4 Most Common Questions When Buying a Car Wash in Charlotte, NC

self service car wash business in charlotte

From 2014 to 2019, the car wash industry grew by 4 percent to a whopping $12 billion in annual revenue. This growth is fantastic news for anyone interested in entering the car wash and auto detailing industry. To learn about starting or buying a car wash in Charlotte, NC, continue reading for answers to some of the most commonly asked questions by buyers like you!

Top Questions to Ask Before Buying a Car Wash in Charlotte, NC

Get answers to some of the most commonly asked buyer questions as you begin your search for a car wash business.

1. Who Should Buy a Car Wash?

Entrepreneurs looking for a minimal risk investment with a simplistic business model should consider buying a car wash. Typically, a passion for automobiles, auto detailing, and machinery is beneficial for this type of business. For those wanting to purchase a hand wash or auto detailing business, customer service experience and staff management experience is critical.

2. What Type of Car Wash Business Should I Buy?

There are three primary types of car wash businesses:

  • Self-serve car washes: Self-service car washes require drivers to pay at an automated kiosk to borrow equipment and cleaning supplies. Once they’ve paid, they are permitted to use supplies and water to wash their own cars for a period of time. Typically, high-pressure hoses and some other basic cleaning materials are available to drivers in each wash bay. This type of car wash allows drivers to be as detailed as they’d like because the cleaning is entirely in their power.
  • Tunnel or automatic car washes: Tunnel washes or automatic car washes require drivers to pull their car into an unattended terminal where machines take care of every step of the car wash. The car wash equipment in an automatic car wash typically consists of high-powered sprayers, rollers, cloths, water hoses, and dryers.
  • Auto detailing and hand washes: In auto detail and hand wash businesses, every step of the car washing and servicing is done by hand. This type of business is very staff-intensive and requires a high level of service.

Selecting which type of car wash is right for you depends heavily on your preferences, budget, and how involved you’d like to be in day-to-day operations. Self-service car washes and automatic car washes tend to be unattended, and would require very little daily commitment. Auto detailing and hand wash services, on the other hand, require a high-degree of owner involvement as there is staff involved who will need to be trained and managed. Additionally, drivers pay a higher ticket price for detailing and hand wash services, which requires a high degree of customer service.

3. How Much Does a Car Wash Business Cost?

The cost of a car wash business in Charlotte, NC ranges drastically based on the type of car wash, location, real estate value, equipment, and how the owner-operator valued the car wash. Most car wash sellers select an asking price based on the most popular valuation factors: value of the business’s assets, earnings multiples, or cash flow.

Once you’ve identified a car wash you’re interested in purchasing, work with an advisor to analyze the asking price and what’s included. If asking price is backed by a third-party valuation, it is most likely a fair price. If the asking price was selected based on the opinions of the current business owner, there is likely room for negotiation.

4. How Do I Find Car Washes for Sale?

To begin your search for the ideal car wash for sale in Charlotte, NC, find a business intermediary that you trust. Business brokers and intermediaries have a large network of contacts preparing to sell businesses, including existing car washes. By working with a broker, you can find numerous car wash businesses in Charlotte, NC that might fit your desired criteria.

To get started on your journey to buying a car wash in Charlotte, NC, contact VR Business Brokers of Charlotte. Our team will schedule a free, confidential consultation so that you can get to know our advisors and our buying process.


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