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Choosing Between Car Wash Equipment

So you’re ready to open up a new car wash – great! Now comes the hard part, deciding between the various types of car washes out there: Automatic, Touchless Automatic, Self-Serve, Coin Operated… the list goes on and on. Which type of car wash best suits your business, location and clientele? With over 35 years in the car wash industry, we have the knowledge and expertise to help you make the right decision.

car wash equipment

Car Wash Equipment Options

Automatic Washes

Just like it sounds, an automatic car wash is great for the customer because it requires them to exert zero effort. They are quick, easy, and provide a great finished product.

  • Automatic Tunnel Car Wash: Utilizes a series of high powered brushes and blowers to clean away dirt and grime from the car. The customer drives onto a conveyor system that moves the vehicle through the wash. Typically a tunnel car wash is a stand-alone business. Tunnel car wash equipment requires a larger initial investment but have potential for large returns.
  • In-Bay Automatic Car Wash: Rather than using brushes, the touchless automatic in-bay car wash uses high powered water jets and chemicals to clean the vehicle. The touchless option is great because it is less likely to cause damage to the vehicle’s paint job. In-bay automatic washes are a common addition to convenience stores, auto dealerships, etc.

Self-Serve Washes

Self-serve car washes are generally the least expensive type of car wash to build and run. Since the customer is operating the wash the overall labor costs are lower than automatic, full service car wash equipment. The customer is running the wash from start to finish, so there is potential to open the car wash 24/7 allowing more sales to come in without manning the car wash with employees round the clock. Self-serve car washes can run on multiple bays through the same system, providing a lower cost per bay and the ability to wash more cars at once.

It’s common for a self-serve car wash to have a couple Automatic Bays to meet the needs of wide variety of customers. In an area with a large portion of the population living in apartments or condos self-serve car washes are great because they provide the opportunity for these people to wash their car even though they don’t have a driveway to do it at home. Obviously the self-serve wash model requires more effort from the customer, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each type of car wash before making your ultimate decision.

Have more questions about the different types of car washes? Contact NuLook today!