Setting Up A Car Wash Business

Workers at a car wash centre

Car wash business is one business that can easily be set up if detailed feasibility study is carefully carried out. Such study does not require the service of an expert to be successful. It is a business that can be handled from one person up depending on how big you plan to start. Some people plan big by setting up sophisticated equipment that can make the washing easy. It does not matter whether big or small in terms of equipment, car wash business is so profitable that making a N500,000 or more per month, depending on your seriousness.
Car wash business is not limited to a particular class of the society. It can be started by youths, adults, graduates, unemployed, business men and women.
Car wash business is so viable that anybody that sets it up would never dream of changing his line of business again.
Mr Oputubonye West, an indigene of Asari Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, and a retired police officer, narrated how he started car wash business when interviewed by The Tide. ‘I retired from the Nigeria Police many years ago. I knew earlier before now that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. The rate of unemployment is high in this country. Forty years ago, Nigeria produced a variety of food and cash crops. The staple food crops include cassava, yam, corn etc. The cash crops include palm oil, groundnuts, cocoa and rubber. In those years, it was difficult to tell between cassava -garri which one is the most popular in Nigeria, both are consumed food stables among the citizens.
The discovery of oil in commercial quantities diverted the attention of government from the agricultural sector until in 1976 when the then military Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo, launched Operation Feed the Nation (OFN).
Instead of reforming OFN by successive governments, it was dumped. With the sudden crash in the price of crude oil in the international market in 2014, Nigeria, with a mono-product economy, became one of the worst hit countries in unemployment rate.
Another respondent, Mr. Anthony Briggs, an indigene of Abonnema in Rivers State, said he started car wash business five years ago under only one canopy but now has four canopies, including a bar and restaurant to enable customers relax while their vehicles are being washed.
Asked about his challenges, Briggs simply volunteered thus: “I have some challenges; I ought to have employed 15 able men but lack of finance has limited me to only 10.”
He also complained about lack of customers during the dry season yet workers have to be paid salaries for the period.
In a related interview, Dr. Chima Nnodim, a medical practitioner from Okehi in Etche LGA, narrated how he started his car wash business at Alakahia axis of Choba, close to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital first gate. He chose the site in order to take advantage of his colleagues’ busy work schedules.
Speaking with The Tide, Nnodim said “I have no challenges. Car wash does not require too much money; just good location and good management.
“I started with little capital and few hands, today you can see that I have expanded and even attached a drinking bar.
“Car wash business does not belong to any class of people; anybody can establish and operate one,” he concluded.
Types of Car Wash
Know that your car is one of your best investments, which means that it is necessary to always keep it clean. Once in a while, your car will be covered with dust, mud or dew.
The nature of your car and the way it looks determines how you are addressed. A clean car attracts respect and honour to its owner, regardless of the make or age of the car.
Some people are not comfortable converting their driveways into a car wash. Apartment residents may lack the space for washing their vehicles, meaning that they have to seek car wash services. If that describes your situation, then there are different types of car wash services to choose from.
Self-service car wash
You drive to a car wash that allows for self service, pay a service fee, pick up the cleaning tools and set to work.
Hand-wash services
This involves using your hands to wash. After washing, the cleaners dry the car thoroughly using non-abrasive towel and vacuum the interior.
Automated in-bay car wash
This is where you pull your vehicle into the car wash bay. The automated car washer moves back and forth, cleaning your car with rollers and high-pressure spray. This option is best if you have enough time for detailed clean-up.
Tunnel washes
This is similar to automated in-bay method. Here, the car moves into a tunnel on a conveyor belt and is positioned in the tunnel for cleaning.
Rivers State is said to be blessed with abundant human and natural resources, yet has high rate of unemployment, according to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) 2017 report, though this figure was refuted by the state government. This also explains why the Rivers State Government had approved the setting aside of N200 million as interest -free loans to traders and young entrepreneurs under the leadership of Governor Nyesom Wike. The Executive Council also approved a direct empowerment scheme of 10,000 women from the 23 local government areas.
With such level of empowerment, Rivers youth, especially those interested in setting up car wash business, may find the following interesting.
Steps In Setting Up Car Wash Business
Deciding where to site your car wash business is very important. You don’t locate out of sentiment. Get a place where there are lots of vehicular movement and access roads for easy location.
Government Aproval
In setting up a car wash business, the local government under which you are operating must be aware. You must complete your registration and obtain your operational permit by the LGA in order to avoid embarrassment .It is advisable and important to get started with relevant documents.
Bore Hole:
Source of getting water is very important in setting up a car wash business. Make every effort to sink a bore hole or dig a local well around the area for regular water supply.
Power Supply:
You can get a moderate electricity generating set to generate power if the power supply in that area is epileptic. This will make the job of washing easier.
Staffing : When it comes to employment, the first thing that comes to mind is considering serious minded youth. The seriousness of the employees’ determinds the output.
A place to relax while the business of washing your car is important. You can set up a small bar, barbing salon, etc as a way of making your customers comfortable.
If possible, establish a mini mart for shopping while the washing is going on.
Are you out there looking for lucrative business? Try car wash business, you’ll never regret it.


Emeka Igbe