launching a website –  R600
  16. The cost for our opening party –  R7,000
  17. Miscellaneous –  R10,000

We would need an estimate of three hundred and fifty thousand Rand (R350,000) to successfully set up our car wash in Pretoria – Gauteng Province South Africa.

Generating Startup Capital for Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC

Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC is a family business that is solely owned and financed by Thomas Ulundi and his immediate family members. They do not intend to welcome any external business partner which is why he has decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital to 3 major sources.

These are the areas we intend generating our startup capital;

  • Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings
  • Source for soft loans from family members and friends
  • Apply for loan from the bank

N.B: We have been able to generate about R100,000 (Personal savings R80,000 and soft loan from family members R20,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of R150,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited with the amount.

14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

Part of the plans we have in place to sustain Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC is to ensure that we continue to deliver quality services, improvise on how to do things faster and cheaper.

From our findings, another factor that kills new business is financial leakages. In order to plug financial leakages, the management of Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC adopted the use of payment machines and accounting software to run the business.

We are quite aware that our customers are a key component of our business; hence we are going to continuously engage them to give us ideas on how to serve them better. We will not waste time in diversifying our services once the need arises.

Thomas Ulundi® Car Wash, LLC will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of three years or more. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.

Check List/Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check: Completed
  • Business Registration: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
  • Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
  • Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Leasing and remodeling the facility: In Progress
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Generating capital from family members: Completed
  • Applications for Loan from the bank: In Progress
  • Writing of Business Plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
  • Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
  • Printing of Promotional Materials: In Progress
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of  tools and equipment: In progress
  • Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business both online and around the community: In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
  • Opening party planning: In Progress
  • Establishing business relationship with car dealership shops, transport and logistics companies, haulage companies and other key stakeholders within and outside of Pretoria – Gauteng Province: In Progress