As long as you do your research and fairly price each wash, owning a car wash can be financially rewarding. Expect to spend at least $80,000 per bay, though different car washes will need different kinds of initial investments. Costs will undoubtedly increase for larger operations. Here are four steps to take into account when purchasing a car wash.

Steps To Buy A Car Wash Business

Purchasing a car wash business requires hard work as well as trial and error. The fact that you understand how to manage the business is crucial.

1. Developing A Business Plan.

Plan before implementing the idea. Find out what you need to prepare for. If you’re not really into it, don’t try starting a car wash.

2. Budget Your Money.

Make sure you have enough money to invest in a car wash business. In the alternative, you might prefer to take out a car wash loan, which is still a debt you will eventually have to repay.

Your startup costs for a new or used car wash shop could range from $60000 to millions. All expenses, such as those for supplies, advertising, inventory, advertising, employee wages, etc., must be taken into account.

3. Make A Feasibility Analysis.

Take a close look at a car wash business before buying it. The funds you have set aside for investing, along with any other resources you’ll need to start one, should come first.

Next, determine whether a purchase is necessary. Is it actually required in the area? Will it click?

Consider the labor force as well as the minimum wage you must pay them for their work.

4. Consider The Location

If you know how to run your company, a good business location won’t let you down.

  • The business will grow if it is located in a strategic area with a population center.
  • Make sure to pick a location where there is plenty of space to move cars into and out of your car wash.
  • When choosing a location, take rent or mortgage costs into account as well.

If you also have the opportunity to find a car wash business for sale that you can buy and immediately start running, check to see if the seller is selling for another reason other than the convenience of the location.

5. Careful Site Selection

Decide on a location and start looking. Given that you are purchasing an existing car wash, you might not have many options, and it’s possible that when you began your feasibility study, you had a particular opportunity in mind. Even if you did, check to see if there are any additional sites available nearby. Just a few miles away, a better opportunity might present itself.

You can choose more wisely if you consider your options. Despite your initial thoughts, you might discover that a wand-style car wash is much simpler to maintain than a conveyor car wash.

6. Licenses And Permits

You must make sure that all legal paperwork, such as your business license or car wash permit, is in order. For your company and your employees, insurance is also crucial.

Making connections with people is the best way to market your company. If you want to make it big, you might want to hire an advisor. It might be a way for you to sharpen your business acumen and locate people who can make suggestions for and improvements to your business plan for a car wash.

How Much Does A Car Wash Business Cost?

This varies greatly based on elements like location, previous business success, features, functions, and size.

You might be able to purchase a car wash facility for as little as $100,000. On the high end, you could spend millions.

Take Virginia as an illustration. The cost of living varies greatly depending on where in the state you are. When you take into account that automatic car washes are significantly more expensive, you can see significant price differences.

In rural Southern Virginia, self-service car washes can be purchased for between $130,000 and $140,000. While in areas like the Central, Northern, or Eastern United States, full-service car washes can cost anywhere from $1 million to more than $3 million.

What Type Of Loan Am I Eligible For?

When looking for funding for your carwash, you have a number of financing options to take into account. Two loan options—SBA 7(a) loans and SBA 504 loans—are offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) Loan Program to help small business owners finance the purchase of land and operation. Another option is to think about a traditional commercial loan.

All lenders will want to see that:

  • The location is appropriate for a carwash business as determined by a 3rd party appraiser hired by the lender
  • The potential borrower must demonstrate the capacity to successfully execute their business plan

SBA loans have some definite benefits for business owners. They permit the highest loan-to-value or the greatest degree of leverage. Additionally, SBA loans never balloon or require refinancing because they are fully amortized.

Car Wash
Worker washing red car with a sponge on a car wash.

Sba 504 Lending To A Carwash

  • A minimum of 15% downpayment is required or 85% financing for the project
  • Interest rates below current market rates a portion of which are fixed for the full term
  • 25-year term available
  • SBA fees can be rolled into the loan

Regular Loan For A Carwash

  • 20% to 40% borrower downpayment, depending on lender requirements
  • Fees are typically lower than those on SBA loans

Sba 7(a) Loan For A Carwash

  • New construction requires a down payment of 15% to 20%
  • 85% – 90% loan-to-value financing is possible for the purchase of existing businesses
  • Up to a 25-year term and amortization
  • Funds can be used for the acquisition of goodwill and to fund working capital

SBA loans may be more affordable for the typical entrepreneur or new business owner despite having more requirements.

Less onerous down payments are a big benefit for those who need money but don’t have the cash on hand to put down the 25% to 40% required for a conventional loan or who want to use their capital to fund multiple projects.

Purchasing a car wash business involves more than just the idea of doing so without doing the research you need to do.

Money, manpower, viability, and connections should all be taken into account. Anyone who is in business knows that nobody likes to fail, so it is imperative to do your research before starting.

This article on how to purchase a car wash should help you be more open-minded as you embark on your journey to discovering a new passion.