Car Wash Business Ideas In South Africa

What is a Car Wash?

A car wash, or auto wash, is a facility used to clean the exterior, and in some cases the interior, of cars. Car washes can be self-service, full-service (with attendants who wash the vehicle), or fully automated (possibly connected to a filling station).

Car Wash Business Ideas In South Africa

  1. Choose a Suitable Site

Choosing a suitable site is important and will impact greatly the success of your business and in doing so you need to consider the following points:

  1. Can I get permission from the council and landowner to establish a car wash on the site?
  2. Is there adequate power and water supply available on the site?
  3. Are there sewer drains nearby?
  4. Is there an adequate car count passing the site?
  5. Is the site visible and easily accessible to the public?
  6. Is there sufficient space to queue and maneuver vehicles?
  7. Is there sufficient space to provide for the wash bay, drying bays, and seating areas?

These points need to be cleared before even considering an installation.

Remember that the availability and proximity of the services mentioned will affect the pricing as will such items as the type of paving and wash bay structure you choose.

2 – Choose a Structure

The prices of the structures vary considerably and when making your choice you need to consider not only your budget but the surrounding area and the market segment you are entering. At times these factors influence the installation which must fit in with these criteria to ensure a reasonable level of success.


These superb structures are fully bolt-up units. They are pre-assembled in our engineering shop to ensure quality. These structures are hot dip galvanized, and have wide fascias and a steel sheeted roof. Glass panels divide the individual bays which can be placed side by side or one behind the other. The final painting takes place after reassembly on site.

Quite often brick pump rooms are built alongside these units to house the pump station and store chemicals.


This attractive structure is built on-site and has a shade-netted roof. Different colours can be chosen to compliment a particular theme making this a versatile and popular system. This frame is primer-coated and finished in a non-drip enamel.

3 – Choose your High-Pressure Cleaning Machines

Generally speaking portable, or mobile units are not recommended in a car wash application and are used when budget is the only consideration. This is because the limited features on this type of machine do not provide the same protective devices that are available on the free-standing and wall-mounted units.

Our car wash systems are designed to provide fast and efficient cleaning and will not damage sensitive surfaces when used correctly.

Nearly all car washes use cold water high-pressure machines as modern technology has produced some excellent cleaning detergents. These units are the most cost-effective in this type of application. Hot water high-pressure cleaners are also available for truck washing.

4 – Choose your Vacuum Cleaners

Car wash vacuum bays need machines with big air filtration capacity. This is because of the volume of dirt collected from the cars each day. Small filters would need to be cleaned three to four times a day creating delays with the risk of motor burnouts if this is not done consistently.

We have available both single and double motor units with large filters, limiting the need to stop and maintain the machine so often during each day. The double motor units speed up the vacuuming process ensuring fast and efficient service in this area.

How much money can you make owning a car wash in South Africa?

Car Washes Are Profitable: The most attractive advantage of owning a car wash is that they are a sustainably profitable business. A small-scale car wash available on Business for Sale can bring you R20,057 with an R240,681 yearly net profit.

How much it costs to open a car wash franchise in South Africa?

How much it costs to open a car wash franchise in South ...

According to 082 Car Wash’s website, the estimated start-up cost is between R800,000-R1,200,000 excluding VAT.

This includes a start-up franchise fee of R157,000 (also excluding VAT). This is heavily dependent on the structures in place, it said, and an existing paving or tarred surface can save you up to R300,000

Is a car wash a good investment in South Africa?

A car wash is a popular and profitable business in South Africa, where many vehicle owners want to maintain them.

You can create your brand or join a franchise, with different benefits and challenges. Before starting, you should study your market, costs, and management.

Is a car wash a good business in South Africa?

Car Wash Profitable Ideas

Car wash is a very profitable idea and is one of the highest revenue-earning businesses around the globe. Car wash equipment uses very little resources and yet provides high profits.

For instance, manpower is the most used and most problematic area of operating a manual car wash business.