How to Start a Mobile Car Wash Business

by Business Editor; Updated September 26, 2017
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How to Start a Mobile Car Wash Business. Several factors work in your favor to make a mobile car wash a good business opportunity. Service stations with instant car washes are rapidly disappearing across the country. Many people just don't have time to spend twenty to thirty minutes weekly at the drive-through car wash. However, if you make it convenient for people to keep their car clean, your mobile business may become a household name in your service area.

Items you will need

  • Business license
  • Vehicle
  • Insurance
  • Water Hoses
  • Cleaning supplies
Step 1

Contact your city and state government to obtain the licenses and permits that you need for a mobile business. Even though you may not need an office outside your home, you should make sure that you are aware of any regulations that apply to your service. Find out if you need special insurance.

Step 2

Decide what days, times, and neighborhoods you will work. Estimate your costs for supplies and transportation to your customers, including maintenance of your primary vehicle.

Step 3

Arrange to have your business phone calls answered while you are washing cars. It will be difficult to efficiently complete your work and take phone calls.

Step 4

Draft a marketing plan that identifies your potential customers and their locations. Figure out the best way to let them know about your services. Choose one or two marketing methods. You can begin by passing out business cards and flyers, using direct mail or start knocking on doors.

Step 5

Consider contacting business and residential customers. If the businesses in your area don't have vehicle fleets, the owner and employees may be potential customers. You will have several repeat customer cars in one location that you can easily schedule in one time block.

Step 6

Purchase supplies and equipment for your car wash. Select an insurance carrier, if needed and purchase coverage.

Step 7

Establish a base of repeat customers. Offer them discounts for referrals. Continue using the most effective advertising method on a regular schedule. Your customers are mobile too. They move and change jobs. Be prepared to expand your business if demand is greater than anticipated.

Warnings

  • U.S. Postal regulations prohibit placing advertising circulars in mailboxes, unless the mail carrier delivers them. However, bulk mail is relatively inexpensive for marketing. Have a backup plan for your water supply if you live in a drought-prone area.