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    Default Operating a Car Wash Business

    Part of me has always wanted to open a car wash.

    They are a license to print money if done right and in the right location.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vengie View Post
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    Part of me has always wanted to open a car wash.

    They are a license to print money if done right and in the right location.
    The Western Pride one on Richmond Rd seems to be lined up like every time I go there. Only time I've been when it's had a bunch of empty bays was at like 11pm on a sunday.

    I'd say that is a serious exception though. I bet getting a car wash in the right spot to be that successful is like a 1% chance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjblair View Post
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    The Western Pride one on Richmond Rd seems to be lined up like every time I go there. Only time I've been when it's had a bunch of empty bays was at like 11pm on a sunday.

    I'd say that is a serious exception though. I bet getting a car wash in the right spot to be that successful is like a 1% chance.
    Exactly, not to mention I'm sure there is some sort of Monopoly... Know the right people, grease the right pockets.

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    Car wash margins are extemely low even if your flat out. Need to scale that business and own 20+ of them to generate a significant cash flow.
    Last edited by BavarianBeast; 05-31-2019 at 11:55 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vengie View Post
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    Part of me has always wanted to open a car wash.

    They are a license to print money if done right and in the right location.
    Largest issue is the cost of the land, building and actual wash parts. Expect to pay over $1M for those new fancy ones.(Wash parts only) Thats a lot of loonies...

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    Then factor in all other expenses. I looked at buying one a short while back, and they were returning 2% on a good year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BavarianBeast View Post
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    Car wash margins are extemely low even if your flat out. Need to scale that business and own 20+ of them to generate a significant cash flow.
    Dear Sriracha Sauce, you're the only thing with a cock on it that I want in my mouth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BavarianBeast View Post
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    Then factor in all other expenses. I looked at buying one a short while back, and they were returning 2% on a good year.
    Did you look at their "financials" or their financials?

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    seems like there isn't a lot of turnover on them so i am not sure how they can have such low margin like you guys suggest, either that or everybody that has them just use them for laundering money for their more lucrative side businesses.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
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    Did you look at their "financials" or their financials?
    What are you trying to say?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BavarianBeast View Post
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    What are you trying to say?
    Most of the profit in car washes is off the books. AKAIK

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    Quote Originally Posted by BavarianBeast View Post
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    What are you trying to say?
    They make plenty of money. Just because you looked at their books doesn't mean anything. It's a cash business.

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    Yeah it means a fair bit when they’re audited financial statements. Making the assumption that all car washes aren’t recording their cash transactions accurately is bold and ignorant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BavarianBeast View Post
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    Yeah it means a fair bit when they’re audited financial statements. Making the assumption that all car washes aren’t recording their cash transactions accurately is bold and ignorant.
    What would you call making the assumption that all car washes return 2% based on reviewing the audited financial statements of one car wash? Or did you review them all?

    You don't see many car washes come up for sale or stay on the market very long. I don't think the reason is because people are looking for a good place to park their money for 2%. Just an ignorant assumption though.

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    What I stated was margins were low and applied a personal experience. Pretty cut and dry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BavarianBeast View Post
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    What I stated was margins were low and applied a personal experience. Pretty cut and dry.
    But those other guys are certain the margins are huge, so you must be wrong.

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    The business is not as steady.
    Business slows down in the winter, you still have to keep heating on so pipes dont freeze. A secondary business helps suppliment during hard months.
    Then u get the
    The chinooks help a lot. Oddly enough xmas eve and boxing day were super busy.
    If you can get car dealerships nearby, it helps as you can give them a business rate.
    If there are other car washes nearby, the timer gets fixed/adjusted so everyone is in the same price range like gas stations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonytiger55 View Post
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    The business is not as steady.

    If you can get car dealerships nearby, it helps as you can give them a business rate.
    If there are other car washes nearby, the timer gets fixed/adjusted so everyone is in the same price range like gas stations.

    Most if not all car dealerships have their own in-house detail dept/washbays. Used car dealerships, probably not.
    Originally posted by GTS Jeff
    You know those bored stay at home moms who's entire lives revolve around driving their kids to soccer, various cleaning accessories, and worrying about neighbourhood rapists? The kind of people that watch the View and go "uh huh..." Those unfulfilled people who try to fill the void in their empty lives by writing whiny letters to the editor complaining about shit that no one really cares about?

    Well imagine if instead of writing that letter to the editor, she just posts on a car forum for car enthusiasts. That's Kritafo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roopi View Post
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    What would you call making the assumption that all car washes return 2% based on reviewing the audited financial statements of one car wash? Or did you review them all?

    You don't see many car washes come up for sale or stay on the market very long. I don't think the reason is because people are looking for a good place to park their money for 2%. Just an ignorant assumption though.
    My Dad just retired from being a commercial realtor and always said that the three best small business money makers were car washes, liquor stores and gas stations with an attached convenience store. 30 years as a commercial realtor and the contacts he had wouldn't lead me to doubt what he says and yes, there's always more to those businesses than 'their' books.
    Moran supreme

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    Quote Originally Posted by R-Audi View Post
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    Largest issue is the cost of the land, building and actual wash parts. Expect to pay over $1M for those new fancy ones.(Wash parts only) Thats a lot of loonies...
    Out of curiosity I googled the cost of the "Laser Wash" systems CO-OP uses and apparently it's only around $30-50K per bay compared to $8-10K per bay for self-serve. I assume that's USD. Doesn't sound too horrible, but I agree if the location was good the land would likely be the bigger concern.

    The people I have seen looking after car washes (and yelling at people drying their cars in them haha) all seem to be driving 10+ yr old German cars so I don't know how good the money is.

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