How carwash operators can gain an edge through technology

Tech talk

Professional carwashes are increasingly using technology to remain competitive.

After a period of heavy merger and acquisition (M&A) activity at the operator level — and to a lesser extent on the supplier side — the carwash market now seems to be turning its attention to advancing technology to improve results, accountability, security and safety, revenue, efficiencies, and productivity. And, while the top carwash chains, backed by large investors, will continue to build out portfolios through acquisitions and greenfield development, market insiders note that M&A activity has slowed in this market as financing has become more expensive and multiples peaked within the past two years — particularly for single-location businesses and small chains — among other factors.

Many of the larger companies have realized that it’s one thing to scale a carwash chain, but it’s another thing to scale and replicate a successful carwash location as so many local factors are in play and close in-person oversight at each location is difficult at best. The result is more and more operators are focusing on quality over quantity, which has resulted in a boom in technology in this market. 

In the coming years, leading modern carwashes across the U.S. will undoubtedly see an increased level of robotics and artificial intelligence.  

Evolving technology has already started to play a role in streamlining operations through automation in this market. In recent years we’ve seen many tech-focused solutions companies enter the space offering digital marketing strategies, damage control and prevention, automation, membership management platforms, and much more. Many longstanding carwash manufacturers have also invested in tech offerings as stand-alone solutions or incorporated in existing equipment. These advancements will only improve and accelerate.

As the new host of Wash Talk: The Carwash Podcast, I have had the privilege of speaking with many of these forward-thinking companies to discuss the incorporation of technology in this market and what the future of carwashing looks like. We’ve also published many tech-focused articles on our website in recent months. You can view all our archived content, including our podcast interviews, on 

Although trends continue to emerge in this industry and others, the extended incorporation of technology will open doors for some and allow others to penetrate deeper into target markets without relying on heavy labor or local representation.

If you are currently reading this issue at The Car Wash Show™ 2023 in Las Vegas, be sure to seek out these providers and put technology to work for you. Also, stop by our booth 1562, we’d love the opportunity to meet you and get your thoughts on the market. 

You May Also Like

Building wealth with real estate syndications

One of the best kept secrets to building wealth and creating passive income.

Real estate has long been heralded as a steady and lucrative investment avenue, but within this realm lies a lesser-known path — real estate syndications. Often considered one of the best-kept secrets to building wealth and creating passive income, real estate syndications offer investors a unique “hands off” approach to property investment. Real estate syndications can help investors achieve the benefits of owning an investment property (cash flow, appreciation, tax breaks) without the work or stress of being a landlord themselves.

BendPak industrial complex under development in Alabama

AGOURA HILLS, Calif. — The company is building on 33 acres near its existing East Coast campus.

BendPak developing a light industrial space on 33 acres in Mobile County, Alabama.
Equipment Leasing and Finance survey results

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Volume was up 32% from $7.9 billion in February. Year-to-date, cumulative new business volume was up 4% compared to 2022.

Transforming carwash technology

SmartOperators are created when “artificial intelligence” and “industrial internet of things” technologies are applied to the carwash world.

Smart warehouse management system with innovative internet of things technology to identify package picking and delivery . Future concept of supply chain and logistic network business .
Benefits of drying aids to a carwash

The science, uses and benefits of adding drying aids to the car cleaning process.

Other Posts

ScrubaDub announces new Rhode Island location

COVENTRY, R.I. — ScrubaDub’s Coventry location boasts an eco-friendly carwash tunnel with a flat conveyor belt and innovative design.

Vizza Wash, LP opens new The Car Wash Express location

SAN ANTONIO — The new Car Wash Express facility delivers top-tier carwash convenience and customer satisfaction with premium amenities

Mammoth Holdings opens Today’s Car Wash

HEWITT, Texas — This is the eighth site under the Today’s Car Wash brand and represents Mammoth’s goal of reaching 500 sites nationwide.

mammoth holdings logo
Spotless Brands expands to start 2024

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. — Spotless Brands sets aggressive growth with new locations open in 2024’s first quarter.