How to start a carwash: Design and location - Professional Carwashing & Detailing

How to start a carwash: Design and location

Many issues work together to determine if an existing property is a good fit for an express tunnel carwash.

According to carwash consultant Harvey M. Miller, many issues work together to determine if an existing property is a good fit for an express tunnel carwash.

Issues and variables that must be considered include:

How to start a carwash tip #1: Choosing a site

A site's layout and the analysis that should be completed can make the difference between failure and a high-volume, successful wash. The areas demographics, competition inside a certain radius, zoning concerns and entitlements are all important as well. The dimensions of the lot will dictate the tunnel length and the areas for self-serve vacuums, etc. Further, traffic counts, visibility, utility and sewer locations and recorded underground easements should be taken into account.

How to start a carwash tip #2: Selecting an architect

An owner should retain an architect with experience in carwash development. The arch tech should be open minded and understand what an owner wants and what will be required.

How to start a carwash tip #3: Demographics

Miller states that demographics can be overlooked during the selection of a wash site. Instead, it should be the number 1 concern. These reports give potential owners valuable information about the surrounding area and community.

How to start a carwash tip #3: Traffic flow

Though traffic counts may be studied, other factors should be considered. Miller points to nearby freeway ramps, high street speeds, one way streets, center medians and service roads as all possible negatives for a selected site.

You May Also Like

Open for business

With the excitement of a new year, what can operators expect in 2024?

open for business sign

Some claimed it was a market pause while others noted it was a market reset. There are many ways to describe how 2023 unfolded in the professional carwash industry. However, there was no drop in excitement for the future of this great industry.

Undoubtedly, the pace of mergers and acquisitions among operators slowed in 2023. How much? According to a PC&D Executive Interview with Amplify Car Wash Advisor’s Jeff Pavone, the volume of M&A deals in the market decreased by as much as 75% to 80% from 2022 levels. 

Welcome to the 2023 Top 50 list

In December 2023 issue, we unveil the leading conveyor carwash chains in the country.

2023 Top 50 U.S. Conveyor Chain List

Our annual listing of the leading tunnel brands and operators in the U.S.

Quality over quantity

Focusing on improving carwash operations will drive overall value.

Featured Profile: Carnation Auto Spa

Rides get revived at these luxury carwashes.

Other Posts
Soapy Joe’s Car Wash launches Build a Ballpark promotion

SAN DIEGO — Through September 30th, Wash Club members can visit, collect and win, all to celebrate Magic Graphene™.

soapy-joes-build-a-ballpark
ZIPS Car Wash Louisville re-grand opening celebration

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The celebration featured Folds of Honor Scholarship recipients, part of ZIPS partnership with the organization.

zips-grand-re-opening
Quick Quack Car Wash celebrates opening in Brownsville, Texas

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — The award-winning carwash chain held a special fundraiser, offering free washes from July 3 to July 14.

Quick Quack Car Wash logo
Whistle Express opens Fairdale location with donation to hospital

FAIRDALE, Ky. — Celebration will include exclusive promotions, a $1 donation to Norton Children’s Hospital for every car washed and more.

Whistle Express car wash - magnolia holdings