Here’s How to start a car wash business in India

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Want to know how to start a car wash business in India? Read on to know all about it.

The automotive industry is always growing given the ever-rising demand. People have always added in new vehicles/cars or changed them from time to time.

Since people are investing a lot in their cars, they are always on the lookout for good places for the maintenance of their vehicles, whether it is simply washing or heavy-duty.

The car wash business in India is something that is slowly increasing given the huge demand for it. With so many vehicles on the road today, it has become a big need of people.

So, if you are planning to start your own venture car wash business in India, is one of the best ideas for business in India, and here’s what you need to know about it.

Starting a Car Wash Business In INDIA

This has been always been a constructive business thanks to the ever-growing number of vehicles and stores. Earlier it was only a car wash business in India but now the business has become more specifying and incorporating particular things like washing, cleaning, coatings, rebuilding, and more. 

You need to have a nice and well-thought business plan with all the necessary information. One needs to dive deep into even the smallest of details to the big expenditures. The plan needs to be detailed because only then you would be able to run your business smoothly.

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Like any other business, starting a car wash business in India also requires some initial steps.

Image Source – https://www.verifiedmarketresearch.com/product/car-wash-market/

Getting the Permits and Licenses

This goes without saying that starting a car wash business in India requires several licences and permissions from the local authority which is varied and based on the city you are planning to start your business in.

Some of the major license requirements are of water licence as it is the highest used resource. Most businesses have cut off limits for piped water and therefore you would require special permits. If not, the other option is for you to buy water from tankers. 

  • Business registration. 
  • Get license from the local municipal authority.
  • Check with the nature of the land and whether a car wash is permitted in it. 
  • Tax liabilities for the business.
  • Plans for waste treatment and disposal and approval from Pollution Control Board.

GST Enlistment

This is required to get your venture of starting a car wash enrolled with the legitimate parts of the business.

Land License

To set up a car washing business, you have to apply for a land grant likewise as though you open your business community in the local neighbourhood, then this grant is fundamental for your business.

Water License

There is a most extreme cutoff to use under this grant. For instance, 800 litres of water for every day is as far as possible given under the license.

The guidelines vary in each state, city, and country, so before you start your car washing business, you must check the standards you ought to continue and maintain in your general vicinity. 

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Choosing the Type of Car Washing Business

To start the business you basically have to decide which kind of business you want – Bike or car wash. This would be based on your budget and how you want your business to be growing.

Door-To-Door Car Wash Facility

This is pretty understood. It is where you would provide the car washing facility at the house of the customer. If your budget is small, this is the perfect type of business if your budget is low as it requires low investment. You would also require

Car Wash Market Expectations
Image Source: https://www.databridgemarketresearch.com/reports/global-car-wash-market

Car Wash Centre

In this business model where the car washing centre is located at a popular place and customers get their cars for washing.

This type of business of course requires a lot of investment since there are several things that you would have to keep in mind like large space, and the many types of equipment.

Location for a Car Wash

As per many studies, 80% of car wash customers are from within a 15 km radius of the location, which means that a nice location is one of the prime features to have a successful and growing business.

Make sure that you set up the business at a nice and popular location which also consists of a large population and residential complex nearby.

Another prime location can be the main roads that have an exit to a smaller road. Having your business at such a location would make it very convenient for a large number of people who want to quickly get their car wash while on their way to some other location.

But keep in mind to not being in a congested place and narrow streets could directly affect your potential customers.

The size of the plot needs to be 1500 square feet of space or more to accommodate different sections, workshops and parking spaces for multiple vehicles. Hence choose a location carefully while keeping all these factors in mind.

Review Your Competition

This is one of the most important steps to take before you start any business. One must review their competition and know the market they are getting into.

The best way to go about this business is to look for competitors in the nearby area and get as much information as possible about their business.

How long they have been in the business, area, services they offer, customers, marketing, pricing, etc. Then make sure that you give them tough competition by providing all the same and additional other services, discounted prices etc. 

Having another car wash in the same area can also be a big challenge and competition for your business giving more offers, cheaper prices as compared to yours.

If there is another car wash service in the same locality then you can become a little more discrete by providing services for premium cars or any other additional offer.

Study your competitors and location well because it might not make any sense at all if you and your competitors are exactly the same and you are in the same area.

Review Your Competition

Car Wash Set up Cost in India

There are several factors that determine how much it would cost to set up a car wash. Machinery and equipment investment is going to be the biggest in this business and can cost anywhere between INR 20 – 30 lakhs.

After this rent of the space is the next big investment as you would require a space as big as 2000 sqft which can cost up to INR 80,000 to INR 1 lakh in rent per month.

Thirdly, the salary of your staff would be another investment which of course depends on the number of employees you would hire.

Obtaining permits and licenses can cost between INR 15,000 to INR 20,000.

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Purchasing Equipment 

Here are the different types of equipment you will need in this business: 

  • Automatic car washing machines: This machinery would be installed at the location and it cleans the car from all sides automatically. These are big scrubs that rotates and is also one of the costliest equipment .
  • Vacuum Cleaners: To clean the cars from the inside, you would require vaccum cleaners which are of the industrial grade. They are usually used at the end of the car wash.
  • Portable car washers: These are essential and are highly mobile units. They come with a compressor that delivers a jet of high-pressure water with which a range of washing functions can be performed. Even a basic bike water wash will require a high-pressure water hose and the related pumps and water storage tanks. Therefore these are essential for all automobile washing businesses.  
  • Water tank: This is definitely important if you are in this business. One should have a water tank that acts like a reservoirs unless the plot has a bore well with a good amount of water supply. At a minimum, you will need 6000 to 10,000-litre water tanks to ensure a steady water supply. 
  • Consumables: Many consumable items would be required that would get used up on regular basis like car washing liquid, car polish, wiping cloths, sponge, wax, etc. 

Hiring Employees

Hiring the right employees is also an important part of the whole process. Get a team on board who are willing to work hard, learn their jobs and are responsible. Different hiring for different tasks would be needed but hiring someone with some technical experience is a must.

When hiring a manager make sure that he is the person who can handle all managerial tasks including finance and accounting smoothly. Driving a car and training him to operate machinery, basic safety drills and pleasant customer interactions is a must.

car wash business employees

Marketing Your Business

It is the digital world and no business can survive and thrive for a very long time without any marketing. All business plans must have a good marketing strategy to spread their name and make people and the surroundings know about them.

It is necessary to indulge in marketing both print and mass media before the big opening. Once you open, have a presence on social media and be active. Talk to your customers, build a relationship with them and highlight your services. 

Also Read: How to Start Your Grocery Store In India?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Car wash business in India profitable? 

Yes, this is definitely a profitable business but for sure depends upon many factors like location, business model, services that are offered etc.

Is it safe to take the car to a car wash? 

Yes, it is absolutely safe to take your car for a wash. If you take your car for wash after a dirty run through mud and muck, expect minor wear on the paint.

How often should cars be washed?

The general rule of maintenance says washing your car once in two weeks. But if you are occupied then doing once a month is also fine.

Conclusion

Starting a car wash business in India can be a profitable business in India depending on various factors. In this detailed account, I have listed out all the needs and requirements to run this business successfully.

Study the market know all the pros and cons and then venture into this business.

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About the author

Ashutosh Bhatt

Ashutosh joined Lio as the marketing manager and has played a significant role in our growth. A traveler at heart, you might just catch him on a flight to any exotic countries around the world when he isn't busy ranking websites.

10 comments

  • Can you please provide me with a brief suggestion regarding the car wash industry’s target market, i.e., the type of people who prefer to use a vehicle wash?

    • Hello Sunaina,

      People who need to keep their cars clean but are unwilling to perform the labor themselves make up the target market for a car wash. People visit car washes for a variety of reasons, even within the target market for the industry. Some people like to preserve their car in brand-new condition.

      Others must maintain it clean for business reasons. Some people desire to take the finest care possible of the luxury or historic car they own. Others must frequently clean their cars because they reside in a region with a lot of dust or pollen.

      Kindly do extensive research and proceed accordingly.

  • I really appreciate you sharing this insightful information. I have a tremendous obsession with vehicles, and I’ve always wanted to start a business in that industry. Thank you.

    • Hello Hydar,

      Thank you so much for your warm words.
      It makes me happy to hear that this article provided you with the information you needed to plan your business.
      Best wishes for your future endeavors!

  • I run a repair shop and a car wash. Could you possibly offer me some advice on how to draw in more customers?

    • Hello Sebin,

      In today’s industry, using the internet and social media to attract new car wash consumers is a must. A website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter account can all be used to market your business.

      Another technique is to hold a contest or a gift to attract new car wash clients and to entice existing ones back.
      By providing a frequent buyer program, you can give your customers the impression that they are getting something in return for using your services.
      I sincerely hope this is useful to you.

    • Hello Drishya,

      You may be required to shut off your vehicle’s engine in some automatic car washes. If nothing is said, simply follow the directions in your car’s manual. For instance, certain vehicles demand that the engine be turned off while the key is still in the ignition.
      Also, if your automobile has a collision avoidance system, you must switch it off if you intend to keep the engine running.

  • Before I launch my firm, how can I evaluate the competition and conduct market research? Please offer some advice..

    • Hello Madhusree,

      Identifying your competitors is the first step in conducting a competitive analysis. After you’ve identified and organized your competitors, evaluate their online presence by assessing how functional their websites are, how simple it is to shop on their site, and how frequently they engage with their audience.

      Read customer reviews for your competitors’ services on sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook. While reading online reviews and comments, make a note of people from whom you’d like to learn more and contact them. Once you’ve completed all of your research, compile it in one place and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors.

By Ashutosh Bhatt