Starting a car wash business – new investors guide

Opening a car wash is a worthwhile investment, many times over.

Are you thinking about opening a car wash, but don’t know where to start?

No worries. We’re here for all the questions or dilemmas you might have. You don’t have to provide us with an exact self-service car wash specification right away, since we don’t expect you to have that information in the first few stages. For starters, just share your goals, demands and plans for the future as well as the location where you plan to open your self-service car wash, and we will devise a car wash configuration tailor-made for you. We will make sure that our expertise, continuously increasing professional know-how and tailor-made solutions are a strong support system for your business today and in the years to come.

Adriateh provides full-service car wash consulting services to help you get your car wash business started but also keep it perfectly performing for years to come.

  • Support in the first stages of developing a car wash business and consulting while choosing a location
  • Evaluating the potential car wash location
  • Calculating how worthwhile the investment is
  • A tailor-made car wash configuration adapted for your location, car washing frequency and budget
  • A unique and patented design for every structure (WIPO)
  • Calculating operational costs and providing business optimization advice
  • Tools for smart car wash management even when you’re not there
  • A smartphone application for car wash users and loyalty programs
  • Monitoring construction work as well as installing and commissioning the car wash
  • Continuous employee training and education for working in the car wash as well as onboarding
  • Comprehensive post-sale support, including regular washing and cleaning agent delivery and continuous availability of spare parts for uninterrupted car wash operation
  • Reliable, fast and high-quality service support as well as regular service inspection checks
  • A 2-year warranty regardless of machine hours and free replacement of spare parts within the warranty period
  • A free call center number for all technical queries and service support
  • Replacement components while your own are being repaired
  • Transparency in terms of the components we use
  • A large selection of car wash peripherals that are adapted for the user and their needs to the highest extent
  • A global partner and distributer network in over 40 countries across the world

Calculate the monthly earnings of a car wash

Request a quote for a car wash
Get a quote for your new car wash in a few clicks.

We understand the challenges you face and offer you customized solutions to help you overcome them with ease.

Whether you are an investor starting a new business or a car wash or gas station owner wanting to improve your existing business by introducing new services, you can count on us. With over 25 years of experience in the car wash industry, we have developed specific recipes for success regardless of the car wash format. We understand the challenges you face and offer you customized solutions to help you overcome them with ease.

Investing into a property is great, and investing into a self-service car wash is even better!

Why it’s worth investing into a self-service car wash

  • Investing into a self-service car wash is treated as a low-risk and fast-return investment, with returns faster than with property investments.
  • The possibility for improvement by adding new services is vast, which achieves better value for users and opens the door to higher yield.
  • A car wash doesn’t require a high number of employees.
  • It can be adapted for year-round operation.
  • The machine equipment maintenance costs are low.
  • Operational costs amount to between 30% and 35% of the yield.
  • The demand for self-service car wash services is high, regardless of the crises in the market, which was demonstrated by he recent COVID crisis, during which car wash owners continued operation without problems.
  • A full return on investment is expected within 3 to 5 years.
Request a quote for a car wash
Get a quote for your new car wash in a few clicks.

New Investors Guide: Starting a self-service car wash business

How fast the return on investment will be depends on the location, the quality of the service provided and the added value you offer your users. Read our short guide for investors that will help you during implementing your self-service car wash project and all the important steps ahead of you.

Choosing a location for a self-service car wash

The location is essential for the success of your business. Take into account the following factors:

  • good visibility and easy access
  • good traffic links to downtown and uptown areas and the vicinity of the main state roads
  • vicinity of a gas station, a vehicle technical inspection station or a shopping mall zone
  • vicinity of residential areas
  • cities and towns with more than 5000 inhabitants
  • a minimum of 30 square meters of space per workstation (wash bay).

Choosing an equipment manufacturer

When choosing a car wash manufacturer, pay attention to the following:

  • experience and references
  • a wide network of distributers and service providers as well as service support in your country
  • trying it before buying it, as the best way to find out what kind of user experience a manufacturer’s equipment provides is to test it yourself.

Car wash configuration

Choosing a car wash configuration is a challenging project that will greatly affect the success of your future business. When meeting with a sales representative, clearly state your wishes and objectives in order to assemble a car wash tailor-made for you. They will take into account the size of the plot, the potential car washing frequency for that location, the budget at your disposal, your expectations and your long-term goals.

  • Start by defining the number of workstations (wash bays).

  • Then choose a self-service washing machine technology depending on the number of bays, location and the anticipated car washing frequency.

  • Choose the washing programs.

  • Choose a structure design.

  • Round out the offer by choosing the self-service vacuuming, dry cleaning and tire pressure maintenance devices, the tire shine agent, the interior perfume and the glass cleaning fluid.

  • Enrich the user experience by using additional equipment such as carpet agitators, waste bins, sinks or traffic lights to signal traffic flow in the car wash.

  • Lastly, adapt your car wash for various payment methods.

Nothing without the paperwork

While designing and constructing a car wash you need to hire an architect and underground construction contractor, obtain a construction permit and secure a connection to the sewer system or a septic tank as well as water, power, fuel oil and gas supply connections. Talk to your neighbors about how the construction of a self-service car wash would affect them and avoid potential disputes ahead of time.
Make a time plan for the project and find out how soon you can expect to be granted a construction permit. Construction work can last up to two months. Adriateh does not carry out the construction work, but we work with several contractors and designers that have successfully carried out hundreds of our projects, and we will happily recommend them to you. All underground work is done according to Adriateh design plans.


There are several ways to finance a car wash for you to take into account, and those are cash or personal funds, loans and leasing.

Construction work, installation and commissioning

After the project documentation is completed and the construction permit obtained, the construction work begins, which can last up to 2 months. The process of manufacturing the car wash lasts up to 2 months, depending on the complexity of the configuration. Installation on site can last between 10 and 15 days. After that follows the commissioning of the car wash and employee training and onboarding.

See your future car wash with ADRIATEH AR app

Find out how an Adriateh car wash would look on your plot with the help of the ADRIATEH AR application..
Download the ADRIATEH AR application, select the desired car wash structure, place it onto the desired location and explore it from all sides.


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