How To Start A Lucrative Car Wash Business In Nigeria: The Complete Guide

How To Start Car Wash Business In Nigeria Or Africa: The Complete Guide
How To Start A Lucrative Car Wash Business In Nigeria Or Africa: The Complete Guide | Image: Carmart

Over time, the car wash business has been one of the most underrated brown collar jobs out there but the fact remains that it is highly lucrative given that the right factors are in place. Cleaning one’s car is a basic necessity which is important as servicing the car. The first car wash ever was business opened in Detroit in 1914. It was called “automated Laundry”. Roles such as pushing vehicles into the tunnel, soaping the vehicles, rinsing and drying, which were shared among workers. Ever since, the car wash business has evolved rapidly. In addition to the basic car wash service, car wash businesses have become customer-friendly and now offer self-service and full-service washes. Also, car wash business is fast becoming more eco-friendly with the introduction of milder soaps and technologies that require less water and energy to operate, and water recycling system that allows up to 95% of used water to be reused on future washes.

The global car wash service industry was worth $34.19 billion in 2019 with market indications that it will grow as high as $41.1 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 3.2%. Although Asia has the largest automotive industry, the North American car wash industry generates as much as $15 billion from self-service, in-bay automatic car wash and conveyor services altogether. The region also generates an excess of $700 million from car wash equipment.

Although the Nigerian car wash industry isn’t so large yet, the industry is expanding rapidly and the growing number of car wash businesses across the country testifies to this. However, there is very little record of the actual worth of the Nigerian car wash industry. Car wash business has certainly evolved in the country, and it has gone professional, given that the business requires an in-depth knowledge of automobiles. The sector now rakes in lots of revenues and enjoys constant demand. If you’re considering starting a lucrative business, a car wash business is still very much untapped in Nigeria and many other parts of Africa. Here is a detailed guide to help you get started on a car wash business.

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What Is A Car Wash?

A car wash or auto wash is a building or facility containing equipment for washing cars or other vehicles. Car washes can be self-serve, fully automated or full services with attendants who wash the vehicle.


What Is A Car Wash Business?

A car wash business involves setting up car wash institutions that render car wash services, which may either be self-service, automated or full service.

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Business Opportunities Associated With Car Wash Business In Nigeria And Across The World

1). Borehole Services:

Water is a major resource needed for the operation of a car wash business. Most car wash businesses in Nigeria depend on boreholes for a steady supply of water. They require the services of borehole drilling companies. Although car wash institutions are not the only targets of borehole drilling companies, they (car wash companies) make a steady stream of clients all over the country.

2). Soaps And Detergent Distribution:

Car wash also relies heavily on suppliers of washing materials such as soaps, detergents, shampoo, etc. This keeps both large and small suppliers of detergents in business.

3). Retailing Washing Machine:

Most modern car wash businesses deploy the use of sophisticated devices to make their services easier and more effective. While some of these equipment can completely self-operated, some others necessarily have to be operated by humans. The manufacturing and distribution of car wash equipment is a highly lucrative business on its own, which keeps lots of engineers employed all across the world.

4). Bar Services:

To keep the clients engaged while washing their cars, most car wash businesses operate drinking bars or a complete beer parlour business on the side. This goes with music and some common snacks like pepper soup.


Facts And Benefits Of Car Wash

  • A professional machine-operated car wash requires only 5 to 10 minutes on average
  • Professional car washes can use 50% less water than at home washes.
  • Professional car wash is eco-friendly
  • Car wash protects the value of cars.
  • Car wash saves the paint of vehicles.
  • The first car wash ever was business opened in Detroit in 1914. It was called “automated Laundry”
  • A car was establishment is possible with low startup capital.
  • Most car washes across the world use in-bay automatics.
  • Winter is the most popular seasons for car wash.
  • Car wash prevents damages to tyres.

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Types Of Car Wash

1). Hand Washing:

Experts say that hand washing is the safest method to wash a vehicle. There are different techniques in this category, including the conventional two-bucket wash to newer foam cannons that cover the vehicle in snow foam.

2). Waterless Car Wash:

This type of wash involves only two things. The first is a waterless car wash product applied on the vehicle with a spray applicator, and the second is a handful of microfiber towel for wiping down the vehicle down. This form of car wash isn’t useful in getting rid of heavy debris and particles, and there are chances that scratching might occur because you might pick up particles and drag them over the vehicle.

3). Rinse-less Washing:

There are some similarities between rinse less washing and waterless wash to some degree, but this a mix of both water and hand washing. In this type of washing, you mix a little bit of rinse less wash product into a bucket with water. You don’t get any suds in doing this, but that’s also why you won’t have to rinse. All that has to do is once you wash your area, wipe it dry with either microfiber towels or wash mitts. This type of washing is especially useful when there is a lack of space and water.

4). Automatic Washing:

Automatic washing is also called “tunnel” washing. The vehicle goes through a conveyor belt which takes it through a sequence of brushes and blowers that do the job.


How To Start A Lucrative Car Wash Business In Nigeria: A Step-By-Step Guide

1). Conduct A Feasibility Study:

This is the foundation of every successful business. Successful investors or businesspersons don’t go into any business without an understanding of the said business. Conduct a detailed research on the types of cars commonly used in the selected location as well as what kind of washing services and equipment will be most suitable.

2). Raise Funds:

A small-scale car was establishment can be founded with a budget between ₦200,000 to ₦500,000 in Nigeria. If you plan to offer more washing services, you will have to prepare a higher capital.

3). Select A Favourable Location:

Picking the right spot can be the icing on the cake. A location where commuters and road users ply is the best place to choose as a location. You may lobby for space from filling stations, eateries, and supermarkets if they are willing to lease a portion of their land. Transporters often plying these routes could be your first clients.

4). Approval From The Authorities:

Getting approval from the relevant bodies can help avoid future embarrassment from the government, and it certifies that the business can be operational. The major permit needed for a car wash business relates to the water disposal system.

5). Get A Water Source:

A car wash business operates primarily on water. A clean water source borehole or well must not be far from the business site. Creating one if there isn’t any is a welcome idea.

6). Purchase The Necessary Equipment And Materials:

The type of instrument to purchase depends on the business and the services you intend to offer. For a large-scale car wash, car wash machines are necessary. They are available in different types and designs as well as prices ranging from ₦60,000 to ₦150,000. Other essential materials are brushes, hand towels, buckets, mops, etc.

7). Employ Staff:

The most basic staff needed for a car wash establishment are the people to do the actual washing or operate the washing devices. The business could also do with a manager to oversee the daily operations of the event.

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Challenges Of Starting A Car Wash Business In Nigeria

  • Difficulty in raising startup capital.
  • Unexpected maintenance expenses
  • Difficulty in maintaining washing equipment
  • Constant water expenses
  • Insufficient knowledge of the types of cars and required cleaning materials
  • Car wash services could be physically demanding.
  • Problems with drainage systems.

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To Sum It Up

Car wash business is also cheap to start unlike most other business and is never affected by seasonal changes. The car wash business in Nigeria can be a lucrative and profitable venture to start-up, due to its vast market demand and on your ability to build a wide network. If you’re looking for a lucrative business to venture into, the car wash business in Nigeria is a great option to explore.


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