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Thread: Full service car washes

          
  1. #1
    is more old fashioned Tuck91's Avatar
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    Full service car washes

    How much is everyone here charging for a full service car wash & what do you consider to be of full service?

    My list:

    Hand wash
    Interior vacummed & wiped down.
    Door jambs wiped clean.
    Glass cleaned inside/out.
    Tire shine/dressing.
    Air Freshener.

    Time spent? How much are you charging? Is there a large profit? Are you performing too much or too little? size of vehicle?, etc. What other factors are there?

    The above are questions I would like you to anwser/discuss.

    I will share my opinion once the thread takes off a little. But I believe just like anything else there are pros & cons.

    I had been thinking about starting a thread on this topic for quite a while now, plus the forum needs a nice healthy discussion.

    Please Discuss.
    Nick
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  2. #2
    Shiney McShine DrdetailNashville's Avatar
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    Re: Full service car washes

    I do washes at a local mall in the valet area (its a pretty high-end mall). I charge $40 for a car and $50 for a truck/SUV/Van. We provide pretty much the exact services you have listed and additional services are available by appointment. I set A LOT of detail appointments this way.

    Its usually myself and a helper. I try to set up there every Friday and Saturday. Usually in a 8 hour day we do 10-15 cars, so it is a decent profit. However, I do not offer this service by appointment. Its just not worth the time to drive to someones location for $40-$50. Also I have a problem stopping at just a wash.
    Dr. Detail: I am the detail genius from the movie "Shine."
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  3. #3
    is more old fashioned Tuck91's Avatar
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    Re: Full service car washes

    Dr. D Nash,

    Are a lot of the same customers returning or is it just a very high traffic area? ( I would imagine so)
    Nick
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    2012 Ford Transit Connect

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    Re: Full service car washes

    I tried to get one started up among the neighborhood I live around and other places. I got a few bites but it seems they did nto like my price of $25.

    I include...
    1) Wash the car
    2) Clean wells
    3) Clean wheels inside and out
    4) Wipe down the door jambs
    5) Dress the tires
    6) Sometimes I do a vaccumm, not sure if I want to include it

    I typically spend 1 hour on a wash.

    Doing purely car washes, I could see making a bit of money, at least for me, but not enough to keep me as a full-time car washing business. I need to be able to upsell to corrections, waxes and interior cleanings.

    It's the interior where you can make a lot of money IMO. Very few products used with regards to cleaning (APC of some kind, maybe a lighter one and a stronger one) and people are willing to shell out the cash for an interior cleaning since they sit in it everyday. That's my experience at least.

    Let me see if I can break down the cost
    1) 1 gallon of soap = $15 = 16 washes= $1 per wash
    2) 1 gallon of APC = $15 = 5 gallons of cleaner at 4:1 = 20 32 oz. bottles = 20 washes = <$1 per wash
    3) 1 gallon of soap for wheels = $7 = 16 washes = $0.50 per wash
    4) 1 gallon Hyper Dressing = $37 = 3 gallons of dressing at 2:1 = 12 32 oz. bottles = 36 washes = $1 per was
    5) Wipe down interior with Quik Interior Detailer = 1 gallon QID = $21 = 4 32 oz. bottles = ~20 washes = $1 per wash
    6) Wear and tear on vacuum, wash mitts, foam gun, brushes, tools, etc. VERY IMPORTANT to take into account as you will need to buy more eventually.
    7) Water is not taken into account unless you bring a tank (which I don’t) or you do it at your house (which I try not to do because my driveway always has 3 cars in it to begin with)

    Total Cost of Wash = $4-$5
    Total Income of Wash = $25
    Profit = $20 - $21
    Time = ~1 hour

    So I m making money at a rate of $20/hour which, come to think of it, isn't all that bad, at least for me. When I am doing paint correction I typically charge somewhere between $20 and $25 per hour so I fall within that rate here.

    The difference though is that I did not take into account the gas required to drive to these places, the wear and tear then on your car, etc. If I do 2 Silver Packages (Cleaner/Wax application and interior cleaning) in one day, I netted about $250 in about 10 hours of work. However, with this there is wear and tear on my machine, pads, etc. There is the use of clay which is expensive.

    I don't know what I am trying to prove here lol. But just some stuff I was thinking about in class : )
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  5. #5
    Mr. greg0303's Avatar
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    Re: Full service car washes

    I think Shawn highlighted some good observations: car washing itself isn't so profitable. Higher end packages generate better income.

    I think generally customers like when different options are offered to them: full wash, wash and spray wax, wash/ clay/ finishing wax, quick interior, full interior, 1-step or multi-step exterior correction. Hourly rates vary by location. In New York City many car dealers offer a detailing session (interior/ exterior without full defect removal) for $250-$450. BMW calls this service a Vehicle Spa Treatment.

    There's no doubt that we offer much higher level of service and pay more attention to details/ overall vehicle appearance by selecting best products for certain paint/ material types.

    One hour car wash could easily extend to a 2-hour challenge if it's necessary to travel to vehicle's location. In that case additional charges need to be applied and potential customers may not like it. As mentioned above, many detailers designate one/ two days per week for car washes. Also some customers are on monthly/ bi-monthly regime when car washing is a part of their package.

    The only place, known to me, which can generate amazing income from just car washing is summer season in The Hamptons, New York.

  6. #6
    Shiney McShine DrdetailNashville's Avatar
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    Re: Full service car washes

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuck91 View Post
    Dr. D Nash,

    Are a lot of the same customers returning or is it just a very high traffic area? ( I would imagine so)
    A little of both. It is a high traffic area, it is a busy mall and as I said before, pretty high end. Stores like Tiffany's, Cartier, and Brooks Brothers. I'll also tell you guys one of the best business decisions I ever made was partnering with the valet parking company. They provide valet parking over all of Nashville (hotels, restaurants, etc.) Making friends with those guys is awesome, they put my business card in every car that they park. Cars over $50,000 get a brochure.
    Dr. Detail: I am the detail genius from the movie "Shine."
    Guard: And your name is...?
    Dr. Detail: Uhh... Shiney McShine.

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