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Signage: A powerful tool for growing carwash business

A colorful menu in a contemporary style like an Apple iPhone menu is a great tool for promoting extra services.


Effective signage for your carwash can be just as important to the business as the equipment and employee service. Marketing trends change over the years, but keeping up with them may be crucial to a business’ success.

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“In the carwash industry, signage is often an afterthought, but when you think about it, a paying customer doesn’t even see the type of carwash equipment you have until they’re inside your wash, so the equipment doesn’t do the selling, it does the washing,” says Bobby Jones, art director for TSS Inc.

“The way to be more innovative with signage is to really make your services more appealing visually, which is more likely to convert [to] an impulse sale.”

Jones says that a colorful menu in a contemporary style like an Apple iPhone menu is a great tool for promoting extra services. The small pictures depicting each service can increase a business’ ticket average.


Ordering the photos on the page can also have a powerful effect.

“Customers will associate a higher value [with services] when the icons progressively get larger as the wash prices increase up the menu, leaving the basic wash as small plain text at the bottom,” Jones noted. “If done properly this has proven to be a very successful sign at converting sales.”

Signage is also important when building customer loyalty. Jones says this is especially effective when conveying the cost per day savings customers will experience when participating in loyalty programs.

“A good example would be to mention the daily cost of the program — which is usually less than a dollar — and visually show the small amount of change it costs to belong,” he says.


“A mere 64 cents a day looks attractive even to the most frugal customer. Psychologically, people are more apt to see a value in loose change than in a $19.99 monthly payment,” explains Jones.

Carwashes are also finding more innovative ways to include signage inside the actual wash experience. Top dispensed chemical applicators combine the process with signing and an LED light show.

“These lights do a great job of creating a powerful show inside the car for your customers,” Jones said.

Jones says a visit to carwash pages on proves customers are impressed with this feature.

“Customers love to rave about the light shows inside the wash, and [they] will often post these photos on social media, which is great free marketing for your wash,” explains Jones. “So go big with the graphics and lights, and make your carwash a repeat destination for your customers.”


Signage and lights can get a lot of attention from customers. Trends are important to keep up with, and they change often. Operators should also do what’s right in their specific community.

Jones said, “Your signage should be updated regularly to stay relevant, and [it should be] reevaluated to find out the most effective way to sell your products in your area.”

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