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I own the land already. Looking for information on starting a car wash. I own a gas station next door to the property. Self serve, full service wash ?

Mknorthcountry

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It seems that the towns zoning might be a bit outdated as I think ( and hopefully someone could clarify) that water has to be recycled so I need to check to see if they will allow a car wash in a central business zone. Any recommendations on companies in New York that can help. Thank you in advance for your input. I am new to the car wash business.
 

eckert16

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Ask the town whereever that may be. The local codes may be online if you care to search. Not much info can be provided as you've not provided any....you are looking somewhere in NY... it could be St James, NY or downtown Olean NY, but yes, each town has their own 'rules'
 

Wash4Life

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Here's my take on self-service, full-service and express exteriors.

Personally, I would not build a self-serve today. It's a slow dollar to build up on, and the costs are so high. I don't believe self-serve will become extinct. We live in a culture nowadays where people are going away from doing things yourself.

Full-service requires a lot of labor. With COVID and minimum wage being two rages, it does make one stop and pause. The key really is automation for that part of the industry.

Express exteriors are getting built like crazy. You have to consider whether the market is or will be oversaturated.
 

jrauth

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If you are going to build a wash and if you need a loan to do so it will be really tough to build a self serve as the projected cash flow wont likely be enough to debt service the loan. Unless you are going to come in with a really high down payment. But your ROI will likely be really bad.
 

jfmoran

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You do not want to build a self-serve, the ROI is poor. Express Exterior or Flex-Serve is what you want to look at. As far as recycling water, it’s not unusual for a municipality to require water recycling and in most cases you would want to recycle water to cut down on your water costs. Let me know if you want to move forward, I can get you connected with someone from our company who covers NY. What part of NY are you in?
 

Brianjmartin

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You do not want to build a self-serve, the ROI is poor. Express Exterior or Flex-Serve is what you want to look at. As far as recycling water, it’s not unusual for a municipality to require water recycling and in most cases you would want to recycle water to cut down on your water costs. Let me know if you want to move forward, I can get you connected with someone from our company who covers NY. What part of NY are you in?
I partially agree, partially disagree. This very much depends on the individual local market. For instance, I have a friend with a 6 bay all self service that nets 300k a year after paying a full time staff member, in a high traffic, middle class income neighborhood, granted he is there all the time, all up to date, and takes great care of his customers. I have seen others with mixed self serve, and IBA, mostly absent owners that net around 120-150k in a major city. Where I live, I am working on buying a wash that has 2 fully loaded IBAs, and 3 self serves that need things like card readers and cosmetic improvements still. This place nets around 180k, with so much unmet demand and potential for growth. While I do feel that automatic washes are no doubt the highest money maker, a person should know and understand their target market. Where I live, it's a small town with lots of lifted trucks, and retired people with their nice sports cars...they LOVE washing themselves, and love a feature rich self serve bay....not to mention the trucks have no choice....only they do occasionally have to be told about excess mud rules..lol. Just be advised that it is up to the owner to know what they are offering and understand the demand in the area. and to reiterate...all of those numbers are nets. The smallest gross of the aforementioned figures was the absent owner one which was around $250k
 

Brianjmartin

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Wow, a six bay self serve that nets 300K is a high flyer, probably 3X the national average.
Yea. The guy that runs it definitely has his sh** together, and it’s on a busy road. Also, it’s for sale.
 
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