Car Wash Facts

Every car wash has its own personal quirks that you need to look at closely to determine how you operate and market the business. That being said, it’s still a great idea to keep an eye on overall trends and statistics of the car wash industry to keep your knowledge sharp and constantly adjust to serve your customers in the best way possible. Take a look at some interesting car wash facts compiled by the International Carwash Association!

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General Car Wash Facts

  • There are an estimated 62,668 professional car wash locations in the U.S.
  • Companies with 4 or fewer locations make up 70% of the total U.S. location as of 2020.
  • To further break down locations, there are 17,487 tunnels, 28,999 rollover/in-bays, and 16,182 self-serves.

Unlimited Wash Programs

20% of all customers who use a professional car wash are current subscription members, with another 18% being lapsed members.

  • 33% have a full-service membership
  • 20% have exterior wash memberships
  • 6% have self-service memberships
  • Memberships have grown 43% since 2019

Awareness and Loyalty

  • Location, location, location! 77% of car wash users learned about the car wash they most frequently use by driving by it.
  • Car wash users still note word of mouth and referral by a friend as notable sources of awareness.
  • 87% of washers use 3 or less car wash locations, with 28% using only one wash. Convenience is the primary driver of loyalty.
  • Brand matters! 70% of customers recall the name of the wash they use most often.

Customer Satisfaction Car Wash Facts

  • 72% of customers are very satisfied with the car wash they use most often.
  • 88% of those with memberships intend to continue their membership.
  • Emotional benefits are success drivers, with “a clean car makes them feel good” and “a clean vehicle makes them feel proud” as the most common responses for why users wash their car.
  • More than 50% of users are interested in additional technology like smartphone apps being used at the car wash they use.
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