A waterless car wash is an eco-friendly and efficient car wash that uses little or no water. It is also known as a spray-on car wash or no water car wash. The waterless car wash uses a high lubricity pre-mixed spray detailer to heavily saturate a panel and then carefully wipes any dirt or road grime off to a dry shine.

Please note that waterless washes are only suitable on vehicles with light dirt accumulation. They are a fast way to clean your vehicle between washes. The market size of the Car Wash & Auto Detailing industry is $13.7 billion in 2022.

It is important to state that the car wash industry is very fragmented with no one company controlling a large portion of the industry. According to the United States Census Bureau, over 100,000 car wash facilities are in the United States with Americans spending approximately $5.8 billion a year at car wash facilities.

Steps on How to Start a Waterless Car Wash Business.

  1. Conduct Market Research

The first step in the market research process for your waterless car wash business is to develop market-based research questions in line with your overall business goal and objective. In this regard, you should source information that will help you maximize your business, give you a reliable clue of what your potential market will be looking out for from a waterless car wash business, and also help you operate your waterless car wash business with less stress.

a. Who is the Target Market for Waterless Car Wash Business?
  • Car Dealership Shops
  • Household and individuals that own cars
  • Taxi and car rental company
  • Transport Companies
  • Haulage Companies
b. Is Waterless Car Wash Business a Profitable Business?

Yes, the waterless car wash business is profitable. Statistics show that in the US, there are 16,000 car wash establishments, which include individual locations that bring in yearly revenues of $900 million. The annual revenue of the car wash industry adds up to $48 billion.

c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

No, there are no existing niches when it comes to waterless car wash businesses because the waterless car wash business is a niche idea in the car wash and automobile detailing industry.

d. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • Superior Car Wash Systems
  • FiDi Car Wash Inc.
  • Organic And Waterless LLC
  • Pro Mobile Auto Detailing
  • Clean Car Wash
  • Tommy’s Express
  • Prime Car Wash
  • Oasis Car Wash Systems
  • Fleet Clean USA
  • DetailXperts
  • Green Shine Waterless
  • Ziebart
  • Superior Wash
  • Monkey Shine
  • Sonny’s The CarWash Factory
  • Nanotek
  • Cactus Car Wash
  • No H2O
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Waterless Car Wash Business?

Yes, there are county or state regulations and zoning laws for waterless car wash businesses, and players in this industry are expected to work with the existing regulations governing such business in the county or state where their business is domiciled.

In addition to that, it is important to state that in the United States, government agencies and departments routinely grant variances to rules and regulations. Often, you only have to fill out a short form. In other cases, your request may have to be publicly heard before your city council, zoning board, or other body. Please check with your zoning or planning department to find out what options are available to you.

f. Is There a Franchise for Waterless Car Wash Business?

Yes, there are franchise opportunities for waterless car wash business, and here are some of them;

  • Clean Car Wash
  • Tommy’s Express
  • Prime Car Wash
  • Oasis Car Wash Systems
  • Fleet Clean USA
  • DetailXperts
  • Green Shine Waterless
  • Ziebart
  • Superior Wash
  • Monkey Shine
  • Sonny’s The CarWash Factory
  • Nanotek
  • Cactus Car Wash
  • No H2O
g. What Do You Need to Start a Waterless Car Wash Business?
  • A Feasibility Report
  • Business and Marketing Plans
  • Business Licenses and Permits
  • A Good Car Wash Facility
  • EIN (Employer Identification Number)/Federal Tax ID Number.
  • A Corporate Bank Account
  • Employees
  • Startup Inventory
  1. Memorable Waterless Car Wash Business Names

  • R Drake® Waterless Car Wash Shop, Inc.
  • Blueberry® Waterless Car Wash Shop, Inc.
  • Car Nation® Waterless Car Wash Shop, Inc.
  • Ted Capstone™ Waterless Car Wash Shop, Inc.
  • Green Line® Waterless Car Wash Shop, Inc.
  • Sleek GAP® Waterless Car Wash Shop, Inc.
  • Auto Mike® Waterless Car Wash Company
  • Macron Martins® Waterless Car Wash Shop, LLC
  • High End® Luxury Waterless Car Wash Shop, Inc.
  • Wash Master® Waterless Car Wash Shop, Inc.
  • Vitus Lewis® Waterless Car Wash Shop, Inc.
  • Bourn Mort® Waterless Car Wash Shop, LLC
  • Classique Car® Waterless Car Wash Shop, Inc.
  • All Nation® Waterless Car Wash Shop, LLC
  • Mark Fernando® Waterless Car Wash Shop, Inc.
  • Tripod Car® Waterless Car Wash Shop, Inc.
  • The Kings® Waterless Car Wash Shop, Inc.
  • George Paulson® Waterless Car Wash Shop, LLC
  • Ken Garland® Waterless Car Wash Shop, Inc.
  • Gaggling Jamel© Waterless Car Wash Shop, Inc.
  1. Register Your Business

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Waterless Car Wash Business?

Even though there are several options when it comes to the business structure of a waterless car wash business, but the one that most players in this consider is an LLC. It is common to consider an LLC because providers want to protect themselves from lawsuits. Please note that an LLC will need an EIN if it has employees or if it will be required to file any of the excise tax forms listed below.

b. Steps to Form an LLC
  • Choose a Name for Your LLC.
  • File Articles of Organization.
  • Choose a registered agent.
  • Decide on member vs. manager management.
  • Create an LLC operating agreement.
  • Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Waterless Car Wash Business?
  • General Business License
  • Fire and Safety Permit (Fire certificates)
  • Zonal Permits
  • Signage Permit
  • State Occupational Licenses
  • Operational State Facility Inspections (Building Permits)
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Waterless Car Wash Business?

You don’t need any certifications to open a waterless car wash business.

e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Waterless Car Wash Business?
  • DBA
  • EIN
  • Business and liability insurance
  • Federal Tax Payer’s ID
  • State Permit and Building Approval
  • Federal Export Licenses
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Online Terms of Use
  • Online Privacy Policy Document
  • Contract Document
  • Company Bylaws
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

If you are considering starting a waterless car wash business, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection or trademark. This is because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.

  1. Cost Analysis and Budgeting

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Waterless Car Wash Business?

When it comes to starting a waterless car wash business, the startup costs vary and it could range from $25,000 to over $250,000. This is so because the cost of renting a facility may be on the high side depending on the city.

b. What are the Costs Involved in Starting a Waterless Car Wash Business
  • The total fee for registering the business in the United States of America – is $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and as well as the accounting services totaling – $3,500.
  • Marketing promotion expenses – $3,500
  • The cost for hiring a business consultant (writing of business plans inclusive) – $2,500.
  • Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation, and property-casualty) coverage at a total premium – $5,400.
  • The cost of accounting software, CRM software, and Payroll Software – $1,500
  • The cost for payment of rent and business office – $35,600.
  • The cost for facility remodeling – $25,000.
  • Other start-up expenses including stationery – $1,500
  • Phone and utility deposits will cost – ($2,500)
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $30,000
  • The cost for start-up inventory – $3,000
  • The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $3,150
  • The cost for the purchase of office furniture and gadgets (Computers, Printers, Telephone, TVs, Sound System, tables and chairs et al) – $8,000.
  • The cost of launching an official website – $600
  • The cost for our grand opening party – $3,000
  • Miscellaneous – $2,500
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Waterless Car Wash Business?
  • The size of waterless car wash
  • The choice of location
  • The required licenses and permits
  • The type of waterless car wash business (mobile or in a location)
  • The cost for branding, promotion, and marketing
  • The cost of furnishing and equipping the facility
  • The cost for insurance policy covers
  • The cost for registering the business
  • Source of your supplies and ongoing expenses
  • Cost of recruiting and training your staff
  • The cost for the purchase and customizing of uniforms
  • The cost for the grand opening of the waterless car wash business
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility?

Actually, it is not compulsory to build a new facility for your waterless car wash business, but if you have the required finance, it will pay you to build your own facility. The truth is that building or reconstructing a facility for your waterless car wash business will help you come up with a facility that will perfectly fit into your overall business goals and vision.

e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of a Waterless Car Wash Business?
  • Rent and lease
  • Supplies (office supplies, waterless car wash, and car polish, et al)
  • Utility bills (internet subscriptions, phone bills, signage and software renewal fees et al)
  • Salaries of employees
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  • Shop Manager (Owner) – $45,000 Per Year
  • Accountant (Cashier) – $32,000 Per Year
  • Car Washers and Detailers – $26,100 Per Year
  • Security Guard -$24,000 Per Year
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Waterless Car Wash Business
  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
  1. Write a Business Plan

a. Executive Summary

HourCare is a standard and registered waterless car wash business that will be located in one of the busiest streets in Spruce, Chestnut, and Walnut Streets – Philadelphia. We have been able to lease a facility that is big enough (a 5 thousand square foot facility) to fit into the kind of standard waterless car wash business that we intend launching and the facility is located in a corner piece along a major road close to the city center.

b. Products and Service

Waterless car wash services that involve thorough cleaning, restoration, and finishing of an automobile, both inside and out, to produce a pristine level of detail.

c. Mission Statement

Our mission is to establish a world-class waterless car wash business that will make available excellent car wash services at affordable prices to the residents of Spruce – Philadelphia and other key cities in the United States of America where we intend to open chains of waterless carwash shops and franchise.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to establish a standard waterless car wash business that will be among the top 5 waterless car wash businesses in the United States of America.

d. Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of a waterless car wash business is to provide a facility where people can go to wash their cars without water; it is an environment-friendly business.

e. Organizational Structure
  • Shop Manager (Owner)
  • Accountant
  • Car Washers and Detailers
  • Security Guard

Marketing Plan

a. SWOT Analysis
Strength:

Our location, the business model we will be operating on both (mobile and location-based waterless carwash), varieties of payment options, and our excellent customer service culture will count as a strong strength for us. Our team of highly qualified staff members is also a plus for us.

Weakness:

A major weakness that may count against us is the fact that we are a new waterless car wash business and we don’t have the financial capacity to compete with multi-million dollar car washes in town.

Opportunities:

The fact that the volume of car ownership is on the increase and people are opting to save energy and resources means a massive opportunity for the waterless carwash business.

Threat:

Just like any other business, one of the major threats that we are likely going to face is an economic downturn. It is a fact that an economic downturn affects purchasing/spending power. Another threat that may likely confront us is the arrival of a new waterless car wash business in the same location where ours is located and even a car wash. Unfavorable government policies may also pose a threat to businesses such as ours.

b. How Do Waterless Car Wash Businesses Make Money?

Waterless car wash businesses make money by washing and detailing cars for car owners.

c. Payment Options
  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
  • Payment via bank draft
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
  • Introduce your waterless car wash business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to corporate organizations, car owners, taxi companies, transport companies, households, and other key stakeholders throughout the city where your waterless car wash business is located.
  • Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
  • Create a basic website for your business to give your business an online presence
  • Directly market your waterless carwash services.
  • Join local waterless car wash business associations for industry trends and tips
  • Provide discount days for your customers
  • Advertise your business in community-based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories) and online directories
  • Encourage the use of word-of-mouth marketing (referrals)

Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for your Service?

Waterless car washes can cost you $7 to $15, and rates change based on other related automobile detailing services you requested for.

b. How Much Profit Do Waterless Car Wash Business Owners Make a Year?

It depends, but available reports show that on average, a waterless car wash owner can make an annual income of $139,000, which can result in an average profit of $86,531.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
  • The capacity of the waterless car wash business
  • The location the waterless car wash business is covering
  • The management style of the waterless car wash business
  • The business approach of the waterless car wash business
  • The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the waterless car wash business.
  • The number of years the waterless car wash is in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Waterless Car Wash Business?

The profit margin of a waterless car wash business is not fixed. It usually depends on factors that are unique to your location.

e. What is the Sales Forecast?

Below is the sales forecast for a waterless car wash business. It is based on the location of the business and other factors as it relates to such startups in the United States;

  • First Fiscal Year: $200,000
  • Second Fiscal Year:  $240,000
  • Third Fiscal Year: $300,000
  1. Set Up your Shop/Office

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Waterless Car Wash Business?
  • The demography of the location especially as it relates to people who own cars
  • The demand for waterless car wash in the location
  • The purchasing power of businesses and residents of the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of waterless car wash businesses in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community/state
  • Traffic, parking and security et al
b. What State and City are Best to Open a Waterless Car Wash Business?
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Brattleboro, Vermont
  • Tucson, Arizona
  • Silver Spring, Maryland
  • Rowland Heights, California
  • Portland, Oregon
  • New York City, New York
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Dallas, Texas
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a Waterless Car Wash Business?

You should be prepared to purchase car lifts, car detailing equipment, and related supplies. You will also need computers or laptops, internet facility, telephone, and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves) amongst others and all these can be gotten as fairly used.

  1. Hire Employees

When it comes to hiring employees for a standard waterless car wash business, you should make plans to hire a competent shop manager (owner), accountant, car washers and detailers, and security guard.

  1. Launch the Business Proper

You can open your waterless car wash business with an opening party to officially launch the business. You can choose to do a soft opening if you are operating on a low budget or you can go for a grand opening party. The bottom line is that with a proper launching of the waterless car wash business, you will be able to officially inform people in your city that your waterless car wash is open for business.

a. What Makes a Waterless car wash business Successful?
  • Choose a good location and shop facility to launch the business
  • Be deliberate with your marketing sales approach
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth to promote your waterless car wash business
  • Leverage on all available online and offline platforms to promote your waterless car wash business
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Waterless Car Wash Business?
  • The shop is open for the day’s work
  • Cars are cleaned
  • Walk-in customers are attended to
  • The business is closed for the day.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Waterless Car Wash Business?
  • Attention to details
  • Customer services skills
  • Interpersonal skill
  • Accounting and bookkeeping skills
  • Business management skills
  • Bargaining and bidding skill
  • Work experience in a waterless car wash business environment
  • Experience in managing people
  • Experience in business administration
  • Experience in handling different models and brands of cars.