The Impact of Weather on Car Wash Business Profitability: A Crucial Factor for Potential Investors

Envision the sparkling potential of investing in the car wash industry – an arena which, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, reels in an impressive average annual revenue of $593,600 per location in the United States. But to master this business, one important variable must be considered — the rhythm of the seasons. The cycle is as predictable as the weather that drives it. For 40% of car wash proprietors, spring takes the crown as the busiest season, while 31% witness their greatest influx in winter, according to the most recent Professional Carwashing Industry report. In other words, delving into the ebb and flow of weather-related profitability is paramount to deciding whether a car wash investment aligns with your financial and business aspirations.

pollen coming off of a plant and floating in the air

Making the Most of Spring Weather and Pollen

Picture this: spring is in the air, giving way to warmer weather and also presenting a golden ticket for car wash investors. Vehicle owners are yearning to scrub away the sticky remnants of winter and bid farewell to the unwanted collection of dirt slapped upon their precious vehicles. Add to that the pollen and bugs marking their territory on cars during this season, and voila, your customer base exponentially increases! Therefore, understanding the timeline of your local pollen season becomes a crucial factor before jetting into this opportune investment.

Across the U.S., trees typically start producing pollen from March to May. However, in the South, pollen season may begin as early as January. It’s also important to take ragweed pollen season into account — something that’s lengthened and become more intense over the years (largely thanks to climate change). In addition to triggering allergies, pollen also creates a thin layer of dust over cars, which, if not washed away, can end up gradually corroding the car. Let your customers know about these issues, and the importance of maintaining a clean car to keep pollen and allergies at bay, in order to maximize business during this season. Plus, it’s a great time to add a special chemical that removes bug residue from cars!

Check out our blog about spring car wash maintenance to see other tips!

Preparing for a Surge in Winter Customers

car driving on a snowy road

Winter is the second busiest season of the year for car wash owners, as customers are typically eager to protect their car from dirt and salt during this time. A good wax job, for example, creates an essential extra layer of protection between a car and harmful or unwanted debris from the road. Regular car washes can also improve road safety by keeping the tires clean and debris-free. In turn, traction improves, which minimizes the risk of skidding on slippery roads, and therefore prevents car accidents.

Almost 4,900 fatal crashes, and over 301,100 injury crashes occur in the U.S. yearly due to adverse weather or slick road conditions. In addition to regular car washes, cars that do particularly well in snowy or slippery conditions are key to helping people stay safe on the road. For example, some sedans are designed to be easy to steer and handle in wet and slippery conditions.

Car Washing to Promote Winter Health

But, that’s not all: regular car washes can also help prevent sickness during the colder months. Dirt, sand, and dust mites, in particular, can build up inside the car over summer. They continue to fester during colder months, making both driver and passengers more susceptible to getting sick. A good interior car wash can eliminate allergens and harmful bacteria to protect everyone’s health. By effectively communicating these car wash benefits to your customers, you can ensure to maximize business during the winter months. And, winter is also a great time to offer holiday discounts and promotions in order to attract customers. Car wash credit and membership, for example, can also make excellent holiday gifts.

woman washing a blue car at a car wash

Getting Your Car Wash Ready for Winter

Similarly, you should also make an effort to prepare your staff for an influx in customers following snowfall. Customers usually want road salt removed from their cars as quickly as possible. So, be sure your staff are able to monitor the condition and status of equipment. It’s crucial for pumps and motors to stay in great working condition throughout winter. Ideally, you should give your equipment a once-over before bad weather hits, so any necessary upgrades can be made in advance.

truck spraying ice melter on road

Aside from checking equipment and doing a little extra maintenance to prepare for winter, there are seasonal supplies used specifically for winter and freezing temperatures. Whether it be anti-freeze and other winter chemicals or systems to deal with freezing water, it’s definitely worth looking into cold temperature supplies for your car wash. Make sure to give our blog about essential winter car wash supplies for some excellent guidance!

Purchasing a car wash can be a rewarding and lucrative investment move. By researching exactly how changing weather conditions affect profitability, you can make smart and strategic decisions designed to maximize profits and build a happy and loyal customer base throughout the year.

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