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How To Find the Best Location To Start a Car Wash 

Car washes can be a profitable business venture, and many people open a car wash to generate passive income. Whether you’re a newbie opening your first car wash or a veteran opening a new site, one of the most important factors to consider is your car wash location.

Role of Location in a Car Wash Business

The location of your car wash will play a significant role in your company’s success and can even make or break it. Car washes can do well in both urban and rural settings — so long as you carefully consider their placement.

Remember, your car wash should be convenient for your target audience. An area with high traffic will fare better than those without. You should also consider how easy your car wash will be to enter and exit and whether or not there’s enough space for your car wash business to operate effectively.

Factors To Consider When Finding a Convenient Location for Car Wash

There are many factors to consider when choosing car wash locations. Location extends beyond just a physical locale. It boils down to demographics, visibility, supply and demand, and more.

Below are six key factors to consider and why they’re important. 

1. Demographics of People

Demographics like age, income level, and population density can contribute to a business’s success no matter where you place your car wash. Still, you’ll need to think about more than just the demographics of those living in your area. The people who live near your location won’t be your only customers, so you should also consider who works nearby and who passes by frequently for regular tasks like shopping.

But why do demographics matter? A car wash located in a higher-income area will likely receive more business than those in a lower-income area. Car washes in college neighborhoods or those where everything is within walking distance may not receive as much business either, as people will be more likely to use public transport instead of driving their own vehicles.

In contrast, areas with many apartment buildings may yield more customers. People living in apartments are unlikely to have the space at home to wash their vehicles themselves, meaning they would use your services instead.

You also want to choose an accessible location. Make sure there are easy entry and exit paths, especially in high-traffic areas. You also want to consider the types of vehicles you’ll be servicing. The bigger the vehicles, the more space they’ll need.

Do your research on possible locations to determine where your car wash is the most likely to succeed. 

2. High Visibility

Car wash businesses typically do better when easily visible from the road. Urban car washes are usually visible to more drivers, but that doesn’t mean a rural car wash can’t also succeed as long as potential customers can see your business.

If you are opening an urban car wash, you might want to place it at the corner of a busy street to attract attention. Rural car washes must be more strategic in their placement. For example, consider placing your rural car wash next to a rest stop or on a well-traveled road that leads from one town to the next. 

It may also be beneficial to place a car wash where traffic must slow down — for example, near a stop sign or traffic light. When potential customers slow their vehicles, they have more time to look around and spot your car wash.

Finding a location on a main street isn’t always possible. Other ways to increase visibility include using large signs and flags directing potential customers to your establishment. 

3. Area Demand

Generally, the more traffic flow an area sees daily, the more potential customers you’ll attract. This is because many car wash customers stop in on impulse, usually as they pass by, or because they select a car wash conveniently located next to another business they’re visiting, such as a grocery store or fast food restaurant. 

Higher traffic numbers will increase the chance of consumers choosing your business. Consider locating your car wash next to gas stations, as these two establishments often go hand-in-hand. 

4. Access to Water Supply

Because water is pivotal to a car wash business, access to water should be a top priority when choosing your location. Urban car washes should have water supplied through the local municipality. But what about more rural car washes? 

Rural homes and businesses often get their water from wells. So when choosing a rural location, ensure it already has access to a water supply that will meet your needs. Otherwise, you will have to take on what is likely to be a considerable added expense of having a commercial well dug and fitted for your needs.

Water quality will vary between municipal and well water and filtered and unfiltered water. When it comes to well water, many factors can change water quality, including seasonal changes, well pollution, and changes in disinfection elements. That said, you should have your well water tested annually.

5. Zoning and Parking Restrictions

Zoning regulations and parking restrictions can hurt your business in the long run. For example, zoning laws regulate land-use rules, including requirements for water runoff, lighting and scrubber controls, light pollution, and curb cuts or driveways. And parking restrictions around your establishment may make it harder for consumers to access your car wash. 

Zoning and parking rules vary between locations and communities. Check with the local planning department to learn more about the regulations governing your area and what paperwork you may need to file to purchase and own a business there. 

6. Competition

Finally, consider the local competition. You won’t want to place your car wash in an area with access to similar businesses, especially if there is more than one similar business nearby. 

If you place your establishment too near the competition, you’ll compete for customers and lose out on potential revenue. Alternatively, positioning your establishment in a location with no similar businesses helps ensure you capitalize on all possible customers. 

However, there are some instances when placing your car wash close to a competitor may be beneficial. For example, if your business offers lower prices, superior packages, and enhanced services, you could fare better than your competition, regardless of proximity. 

Also, consider supply and demand. Opening your car wash in the same vicinity as another car wash may be lucrative if the need is too great for just one to handle.

Choose the Right Location To Attract Car Wash Customers

You can attract the most customers to your business simply by choosing the right location for your car wash. If you need help deciding on the perfect location, look no further than the team at National Carwash Solutions. We offer end-to-end solutions for car wash business owners, providing them with equipment and installation. 

Contact us today, and let us help you streamline your business.

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