Hand car wash business
Hey guys, I’m pretty new to this and this is all just an idea at the moment but recently I was driving through Leeds and I kept seeing these old petrol stations that have been converted into hand car wash centres. After driving past a few of these over a period of a few weeks I noticed that there always seems to be either queues of cars outside them or a steady flow of customers. I was abit sceptical about how good these places are so I decided to get my car hand washed, it cost me about £6 and I have to say I was very impressed (my car was filthy aswell). I then began to think that the city I live in only has automatic car washes and they are pretty naff, they can also be almost as expensive as £6. I just wanted to run this idea past a few other people first before perhaps persuing it further. The great advantage of this kind of business is that cars constantly get dirty, what puts me off taking this idea further is the cost of renting a piece of land, buying the equipment and hiring staff because in order to make the system work like the ones I’ve seen, 3 or 4 members of staff would be needed. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks
Hi, I use them aswell. They seem to be extremely busy at the weekends, but empty during weekdays.
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The fly in the ointment seems to be the rent. Those ex-petrol stations normally occupy prime locations and they are worth a lot of money either to buy or rent! Hopefully, this situation (for all business) should turn round over the next few years as property prices fall and rents come down.
Theres other considerations as well – A lot of these guys seem to be sailing close to the wind as far as recycling their waste water goes. I would suggest checking out the HSE website for more information.
Most seem to employ immigrant labour (which suggests low rates of pay and thus hard to attract staff).
Personally I would imagine this is a business that will be hit pretty hard in a downturn –
1. people will use the car less if they’ve been made redundant.
2. people in work will use public transport to save money on parking/fuel so wont be driving past your establishment
3. its a saving that can made instantly without cancelling an agreement
4. you can do it yourself at the weekend
4. people keeping their cars for longer during a recession
5. car sales are falling through the floor – people less bothered about looking after an old car
Having said that, there will ALWAYS be people with money….so how about looking at the luxury end of the market?
Have a look at this site for a few ideas – http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/forum/index.php
Check out http://www.GeoWash.com
well.. I have a friend that just opened a car wash business in York, not far away from Leeds. He just rent a place (deposit) 1 month ago , hired 2 guys, bought some cheap equipment, and that’s it.
The hard thing is to market your business. He now doesn’t make a profit, he’s expecting a profit revenue over 2-3 months.
He also charge a normal vehicle washing with £6, but can go up to £20 for a big van with interiors done.
If you decide to go for it.. just do it, and good luck with it !
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What is the best way to find those closed petrol stations for rent?
Most of them let only for other business “not for hand car wash” as it’s an competition for them
Couple of suggestions’
Here in Australia these sorts of operations are usually located in or near affluent suburbs on main access roads and often near an either large shopping center or smaller localised shopping area.
They all invariably have other services attached like a coffee shop/cafe setup.
Usually very popular on weekends and public holidays.
To encourage customers to use it during the week you need to offer something ie; breakfast/lunch/dinner, wifi hotspot etc .
Important thing is that this type of business require’s much of labour work and consumes too much time per car. Also its always going to be much easier if you can get a place only for weekends and work a way out on these 2 days each week. This will save your budget + you can work part-time at some general store on weekdays
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I am looking at starting a chain of these and am looking for good business partners to help me manage these if you have a site in mind within the UK let me know at Owen.Few@DevilShed.com i have everything ready to go i.e employment contracts, billing scheme, record of services absolutely everything but i need sites and lots of them. Also looking at buying property if anyone is interested in buy to let joint venture.
I have been working on settin gup a hand car wash here in Spain for the past 3 months. I have located a fantastic site but the rent is 5000€ per month at present. I am able to get the rent reduced by offering the owner a percentage of profits. My main concern is that I will need to clean 800 cars per month at 10€ average per car to cover costs and make a small profit. Hand car wash charges over here range from 15 – 25€ per car, I am looking to bring the price closer to the UK rates to encourage higher usage and to blow out all the competition. Does anyone know if 800 cars per month is possible?
Best way to find them is get in your car and drive around, if it is a site without a for sale board, go onto the Land Registry website if you have a buildings postcode you can usually find out who owns the property. The land registry charges £1 for the service.