Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Poll: Gas price spike impacts carwashing

October 11, 2010

While some petroleum industry experts have predicted retail fuel prices will remain high following Hurricane Katrina, the price of crude has dropped due to the news of various oil suppliers recovering in the Gulf Coast, bringing hope to everyone awaiting gas price relief.

A recent non-scientific straw poll conducted by Professional Car Care Online™ showed that the majority who responded believe high gas prices have had a negative impact on their carwash business.

According to the International Carwash Association (ICA), the impact of higher gas prices on the car-care industry should be temporary and customers will be back at the carwash before long.

As for now, professional carwashers and motorists can only hope for a rapid recovery for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and for the oil supply lines to shift back into full swing.

Of the 135 respondents in a two-week period, over 70 percent said high prices at the pump had impacted business at their carwash.

Real wash owners speak out

  • ”The rise of gas prices has had a detrimental effect on my carwash business,” according to Ralph Iacoboni, the owner of Val’s Gas & Carwash in Belle Vernon, PA.

    “Since fuel is a necessity for many people, spending more at the pump means spending less for a carwash,” Iacoboni said. “Customers are using my carwash less and less as the gas prices continue to rise. The rise and fall of gas prices has made it difficult to keep up with the competition in my area.”

  • “This year’s been tough. I don’t think it’s going to be good for anybody because of the gas situation,” Bill Consolo, the owner of Chief’s Auto Wash in Cleveland, said. “I think that’s hurt everybody across the board. I think it’s affected our volume quite a bit.”

    “We’re still up dollar wise, but that’s because we just increased prices last year,” Consolo added. “So, even though our volume is slightly down we’re keeping up revenue wise with what we did last year, which is good.”

Community discussion
On Sept. 22, the ICA held an online chat session with industry professionals to voice their concerns and opinions regarding the recent increase in gas prices.

Attendees discussed the current prices and if they are negatively affecting business at wash sites, especially full-service carwashes.

Because the issue’s far from over, session attendees agreed that a second session should be set up for a future date.

Foam your opinion for next month: Please visit us at to see what our next online poll question is and weigh in on the topic.

The Professional Car Care B2B Trade Group’s™ online surveys are not scientific. The results simply reflect the opinions of those visitors to the Professional Car Care Online™ website.